A proposed bill in the Wyoming Legislature that would limit the Town of Jackson from denying a subdivision from connecting to the sewer plant had its first committee hearing today.
Senate File 157, described as a property rights limitation on local authority was heard by the Senate Agriculture, State and Public Lands, and Water Resources committee. It passed the committee with an unanimous vote.
Senator Bo Biteman presented the bill he sponsored noting that for the Town to demand deed restrictions in exchange for connection to the public sewer was, “Not the Wyoming way.”
Jackson Vice Mayor Arne Jorgensen spoke against the proposal noting that the community demonstrated overwhelming support for community workforce housing and saying, “Wyoming municipalities need to be able to address these developing issues through continued local control.”
Landowner Nikki Gill testified that they have worked diligently to compromise with the local town and county governments but officials with the Town of Jackson have indicated they can withhold a sewer connection in exchange for public benefit and for issues of sewer capacity.
Gill said, “It is because they want to control private property to force no growth and force us to develop devalued homes in order to get the connection,” she said, “I have no other choice but to come to you for help I thank you for your favorable consideration of this very important bill.”
She also said that the proposed development was included in previous sewer capacity studies completed by the town.
An amendment to the original filing was adopted that streamlined the language and the committee vote in favor was 5-0.
The measure has yet to be scheduled for full consideration of the Senate.