Comments needed on the Lodging Overlay

Town Electeds are asking for input on the Lodging Overlay.  You may have received an email asking for your input.  It is not clear if they will really listen to us or if this is an exercise to lend validity to any decision they make.  It is clear however that if we do not provide input we will not have any standing in any protest or legal action against any changes they might make to the Lodging Overlay.  They will be taking comments until April 17th.  Please take a few minutes to comment.

 

Options for input

Online: using their website lodging.jacksontetonplan.com  The site is interactive and allows you to change the boundaries of the Lodging Overlay and see how it affects neighborhoods and access to the Downtown District.  The first time I tried the link I had problems viewing the survey. If that happens close it out and try again.  If you still cannot get it to work, there may be compatibility issues with your browser.   Instead of getting frustrated I would suggest if there are problems that you submit your comments by email, telephone, or workshop.  The online option is good if you want to take the survey on your own schedule.

Workshop:

  • 3/19, 5-8pm, Center for the Arts Theater Lobby
  • 3/23, 9-3pm, Home Ranch Building
  • 4/10, 11am-2pm or 5-8pm, Center for the Arts Theater Lobby
  • 4/11, 11am-2pm or 5-8pm, Center for the Arts Theater Lobby

This might be the best option if you are not comfortable navigating the website, do not have access to a computer, or have questions you would like to discuss.  You will be in a group, so there may be some pressure to conform to the group opinion.

Email or Phone: You can find contact info at this link.  http://www.townofjackson.com/content/index.cfm?fuseaction=showContent&contentID=21&navID=21

 

Some Thoughts before you Comment

If you use the website, you will find that the current Lodging Overlay provides good balance between protecting neighborhoods and keeping lodging within walking distance of the Downtown District.  Both of these are goals of the 2012 Comp Plan.  Any change in the Lodging Overlay (LO) will be difficult to implement fairly because it will substantially change the value of a property.  Properties that are added to the LO will increase in value.  Properties that are removed from the LO will decrease in value.  How will we decide which landowners should benefit and which ones should suffer?  Changing the LO opens a can of worms.  The current LO serves our community well and allows existing lodging outside the LO to continue in operation.

Existing Lodging is only full for a short period in the summer and on Holiday weekends in the winter.  Expanding our LO will expand lodging capacity and make it even more difficult to achieve the 2012 Comp Plan goal of increasing occupancy in the shoulder seasons.  The 2012 Comp Plan states we do not wish to increase visitation during peak occupancy when we struggle to provide services for our visitors and residents.

There is no benefit to the community from changing the LO.

 

If you have questions on the Lodging Overlay check out this page from our website:

http://savehistoricjacksonhole.org/2013/03/q-a-on-the-lodging-overlay-in-town/

Q & A on the Lodging Overlay in Town

The first topic for the Town of Jackson to examine as they begin their review of the Land Development Regulations is the Lodging Overlay.  SHJH looks at some questions and answers on this topic that could have major impact on our Town. 

 

Q: What is the Lodging Overlay (LO)? 

A: It is an area in the Town of Jackson where the Land Development Regulations allow short term rentals.  Short term lodging is defined as less than 30 days.

 

Q: What is the purpose of the Lodging Overlay?

A: The purpose is to keep short term visitors close to the area of Town that has the services they need like restaurants and shops.  By keeping them close to the services it is hoped that it will reduce the amount of driving that short term visitors need to do.  The boundaries of the LO were drawn to keep short term lodging out of residential areas.  This was intended to protect residential areas.  The 1994 Comp Plan said that we were a community first and a resort second.

 

Q: Why should we expand the Lodging Overlay?

A: While expanding the LO benefits individual property owners by greatly increasing the value of their property, there is no benefit to the Community.  Except for a very short period during the Christmas Holidays and a short period during the summer season our local lodging is never at full occupancy, so why would we add more hotel rooms that are farther from the downtown area?

 

Q: What is driving this?

A: Our elected officials believe our lodging in Town is “tired” and needs to be redeveloped to be competitive with Teton Village.

 

Q: What are the other options to expanding the Lodging Overlay?

A: Instead of expanding the LO and giving a “gift” to select landowners, we should look for ways to increase visitation during the shoulder seasons.  We should also look for ways to incentivize redevelopment of properties in the existing LO rather than expand it.  There have been recent examples of successful redevelopment of lodging in Town.   There have also been some failures.  Expanding the LO will not ensure that projects will succeed.  Well thought out projects that meet the demands of our visitors will succeed.  Poorly planned projects will fail regardless of the location of the LO.

Q: What about existing lodging outside the Lodging Overlay?

A: Existing lodging operations that are outside the LO are “grandfathered” and are allowed to continue their operation as is.  If they need to replace their buildings they are allowed to replace what they currently have, so expanding the LO has no real impact on them.

Q: I live in the County, why should I worry about a Town Issue?

A: Every one should worry about expanding the LO regardless of where they live.  Moving short term lodging from downtown will encourage a migration of services to outlying areas and willchange the character of our Town.