- August 2, 2016

Downtown Has New Rules

by Jackson Hole Radio News

Downtown Jackson has a new set of rules as the Town Council voted to pass the controversial District 2 ordinances limiting commercial buildout but allowing for some additional lodging.

The downtown zoning regulations have undergone extensive debate and refinement since being presented to the council earlier in the year.

Initially, the plan allowed for more commercial square footage as a way to induce redevelopment of what many landowners call, a tired and aging downtown.

Others, though, said no more commercial space was needed but workforce housing downtown was.

Ultimately, the council settled on a hybrid. They allowed additional commercial density and set up a monitoring system to track the outcome.

That didn’t satisfy some groups, including Save Historic Jackson Hole, an organization that has successfully blocked prior planning changes in the town. And they intend to stop District 2 as well. SHJH said on their website that they will conduct a referendum of the new ordinances by gathering signatures on a petition to overturn the vote.

“We were told, we were PROMISED, no commercial would be added to downtown Jackson. We have enough already—millions of square feet yet to be used. Still, when we all went home feeling like our voice was heard, our town leaders snuck back in short-term rentals (high end condominiums) that will be rented VRBO and Airbnb to attract even more tourists, more traffic, more subsequent workforce to handle the resulting labor needs,” the group posted on their website.

The petition must garner 10% of the signatures of registered voters in the Town of Jackson and those signatures need to be certified by the Town Clerk. If the petition is validated, the matter will be turned over to the voters in a special election.

As of the last election in town, there were roughly 5,000 registered voters in the town limits.

The zoning passed unanimously.