Jackson Town Planners called “conspicuously clandestine”

conspicuously clandestine

The Town of Jackson Planning Department is proposing nearly 90 changes to the Land Development Regulations. But some say they are not being transparent.

At this week’s planning commission meeting, the changes, which planners call a cleanup of regulations, were presented as one large item.


Changes proposed include new rules for landscaping, fences, parking, snow storage, residency requirements for planning commissioners, and a limitation on when the public can propose changes to town rules.

Matt Gaffney, a local attorney, testified at the meeting under public comment that he was generally concerned about the process used to consider the changes, including an apparent haste and lack of public comment and transparency.

Gaffney spoke against the proposal to change landscaping requirements that would allow items like public art, bike racks, pathways, sidewalks, and power transformers to count as landscaping in a development.

He said the proposed change goes against the very purpose of an actual landscaping requirement.

He said If adopted these changes allow developers to build out properties from lot line to lot line without any requirement of actual landscaping and turn the town of Jackson into a concrete cityscape.

Gaffney said that there was not enough opportunity from the community to weigh in.

“There has been no opportunity for the public and other stakeholders to weigh in and comment on these critical and fundamental changes to the LDR’s the process to put these specific proposed amendments before the Planning Commission has been conspicuously clandestine which is struggling considering the impact that the proposed amendments would have on existing development applications which are in the process of currently being decided by the town there are 86 LDR text amendments which have been given essentially no public scrutiny and while other while all other text amendments are considered individually with detailed analysis and an apple opportunity for the public to comment during the public hearing so we question how the public committee the Planning Commission can recently expected to carry out its duties with only a couple day’s notice without the benefit of public comment,” Gaffney said.

He urged the Planning Commission to table the rest of the proposed amendments to permit adequate public comment and to fully consider their potential impact on the town of Jackson.

The commission did not vote on the proposal, but discussed some of the amendments and scheduled another meeting to discuss for next Wednesday.