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Are Taxpayers Funding Story House Village?

This letter was originally printed in The Sheridan Press editorial pages recently with three major typographical errors (explained as errors made by the Press’ transposition from a hard copy submission) and an errant number of $81,513 provided by the Wyoming Department of Revenue Ad valorem Office contributed by the author and here now corrected to reflect the actual median income in Sheridan County.


Dear Editor,

I want to thank The Sheridan Press reporter, Mr. Joseph Beaudet, for his article in the Sheridan Press on August 9th. He titled the report,” Developers continue to say Sheridan County needs more attainable housing.” The title says it all.

The land trust, attainable housing council, will transfer taxpayer funds, to Habitat for Humanity (HFH) who will use these funds to buy land, which HFH will hold as a trust. The concept is that contractors, would build, for a profit, what is defined as attainable housing on this trust land, owned by HFH. If it were a townhouse, a townhouse would sell to a buyer, who’s income, would need to be between 80%-120% of the Sheridan County median income.

On the original letter, the Wyoming Department of Revenue was quoted with a median income of Sheridan County was $81,513 (The author acknowledges this was an incorrect number and should be $65,210). Yes, you must earn between some $55,000 to $71,000 per year to qualify for an attainable house on trust land. This is local government, sponsoring taxpayer supported housing, for middle class government employees, working for the school district, the college, the city, the county, the fire district, and the hospital.

Contractors and developers Carlton, Steamboat, WWC, Stonemill, and others have paid court to the attainable housing council. However, one of the more interesting concepts is “StoryHouse”, 200 acres of undeveloped land near the East 5th Street interstate exchange.

The city has annexed and agreed to bring a waterline, at taxpayer expense, to StoryHouse. No plat has been developed and no water, sewage, or power are available at this location, just dirt.

Jane Clark, of Carroll Realty, has stated, there are 6 investors in StoryHouse. When I called Carroll Realty to ask whom the six investors are I was told they were not to be identified.

SEEDA has been asked by StoryHouse to build a commercial park, on 42 acres at StoryHouse. The acreage is to be donated to SEEDA and SEEDA would use taxpayer money to build the commercial park.

StoryHouse hopes to sell, 14 acres, to HFH as trust land. HFH would pay contractors to build rentals for veterans on this site. They would rent for $773 per month. Again, this is taxpayer money to build this Veterans Village.

Phase 3 of StoryHouse, would be to build market value conventional mortgage homes on about 50 acres. This is estimated to be 8 years out. StoryHouse is represented by James Brown III of Los Angeles. The “Chief Creative Officer”, and Sean Higgins, registered agent for StoryHouse.

Both of these men are actors and pilot film producers. Mr. Higgins attempted the Veteran’s Village on the north end of Sheridan approximately 3 years ago. At that time, the veterans, would have worked, in a movie warehouse studio Mr. Higgins would have built on site. That dream failed.

However, SEEDA’s commercial park, at StoryHouse, could provide Mr. Higgins and Mr. Bown with a movie studio. Built with taxpayer money and rented to them, similar to Kennon or Weatherby, at the first SEEDA park.

StoryHouse, is “seeking to cultivate imagination, inspire health and stretch the ideas of reciprocity and equality in all human acts.” Reference The Sheridan Press, page A4, Sept 6, 2023.

Thank you,

Vicki Taylor

Banner, WY

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