JACKSON, Wyo. — The Town of Jackson Planning Commission approved two motions of recommendations for the Jackson Town Council to consider, related to short-term rentals during their May 18 meeting.

The first, recommends the town council amend the definitions of residential use from a minimum of 30 days to 90 days and amend the definitions of lodging and short-term rental occupancy for less than 90 days.

Short-term rentals are currently defined as the rental of a residential unit for less than 31 days and, the rental of a residential unit for less than one calendar month.

Short-term rentals are only allowed within the Lodging Overlay and in the Snow King Resort Area and require licenses and annual renewals. The town estimates that about 80% of the current rental licenses are for properties located in the Snow King Resort area. According to the staff report, over 200 licenses are currently approved by the town.

The second motion suggests that the town council should consider a “local’s exclusion program” and set up a workshop to discuss the requirements.

The local’s exclusion program would allow local homeowners who reside in their home 10 months of the year, work full time or are retired to rent their property twice a year for a period of less than 90 days but a minimum of 30 days.

Another aspect of the suggested program is that renters could be limited to the local workforce or unlimited.

Anna Olson president and CEO of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce spoke during public comment on the topic.

Olson suggested that changes to the LDR should be paused until the Housing Nexus Study and Housing Needs Assessment Study findings are released.

“The complexities of creating workforce and affordable housing by building or accessing existing inventory goes way beyond changing one LDR,” Olson said.

Commissioner Wendy Martinez shared her support for the increase to 90 days, saying she weighed the input from all the parties involved.

“I agree that we should keep the residential neighborhoods to the purpose that we want them to serve,” Martinez said.

Commissioner Thomas Smits voted against amending the definition of residential use but voted in favor of the local exclusion program suggestion.

“I don’t think we have the data as far as how many homes this could affect and the number of homeowners that could be disenfranchised. I have an issue with infringement on private property rights and I think this is such an infringement,” Smits said.

“Right now with the property management companies involved, short-term rentals are more regulated where as if this passes I think people are going to drop these [companies] and there is going to be no regulation,” Smits said.

Community Development Director Tyler Sinclair said that the Council is also going to look at adding another enforcement person to town staff during their budget process.

The topic will be brought before the Town Council at a future meeting for approval and then will need to pass three readings.

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.