Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 12, 2009

Court Upholds County Permit for Equestrian Barn

Adjacent property owners challenged the granting of a permit to construct a barn/equestrian center on their neighbor’s property. The permit was issued on after prior applications failed since as initially proposed the barn would have been a primary use of the lot and because a variance was needed and denied. The third attempt for a permit was successful since the owners reduced the size of the proposed barn obviating the need for a variance. The County conditioned the approval on the barn not being used as a commercial operation.  The lower courts upheld the approval and the neighbors appealed to the Wyoming Supreme Court.

The Court determined that the approval of the permit did not violate development regulations because the County had found previously that the construction would injure and violate private covenants in the neighborhood but did not consider these factors when deciding to grant the permit.  Specifically, the neighbors argued that the County is required to impose restrictions on the construction to minimize the adverse effects on the neighborhood. The relevant regulation states that the board “may” impose restrictions and conditions. The court stated that the use of the word “may” does not mean that an action is required. In addition, since the third application did not require a variance of any kind, the County did not need to consider whether or not the proposed construction was injurious to the neighborhood. The Court also noted that private covenants are between property owners and as such any violation of a private covenant the County has no authority to enforce.

Anderson v Board of County Commissioners of Teton County, 2009 WL 3171742 (WY 10/6/2009)

The opinion can be accessed at:


  1. Wyoming used to be a far less restrictive state when it came to building structures for livestock and animals. What on earth is going on over there that this should ever be taken to court? A person owns land, they want to develop it within reason, get out of the way! Wow.

  2. Court Upholds County Permit for Equestrian Barn .Thanks for nice post.I added to my twitter.

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