Other Side of the Story: Trampled by Growth

Have you noticed Save Historic Jackson Hole’s new ad campaign?

The “ads” are meant to look and read like informational news columns. Columns that tell an alternative side of today’s big issue stories.

We hope the community continues to stay engaged and thirsty for information on matters that concern our valley and its future.

Here is the Other Side of the Story for May 17:

Trampled by Growth

Talk about NIMBYism

This is classic! A perfect example of why town and county officials (and more than a few developers) have found it so difficult to produce affordable housing.

It’s called NIMBY. Not In My Back Yard.

It’s such a rampant disease, even people IN affordable housing dont want affordable housing next to them.

Unbelievable.

http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/town_county/village-affordables-inch-closer-to-construction/article_2d868195-a4bc-519c-8954-5209cf632fad.html

 

Village affordables inch closer to construction

WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 2017 4:30 AM

Ten units of affordable housing received a nod of approval from county planning commissioners Monday despite opposition from a handful of neighbors in affordable homes on the lot next door.

“If I’m being asked to weigh the balancing act between housing units and guest parking … I’m going to err on the side of housing,” Planning Commissioner Stefan Fodor said. “We need to start thinking differently about development, about transit and about parking.”

  The developer, Lodges at Fish Creek LLC, is seeking a master plan amendment to allow for the construction of four additional three-bedroom units on a plot where six three-bedroom units are sketched for construction.

Should the Board of County Commissioners approve the plan, construction could start as soon as this summer.

The Teton Village Area 2 resort master plan requires affordable housing units be built periodically as free-market units go up. Area 2 includes much of the land outside the “old Village” homes and commercial core.

The master plan requires at least 220.5 people be housed in 100 affordable units at build out. Thus far 13 three-bedroom affordable units — the Homesteads at Teton Village — have been constructed, housing 39 people.

“If you fast-forward two or three years, depending on free-market development, we’d probably have to build one affordable housing unit,” Lodges at Fish Creek Housing Director Jason Wells said during Monday’s meeting. “It would be a long, long time before we would need to build anything close to the affordable housing units that we’re proposing today.”

The homes are planned to be Category 3 — capped at an income of $102,960 for a family of four — and Category 4 — capped at $120,120 for a family of four.

Some residents of the neighboring Homesteads opposed the plan, saying traffic and lack of parking will be compounded by additional units going up. Many who spoke Monday night rallied for designated guest parking and said Rimrock Road is too narrow for the number of cars navigating through the neighborhood.

“It is a tight road,” Homesteads homeowner Bain Campbell said. “We’ve got 22 children in the neighborhood now with more coming. … My hope is that you take a good hard look at the design and hopefully try to remedy these issues that we have come up with.”

Each Homesteads townhome includes two parking spaces, but there is no designated guest parking. The Ranch Lot, a 812-space public lot across from the Homesteads, has been coined as the parking solution. But some residents say it’s not a good one, since the lot does not allow overnight parking and drivers must pay to park from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the ski season.

“They are not providing a solution. They’re saying ride the bus,” said Stephen Fralin, who also owns a home in the Homesteads. “Every community development in this valley has a place for guests to park except this development.

“The Ranch Lot is not a solution,” he said. “Ask them to provide guest parking.”

The planning board voted unanimously in favor of the housing plan. The Teton County Board of County Commissioners has final say.

Other side of the story: Time to Stop Pretending

Have you noticed Save Historic Jackson Hole’s new ad campaign?

The “ads” are meant to look and read like informational news columns. Columns that tell an alternative side of today’s big issue stories.

We hope the community continues to stay engaged and thirsty for information on matters that concern our valley and its future.

 

Here is the Other Side of the Story for May 10:

Stop Pretending

SPET results

Voters prudently chose to spend $34M in tax money to support six of the 10 propositions on the SPET ballot.

 

5,983 total votes cast

13,173 registered voters
South Highway 89 PASS 63%-37%

#1 Purchase of START buses FAIL 42%-58%

#2 Parks and Rec housing PASS 55%-45%

#3 CWC PASS 54%-46%

#4 Sidewalks PASS 51%-49%

#5 Rec Center maintenance PASS 64%-36%

#6 START Bus housing FAIL 43%-57%

#7 Redmond-Hall rentals FAIL 49%-51%

#8 START Bus facility FAIL 34%-66%

#9 Fire Stations PASS 72%-28%

#10 St. John’s Living Center PASS 69%-31%

 

Housing and transportation initiatives met with predictable failure yet elected officials say they continue to be baffled by the results.

MESSAGE: Yes, we might have a housing problem but subsidized housing is not the answer. There may not be an answer.

And yes we have traffic congestion in the summer especially, but buses are not the answer, either.

Mimicked, copied, flattered

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, count us as blushing.

Town officials, desperate to win over votes to raise taxes and flat out of original ideas, simply copied SHJH’s SPET Scorecard and made their own “corrections.”

We try to inform citizens and TOJ, along with Central Wyoming College a couple of weeks ago, merely taking our informative ads and copy them, adding their own insulting comments. It lacks imagination. It smacks of desperation.

In finally, someone stole the identity of Keep Wyoming Wild and created a fake Facebook Page representing the group. It is pretty sad that’s what some have resorted to. We are just trying to provide some insight into what we believe are choices that stand to accelerate growth even more in Jackson Hole.

Our ad:

 

Their ad:

 

Other Side of the Story: Whose future?

Have you noticed Save Historic Jackson Hole’s new ad campaign?

The “ads” are meant to look and read like informational news columns. Columns that tell an alternative side of today’s big issue stories.

We hope the community continues to stay engaged and thirsty for information on matters that concern our valley and its future.

Here is the Other Side of the Story for April 26:

SHJH growth

Whose future are we headed toward?

If left to their own devices, the well-intentioned folks running the town and county have shown they are incapable of slowing, or even recognizing, the out-of-control growth path we are on. Worse, if given the funds, they appear more than eager to rush hurtling toward Jackson Hole’s Brave New World.

It’s a future that former News&Guide columnist Todd Wilkinson said at the 6th Annual Wildlife Symposium will turn Jackson into Salt Lake City in less than 50 years at our current rate of growth.

It’s a future that routinely arrives sooner than our community can plan for it. An annual indicator report released this spring verified we’ve already hit and exceeded the 5% Growth Management Plan benchmark that triggers a revision of our Comp Plan. Instead, it was decided we’ll postpone another year to give time for local government to catch up with growth.

Meanwhile, the county still hasn’t addressed the most important part of its land development regulations: the Natural Resource Overlay (NRO). Similarly, the town has made little progress toward its implementation of the 2012 Comp Plan. The most vital aspect town leaders could and should address is the affordable housing mitigation rate. As gigantic new hotels sprout up in town, all local electeds can do is complain the mitigation rates are too low and their hands are tied.

Yet the town and county have found plenty of time to tackle other “important” things like trying to figure out how many millions of dollars it will take to get a bike path over Teton Pass. Or wasting weeks on the novelty of declaring Jackson a ‘sanctuary city’ by resolution.

In fact, the last thing the town managed to do to update the LDRs is to put in place zoning for strip clubs in Jackson’s Business Park zone.

Clearly, this whole growth thing is catching our electeds by surprise.

 

Since 2012, jobs growth is up 17%, residential growth is up 5.5%, commercial is up 4%, and lodging has increased 1.5%. Seasonal population is up by at least 90%, and more square feet of second homes has been built than workforce housing. We are creating jobs far faster than we can fill them.

We are headed in the wrong direction. Our roads are clogged, the wastewater treatment facility is close to maxed out, and the town is so full we are considering emergency camping in public parking lots that were built to address the serious lack of parking on our packed city streets.

Faced with these impending thunderheads of doom, our elected leaders have not only failed to cull a bloated list of SPET propositions, but they’ve actively campaigned for all $68.5 million worth of the taxes. Many of these SPET items will simply encourage more growth and accelerate how quickly we get to their vision of a better future.

Are these SPET items simply catching services up with growth, as our elected officials claim? Or are they examples of the institutional growth that has been one of the very causes of our overcrowding? It’s an urban spiral. More housing creates more need, which creates more building, which creates more housing need again. That’s a growth agenda that serves to increase headaches for us, sales tax revenue for government.

Remember when our elected officials claimed last fall’s general sales tax hike was not an increase in taxes because SPET would be going away? SPET not only didn’t go away but it’s back bigger than ever with 10 items that are mostly wants not needs. It’s a wish list so big, that if a true emergency (think Budge slide) comes along anytime within the next six years, we will be looking at a 7th cent of tax to add to SPET. Meanwhile our electeds are looking into an 8th cent of additional tax if they can convince state lawmakers to approve it.

It’s time to take back control of our community and steer it toward a more livable future. Somebody has to.

Other Side of the Story: START should stop

Have you noticed Save Historic Jackson Hole’s new ad campaign?

The “ads” are meant to look and read like informational news columns. Columns that tell an alternative side of today’s big issue stories.

We hope the community continues to stay engaged and thirsty for information on matters that concern our valley and its future.

Here is the Other Side of the Story for April 19:

SHJH START stop