Park County’s zoning regulations are currently being tested in a way that could certainly have ramifications for future lodging businesses in the county.
The case which brings the issue to the forefront involves Beartooth Lodge, a Crandall establishment owned by Richard and Mallie Zickefoose.
At a July Park County Commission meeting, the commissioners agreed to penalize the Zickefooses at least $635,250 for infractions.
The case has been building since March 2017 when the commissioners cited the lodge for having too many rental cabins at their business, which was licensed as a bed and breakfast.
The Zickefooses contend they were given a permit from the county to run this exact operation in 2012 and have appealed the fines.
Earlier this year Park County District Judge Bill Simpson ruled against the Zickefooses. After briefly sending an appeal to the Wyoming Supreme Court, the Zickefooses voluntarily withdrew that appeal.
The case is again in Judge Simpson’s purview, as to how the county can enforce its fines.
County officials, and lodge and bed and breakfast owners throughout the county are keeping a watchful eye on the case and what the decision may portend for other lodging operations in the county.
The county will be conducting five public meetings later this month addressing the issue of short-term rentals and possible increased regulations.
Interested parties on both sides of the issue should plan to attend and voice their opinions.
At the very least, the outcome of this case should compel the county commissioners and the Park County Planning and Zoning to establish an enforceable set of zoning regulations and the means to enforce them.