News January 12, 2016

Government Exempts Itself From Buildout

by Jackson Hole. Media

toj town hallIf the Town Council and County Commission accept the recommendation of planners, it wont have to follow the same rules as commercial development.

The option will be presented to the council and County Commission today. It would freeze commercial development and take the cap off residential development but will not put any limits on building  institutional projects. This is in spite of a report that says institutional development accounts for much of the creation of new employees needed in town which, in turn, increases the demand for employee housing.

Commercial projects are required to provide housing while institutional uses have not been made to do. Likewise, commercial generates sales tax while government projects do not.

Last month planning staff was surprised when a study indicated that institutional building caused at least a third of all new employees generated by development. This went against the widespread belief that commercial was the main problem. Not included in the report was the impact of non-profits or employee generation. There are over 200 not-for-profit organizations in the community.

The authors of the recommendation admit that it would  “hinder the community’s ability to meet the desired future character for some areas as identified in the Character Districts of the Comp Plan, namely: Downtown redevelopment and revitalization, light industrial capacity in Hog Island, and commercial development to Teton Village.”

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