After about six months of use, a temporary storage tent owned by rapper-designer Kanye West has received the city’s OK to remain in place on highly visible commercial property for another year.
The structure does not meet the City of Cody’s long-term expectations for commercial property within the city’s entry corridor overlay zone – such as a brick and mortar building with architectural features compatible to surrounding businesses and 5%, three-dimensional landscaping.
But city officials are fine with the temporary situation for now as long as Psalm Cody Commercial, one of several Wyoming limited liability companies founded by West, continues to permanently develop its properties on Cody’s east side.
Last fall West bought the former 3.76-acre Mountain Equipment lot with a two-suite office and shop at 3202 Big Horn across from Fremont Motors.
Psalm Cody Commercial owns five other mostly vacant lots on the south side of Big Horn Avenue generally located between Sherwin Williams and T-O Engineers. Two of the properties have frontage along Big Horn while the other three are farther to the south off side streets. The Eleutian Technology building owned by Forward Cody borders the southernmost lots.
In October the city planning and zoning board granted a request by Psalm Cody Commercial to erect a temporary 4,800-square-foot, fabric-covered hoop barn with concrete floor. The company was to remove the tent within 60 days after an 180-day temporary occupancy period, which started in March after the structure had been erected.
On Aug. 24, Jacob Zindroski, representing the West team, sent city planner Todd Stowell a statement from Yeezy asking the P&Z to add one year to the team’s original six-month request.
Addressing long-term plans in the statement, Zindroski said the company is developing the properties on Big Horn Avenue in three phases.
Phase 1 was accomplished Aug. 25 when P&Z members voted unanimously to extend the temporary permit.
Details of Phase 2, with a potential spring 2021 start, are not yet determined; however, plans apparently involve permanent storage buildings.
“It might consist of steel structures for phasing of construction to the overall site plan,” Zindroski wrote.
Phase 3 is when larger construction on the former Mountain Equipment property and adjacent lots would occur.
“It will include workspaces for fabrication and (research and development),” the letter reads. “During these phases there will be a transition into the newly developed workspaces. If intermediate buildings have been constructed to transition into those spaces, they will be removed or re-evaluated at a later set time.”
A start date for the final phase is not yet set, and the letter sent by Zindroski reminds the city the phases are speculative. It promises to continue working with the P&Z board as the project evolves.
The P&Z’s one-year extension is granted on condition Psalm Cody Commercial submits a site plan for Phase 2 commercial development in a timely manner.
“Staff want assurance they are moving forward,” Stowell said.
Stowell said he was not surprised West’s team found that six months were not enough time to develop a plan for the property and construct new buildings.
P&Z member Richard Jones concurred.
“I thought six months was a little ambitious,” he said.
Because the initial review was “definitely based on the commitment that the tent was temporary,” Stowell said it is appropriate for the city to extend the timeline, provided Psalm Cody Commercial remains committed to further developing the site with permanent structures.
He recommended the P&Z board let the temporary tent remain as is until Sept. 15, 2021, on condition the company submits a site plan application for Phase 2 by April 26.
“This extension and application deadline should allow sufficient time for enough of Phase 2 to be constructed to allow for moving all contents from the temporary tent (to a permanent structure) by Nov. 15, 2021,” Stowell wrote in an agenda summary.
If a site plan is not submitted by the April deadline, P&Z board members may review the situation and decide if the tent extension should be canceled for lack of compliance, he said.