CODY - A settlement proposal was sitting Thursday morning on the desk of Michael LaBazzo, attorney for the Carmelite monks who are proposing to build a monastery and coffee roasting barn outside of Meeteetse.
Having just returned to his Cody office, LaBazzo hadn't had time to read the proposal sent by Debra Wendtland, attorney for three ranchers opposed to the monastery and accompanying barn for the monks' Mystic Monk Coffee business.
Scott and Marjorie Justice, Matt and Jessie Wagner and MC Land and Cattle LLC own ranches along Meeteetse Creek Road where the facilities would be located, and they have been concerned about an increase in traffic along the road.
Two hearings for special use permits (SUP) for the 144,000-square-foot monastery and for the 7,500-square-foot coffee roasting barn for the New Mount Carmel of America are scheduled on Oct. 5 before the Park County Commission. The Park County Zoning & Planning Commission approved the SUPs following public hearings that continued over two meetings.
"We're not in opposition to discuss the terms," LaBazzo said about the settlement proposal, noting that if an agreement is reached before the Oct. 5 hearings, those ranchers won't be there to contest the permits.
"We continue to be positive that we'll reach a resolution," he said.
Wendtland did not return calls from the Wyoming Business Report.
Because the buy-sell agreement with current landowner Dave Grabbert will end on Oct. 1, LaBazzo said his clients and Grabbert already have signed an addendum to that document. The additions take into account whether the county commissioners approve the SUPs at the first meeting or if a continuation is needed.
LaBazzo couldn't discuss how close the Carmelites' foundation is to raising the money needed to build the facilities. He also did not confirm any actual cost estimates, saying it would depend on the winning contractor's bid.
He did say that, if everything is approved, ground would be broken by April 2011 because the donors of large contributions want to see the construction "happen now."
On Oct. 5, the SUP hearing for the monastery will begin at 1:15 p.m., followed at 2:30 by the hearing for the coffee roasting barn. Both meetings will be conducted in the Alternate EOC Room in the basement of the Park County Courthouse addition.
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