The Jackson Town Council voted to approve a development plan for a 13000 square foot mixed use project on North Millward Street on Monday.
The Millward Street Apartments would consist of a new 3-story building at 245 and 265 North Millward Street, currently the location of the Angler Inn.
The project, when completed, will be comprised of a total of 48 units with 37 apartments and 11 short-term rental units. Additionally, it would include about 2000 square feet of office and approximately 2000 square feet of retail commercial space.
The project is required to have 67 parking spaces, but the actual spaces will number 60 which includes 9 on street parking units. The town accepted payment for four spaces and eliminated three additional spaces through an administrative adjustment.
Neighbors to the project complained about increased alley use, traffic impact on North Millward Street, parking, building mass, existing neighborhood character, and the environmental impact to Flat Creek.
Neighbor John Bickner said he didn’t think there was enough room for parking, “Not one of those units are going to just have one person you’re going to have two or three people so where are those extra cars trying that those cars that parking lots made for little compact cars not bigger vehicles that most people drive in Wyoming so you guys are got some rose colored glasses I’m thinking that this is going to fit all these damn cars it’s going to be a problem for all the neighbors.”
Sharon Henry told the council that she was concerned about the alley being used to stage construction, “there’s been talk about utilizing behind their workplace in the alley for their construction area you can’t block somebody out of their home for two years you just can’t do that.”
Eugenie Copp wrote to the council that, “The Millward Street Apartments would create a negative effect not only on the Flat Creek Flyway as a three-story building but its sole access from the alley on the west of the building paralleling Flat Creek would cause disruption to the ecosystem.”
She noted that, “It is hard to imagine 50 plus vehicles entering and exiting the complex daily next to the creek.”
She addressed the council Monday night and warned that the development would hurt Trumpeter swan habitat.
“The trumpeter swan is a protected species it’s been mentioned in any number of reports it’s in almost all the town documents we still haven’t had any kind of comment from the council on that and I would like to hear some considerations made to defend their habitat crucial habitat that’s been designated as such.”
Copp said she hoped the town would follow the intent of the Teton County Comprehensive plan, “That habitat is special I just hope you’ll defend the comp plan and its values.”
David Sollitt of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance told councilors that the project didn’t fit the intent of the comprehensive plan, “I hope you could find your way find it in yourselves to embrace the vision of the comprehensive plan and scale this development back embrace the unique character of wildlife sustaining properties and Flat Creek conservation area and redefine what ‘good enough for town’ really means.”
Despite the sentiments aired by the neighbors, Councilmembers Jim Rooks, Jessica Sell Chambers, and Arne Jorgensen voted to approve the plan.
The lone dissent came from Councilman Jonathan Schechter. He said that the town had failed to complete work on protecting Flat Creek in their comprehensive plan.
“This development captures in one project a lot of the problems that we are now discovering with the comp plan and the LDR’s it’s highlighting a lot of them it’s capturing a lot of the issues that are facing this community the big money that’s coming in the rapid pace at which it’s coming in and the pressure for redevelopment. Housing, affordable housing… …one of the people who came up and commented about what kind of net gain are we going to have and who is really going to be living there. It captures issues around community character which a lot of the people who testified about that special area and it was cited in the newspaper as funky little section of town. But mostly, the thing that really bothers me about it is, or highlights it is environmental. The absence of anything we’ve done. I want to read another excerpt from the staff report, ‘while the comprehensive plan maintains a goal for future adoption of a Flat Creek enhancement corridor, to address ecological recreational aesthetic values provided by Flat Creek. The LDR’s currently do not include specific development regulations to reinforce such a corridor thus there are no development requirements related to it’.”
The vote was three to one with mayor Morton Levinson absent.