Teton County Planning Director Chris Neubecker has recommended approval for the first stage of the Gill family’s proposal to divide 26 acres in northern South Park into single-family quarter-acre lots.

The Teton County Planning Commission will review the proposal at 6 p.m. Monday to make a recommendation to the Teton County Board of County Commissioners. The elected board will have the final say on the family’s pending sketch plan approval.

Neubecker said the planning department reviewed the proposal under the original 2012 Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Plan because the Gills submitted the application before updates to that plan, which include language about neighborhood planning northern South park, were approved. The family is also pursuing sketch plan approval under the parcel’s existing “suburban” zoning.

“Based upon their application, and the existing land development regulations, and the comprehensive plan that was in place when they submitted their application, I believe that it can be approved,” Neubecker said.

But that comes with a caveat: a recommendation to tack on four conditions relating to pathways, roads, vegetation preservation and allocating land in the development for “public use.”

“They will still need to come back to the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners for a final development plan where those conditions can be shown to be met,” Neubecker said.

That’s another step before subdividing the property and breaking ground.

The family is proposing to develop 83 roughly quarter-acre lots, keeping the house currently located on the property. Single-family homes — the only type of housing allowed in the “suburban” zone — with up to 4,200 square feet of floor area would be allowed on each parcel.

The Gills do not intend to record any deed restrictions aimed at preserving housing for the Teton County workforce on any of the lots. A workforce housing exaction fee supporting the Jackson/Teton Affordable Housing Department may be charged on homes built on the property that exceed 2,500 square feet.

Nikki Gill told the Jackson Hole News&Guide in September that her family is pursuing the project, concerned, in part, that neighborhood planning may lead to a change in the parcel’s longstanding “suburban” zoning:

“It made us realize and get nervous about our legacy zone being stripped away entirely,” she said.

The county is in the beginning stages of a planning effort for the area, an initiative formally launched after the County Commission voted down the Gill family’s request to rezone 74 acres of their property for a 300-plus lot housing development.

Gill Sketch Plan

The Gill family’s sketch plan proposal for their 26 acres would see 83 new, roughly quarter acre lots, a connection to High School Road on the north, a connection to South Park Loop Road on the west, and an easement for connection to the pathway network to the north.

Neubecker’s recommended conditions for the 26-acre proposal are both specific to the plan at hand, and forward looking.

An example of the former is a stipulation that would require the family to provide a plan that “better allocates land for public use” like parks.

An example of the latter is a condition that would require the Gills to provide a pathway easement to the south and at least one option for a “road stub” to the south or east. Those byways would be intended to connect the development to future pathways and roads that may be constructed if adjacent lands are developed.

The 74 acres the Gills previously asked to rezone is directly south of the 26 acres in question. The Lockhart family is also looking to develop its property to the east.

In response to the county’s analysis of the 26-acre proposal, Susan Johnson, a planning consultant representing the Gills, suggested the family was open to some of the conditions.

Water and wastewater issues will likely be discussed as well Monday. Neubecker said he expects more details about both in the subsequent development plan.

With the county in the red, high-risk designation because of COVID-19, Neubecker advised people to tune into the meeting, based in the Commissioners’ Chambers at 200 S. Willow St., virtually at TetonCountyWY.gov/1185/meeting-video. Viewers can log on and comment over Zoom, meeting ID 945 6080 0086, or via phone at 1-669-900-6833.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

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