A few months after completing a rezone on the West Bank, Teton County is looking at another rezone inspired by the community’s vision document, this time in the Hog Island area south of Jackson.
Once that’s complete the county will again turn its attention to the Aspens. And, as time permits afterwards, Kelly and Wilson are next on the list.
The goal of the upcoming county-led rezoning efforts is to adjust zones that haven’t been updated since before the 2012 Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Plan was adopted. That document is considered a vision document for the community, but it does not have the force of law. The county’s land development regulations have that teeth, and this effort is intended to ensure that code — which manifests in zoning that governs land use — is consistent with the plan.
“We’re just trying to catch up with the 2012 Comprehensive Plan,” Teton County Planning Director Chris Neubecker told the News&Guide. “These were some areas that had legacy zoning, and just not effective at implementing the community’s vision.”
Legacy zoning is zoning that has been in place since before the document was updated in 2012. The most recent area to go through a similar rezone was the east side of Highway 390, or Moose-Wilson Road, which was rezoned “neighborhood conservation” with parcels that housed businesses exempted from the zone change.
The Hog Island area is up next, and planners are not expecting significant changes because the comp plan classifies the area as “stable.”
To kick off the process the Teton County Planning Department is set to hold an open house starting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Munger Mountain Elementary School. Planners said they haven’t drafted any kind of amendment and don’t have changes in mind other than bringing zoning in line with the vision document.
Principal Long Range Planner Ryan Hostetter told the News&Guide the open house is really “just a meet and greet” intended to hear from neighbors and answer planners’ questions like: “What are your major issues out here? And what do you want to see?”
“That’ll help us write the zone,” she said.
The comp plan describes the area as preserving “the long-term, working family residential character of the subarea, with residents operating businesses out of their homes as an accessory use.” It says the area should not turn into an area like the South Park Business Park or surrounding Hoback Junction. Development, the comp plan says, “should be located and designed to protect both a scenic foreground along the highway and wildlife habitat” as the area is the “gateway to Jackson.” You can read the full description on page 185 of the document.
Once the Hog Island-area rezone is complete, planners will begin the same process for the Aspens commercial area, home to businesses like Persephone West Bank and the Aspens Market. After that, Neubecker and Hostetter said they’d look to Wilson and Kelly.
But the Wilson and Kelly projects will depend in part on time and in part on direction from county officials, especially after the town and county said they were interested in starting planning discussions for the future of the fairgrounds. That process is expected to start in January.
Attending via Zoom should also be an option for Thursday’s meeting, but planners said they’re still figuring out the details.
A recording of the meeting will be posted online afterward.