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Pawhuska council allows completion of lake lot improvement

Places moratorium on new projects

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The Pawhuska City Council on Tuesday evening voted 5-0 to allow the completion of a lake lot improvement at Bluestem Lake, even though the project exceeds a size limitation in city regulations. The council also voted 4-1, with Councilor John Brazee dissenting, to temporarily prohibit the initiation of new lake lot projects.

Troy BigEagle, who spoke on behalf of the lot leaseholders who received permission for the completion of their oversize project, assured councilors it would be possible to pull that improvement in some 8-10 feet.

"We don't have a problem with bringing it in," BigEagle said.

Councilor Steve Tolson advocated forming a committee to review the city's regulations for lakefront lots it owns at Bluestem Lake, west of town. His colleagues seemed amenable to the idea of a regulatory review in the near future.

Councilor Mark Buchanan expressed interest in looking at ways to make it easier for Pawhuska residents to lease lakefront lots.

"I think we need to look at how we can make it more available to people in Pawhuska," Buchanan said.

Interim Police Chief Lorrie Hennesy, who has handled lake lot regulation issues, made sure the council understood that the particular lot improvement project on which they took action Tuesday was not the only one underway that would be larger than the city's regulations allow.

Brazee said his "no" vote regarding the moratorium on the beginning of new projects reflected his opposition to totally shutting things down, except for projects that are already underway.

"You can't even prepare to build something within the rules with it shut down like that," he told the Journal-Capital. Brazee said it has been a long time since the lake lot regulations have been strictly enforced.

"It's got to gradually go back into effect," Brazee said. "They can't just do it all at once."