Five months after withdrawing their last application to change their resort master plan, Snow King representatives will hold a neighborhood meeting Wednesday to present a second iteration, which includes slating a gravel lot for indoor recreation instead of a conference center.
The resort’s first attempt to amend the plan — which will govern its future development — came to a standstill in February when the Jackson Town Council decided not to sign off on a set of controversial proposals. This neighborhood meeting will be the first step in resuming what became a lengthy and contentious process.
“That’s something they need to do before they can actually apply to the town,” Community Development Director Tyler Sinclair said.
The new application still includes the projects that stalled the first one, including a zipline, a new summit road and boundary expansion. But the difference this time is that Snow King is no longer asking the council to send an official letter of support for those projects to the Bridger-Teton National Forest, which has jurisdiction over the land where the projects would go.
Though the councilors settled all aspects of the master plan that involved town property, they couldn’t bring themselves to approve a letter to the Forest Service, and resort officials said they couldn’t proceed without it. The Forest Service is still working on a separate review of the master plan, which will culminate in an environmental impact statement sometime late this year or early 2020.
In most ways, the new application resembles the original, which underwent a year of citizen and government scrutiny in the most extensive public process Jackson has seen in years. Jeff Golightly, a resort representative, said they have made all the adjustments the elected officials requested.
“We listened to every single thing the Town Council recommended,” Golightly said. “All of the consequential items we have adopted into this new plan. We are very hopeful that this is seen as listening to our community.”
Sinclair agreed, saying “they took the direction we provided and incorporated it into the plan.”
But despite the similarity to the original application, there are a few additions, and therefore this latest iteration will have to go through the full planning process. That includes review by town planners, the Planning Commission and eventually the council. The public will also have the chance to comment on the proposals again.
“The community is going to be able to weigh in on our town stuff at the same time they’re going to be able to weigh in on the Forest Service options,” Golightly said.
The additions to the new application include reducing the number of wings proposed for the Snow King Hotel from five to two, building extra employee housing along Vine Street, and revising the plan for the gravel lot to the east of Phil Baux Park. Golightly said they want to designate it for indoor recreation.
The neighborhood meeting is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Lodge Room/Ski Shelter of the Snow King Center.