Housing rules and regs head to the homestretch, two more readings

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Engage 2017 process to develop policy updates for Town Zoning and Parking, Housing Requirements, Natural Resource Protections, and Housing Rules and Regulations is in its final phase. Public feedback is still vital to crafting a better end product, but time is running out.

The draft represents the final product for consideration by the Jackson Town Council and the Teton County Board of Commissioners. Both boards looked closely at the draft this week, took public comment, and made steps to move the process along.

Town Zoning and Parking for Districts 3-6—mostly residential areas outside the downtown core—was examined Monday and polished up a bit with a few tweaks suggested by residents.

What you said

Public comment has been fairly split over the new proposed zoning for town which looks at allowing additional residential units to town in hopes of providing more workforce housing. It updates various zones in town to allow more density while protecting traditional, more stable neighborhoods.

In general, some residents look forward to the allowance of density tools like ARUs, while others do not care for their neighborhood to be ‘upzoned.’

Some neighborhoods are slated for little to no change. Others will see increased density. One zone (NH-1) actually carries a minimum density rule of triplex in order to stimulate apartment buildings. It’s the first time the planning department has done something like that, planner Paul Anthony told the town council this week.

Jackson Hole Working gave comment concerned primarily with parking restrictions for housing developments. The community-driven advocacy group is a reinvention of Think About It Jackson Hole comprised of former Mayor Mark Barron, Chamber president Anna Olson, Housing Trust director Anne Cresswell, and others.

The more vehicles an apartment complex is required to park, the less room there is for actual units. JH Working asked the council to consider a more progressive approach to parking that would encourage a walkable town and get more units on the ground.

Friends of Pathways director Katherine Dowson agreed, calling parking and housing a zero-sum game. “Are we housing cars or are we housing people?” she wondered aloud to electeds.

Former town councilman and Jackson property owner Greg Miles asked town leaders to address complete streets in order to promote a walkable Jackson. He listed several neighborhoods where sidewalks were inadequate or missing altogether.

Kendra Heimbuck, Teton Habitat director, suggested the council make it easier for tiny homes and subdivided ownership to be made possible in Jackson.

What’s next?

An edited draft of the zoning updates for D3-6 will be looked over again on May 14 at a public meeting.

Meanwhile, Housing Rules and Regulations is moving toward the finish line.

There will be two more Joint (Town and County) meetings for both elected bodies to review the Rules and Regulations: May 21 at 2pm at Town Hall (second reading), and June 4 at 3pm at Town Hall (third reading and adoption).

“Affordable housing is about creating a community first and resort second,” said April Norton, Affordable Housing Department director. “It’s about ensuring we house our teachers, law enforcement, servers, coaches and other members of the local workforce. Updating these rules and regulations is an important piece of that work and we are grateful for the active participation and input from residents across the county.”

Over one year of outreach, public input, policy development and review have led to the final draft of the Rules and Regulations. Read the full Rules and Regulations draft here.

Proposed zoning for Districts 3-6. (Teton County GIS)

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