FAQ: September 20 Special Election

Why is there a special election?

A group of dedicated volunteers collected signatures from 10% of the registered voters in the Town of Jackson asking for a referendum on ordinances 1121 through 1129 concerning District 2 land development regulations (LDRs).

 

What is a referendum?

A referendum allows the citizens to vote on ordinances passed by elected officials. If a majority of citizens vote “NO” in the special election, the elected officials must repeal those ordinances.

 

Why are we allowed to have a referendum?

A referendum is part of the checks-and-balances provided by the Wyoming Constitution to ensure that our elected officials are acting in the best interests of our community.

 

What do those ordinances allow?

The ordinances are very complex. Our elected officials have not done a good job educating the public on what they allow. Current land regulations for District 2 in downtown Jackson would allow commercial development to roughly double from what is on the ground now. These new ordinances also permit an additional 100,000 square feet of short-term rentals over and above what is currently allowed. The ordinances change other things in the downtown core, but most people are upset about the additional short-term rentals.

 

Why do they want more short-term rentals?

The elected officials think short-term rentals will provide a solution to our workforce housing problems. In reality, the demand for housing that they create is greater than any worker housing they provide. More short-term rentals will provide greater profits for a select few developers.

 

What are short-term rentals?

The new ordinances propose building luxury penthouse apartments that would rent for 30 days or less. They are intended to serve people who are here on vacation.

 

Why should I care about more short-term rentals?

Short-term rentals typically charge many times the going rate for long-term rentals so they are not affordable for workers. They also create a great deal of demand for service workers who then need to find housing; exacerbating a problem we already know we have.

 

What do I need to do?

Show up to vote! There is only one polling place in the basement of the County Administrative building at 200 S. Willow on September 20th. There is no early voting and you will not get an absentee ballot even if you requested one for the November election. You must request an absentee ballot if you cannot vote on the 20th. Vote “NO.”

 

Why are they making it so hard to vote, and why not have the vote during the November election?

Those are good questions to ask our Mayor and Town Council. Phone: 733-3932 ext. 1000. Or email: council@townofjackson.com.

 

I am still confused about the issue. What should I do?

If you “Don’t Know, Vote NO.”

Revised D2 LDRs available now for review

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 10.32.25 AMThe Town of Jackson planning department released a revised draft of the District 2: Downtown Land Development Regulations (LDRs).

The revised draft of the District 2 Downtown LDRs includes a revised Downtown zoning map, revised Lodging Overlay, and revised development standards for the five proposed new Downtown zones.

The primary changes to the previous District 2 draft were made by staff in response to recent direction from the Town Council and Board of County Commissioners to limit the amount of additional nonresidential potential in the Town and County to the amount allowed by existing zoning and to allow staff to draft new incentive tools for workforce housing. More specifically, the following major changes were made:

* The boundaries of District 2 were modified (e.g., existing residential properties on East Broadway and South Cache has been removed from District 2 and added to District 3);

* The location of the five new Downtown zones were revised to more closely match existing zone boundaries (e.g., the new Downtown Core zone replaces the existing UC zone);

* The boundary of the Lodging Overlay was returned to its existing extent;

* The Floor Area Ratios (FAR) of the five new Downtown zones were modified and/or reduced to achieve an increase of “zero” for nonresidential potential in District 2;

* The names of the five Downtown zones were modified to be more accurate and reorganized according to their level of intensity; and

* Other changes were made to the development standards to incentivize redevelopment (e.g., reductions of required Landscape Surface Ratios (LSR) in certain zones);

The draft workforce housing incentive tools authorized by the Town Council are still in the drafting process but are expected to be presented to the Planning Commission at its first scheduled hearing.

The Planning Commission will have a special hearing on the revised draft District 2: Downtown LDRs on Wednesday, March 23 at 5:30 pm. Public comment will be taken at the hearing and written public comment (feedback@jacksontetonplan.com) submitted before March 18 will be included in the Planning Commission staff report. The Town Council is tentatively scheduled to have its public hearing(s) on this item in late April, 2016.

People Win!

Here is our ad running in the Jackson Hole News&Guide and Daily.

Our elected leaders deserve congratulations and YOU, who stuck with the process regarding NO ADDITIONAL COMMERCIAL development, are to be commended as well. Together, we made a stand. For the Last and Best of the Old West. For community before resort.

SHJH 1-20-15