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PINEDALE, WY - Residential housing outside of Pinedale, Wy., on August 7, 2005. Growth management proponents of the 1400 resident Pinedale, the county seat of the 6400 resident Sublette County, advocate for utilizing public money to extend utilities outward from towns in order to encourage progressively denser housing which, it is believed, will encourage construction of more low to middle income housing. Current state regulations stipulate a minimum of one acre lots for homes relying on well and septic systems, which they do outside of city limits. Property prices are skyrocketing because of second and third home-owners are moving to the area and a gas boom has industry workers buying or renting all the lower income homes which means service workers like waiters, teachers, and county sheriffs struggle to find affordable housing. Farms and ranches are being broken up and sold typically as two, five, 10, and 20 acre lots on septic systems and well water. One of the local sayings is that the escalating real estate prices are a result of the billionaires moving into nearby Jackson, WY, who are pushing out the millionaires who then move to Pinedale. According to realtor Travis Bing, anything one 'would want to buy' starts at about $200,000 with many homes selling for $450,000 and up. Pinedale currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the state and is experiencing another boom cycle both in real estate and in energy as natural gas production in two nearby gas fields ramps up for year-round production.
- © Copyright 2005 Tim Matsui, All Rights Reserved
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