Town councilors will tackle a wide variety of issues Monday in their regularly scheduled afternoon workshop and evening meetings, ranging from a recommended developer for an affordable rental housing project to fee waivers for deed-restricted housing to a unique vision for leftover Snow King Summit Lift chairs.
At the workshop, the council will hear from Pathways Coordinator Brian Schilling about downtown bike lane connectivity, specifically looking at the Snow King Avenue and Willow Street corridors, according to the staff report and Community Engagement Specialist Susan Scarlata.
Schilling’s presentation will be followed by consideration of fee waivers for 100% permanently deed-restricted housing developments, which has seen expanded public-private partnerships in recent years, per the staff report detailing the recommendations and relevant aspects.
“By waiving or reducing fees, development costs are lowered, public-private partnerships can achieve greater affordability, and private development of permanently deed-restricted housing may be catalyzed,” states the staff report from Housing Director April Norton and Community Development Director Tyler Sinclair.
The afternoon workshop will wrap up with further deliberation of the Downtown Pedestrian Improvement Project, to be presented by Assistant Public Works Director Johnny Ziem. The presentation follows up on direction given to town staff by the council at the March 8 meeting regarding a focus on improving pedestrian mobility and safety in the downtown core. The effort by Ziem and public works staff includes “bulb-outs,” or “curb extensions,” which are designed to increase pedestrian safety in a number of ways, including decreasing the distance to cross a roadway, improving the ability of pedestrians and drivers to see each other, and reducing the time pedestrians are in the roadway, among other reasons, according to Ziem’s report.
The evening meeting also includes a number of items of interest, not the least of which are the possible award of the development contract for at least 24 units of affordable rental housing at 400 W. Snow King Ave., and a partnership that would create a practical art project along Cache Street using donated chairs from the now-defunct Snow King Summit Lift.
The affordable rental housing project, immediately adjacent to the new Parks and Recreation building across Snow King Avenue from the fairgrounds, is recommended by town staff to be awarded to Blueline Development and Snow King Partners, both of which have recent local experience and a good reputation with the Wyoming Community Development Authority, according to the staff report. Their proposal — one of two submitted for the project — is more expensive per square foot, but Norton noted in her report that the estimated $517 per square foot cost “seems much more grounded in the reality of the local market,” compared to California-based Dawson Holdings Inc.’s proposal at an estimated $364 per square foot.
Also at Monday evening’s meeting, Ziem will present a proposal for a collaborative project to turn about 30 donated chairs from the retired Summit Lift at Snow King Mountain Resort — currently being replaced by a gondola — into an art installation with practical use along Cache Street. Acknowledging in a recent interview that the project is different from those he typically works on, Ziem said it’s a partnership between the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, JH Public Art, the town’s Public Works Department and Snow King Mountain Resort, who donated the leftover chairs.
Though a specific design has not yet been decided upon, Ziem said the idea is to have the chairs line Cache Street from Snow King to potentially just north of Town Square, with various artistic features. Some chairs may be painted different colors, while others may have etchings or plaques associated with them, he said, though emphasizing that it’s not yet set in stone. Ziem added that some downtown businesses may want to sponsor one or more of the chairs to be situated outside of their business.
Important to the project, Ziem said, is that each of the chairs will remain functional as either some sort of a bench or sitting space, or a swing, which he said could be enjoyed by people of all ages.
The workshop is scheduled for 3 p.m. in council chambers at Town Hall, 150 E. Pearl Ave., while the regular meeting will be at 6 p.m., also in council chambers. The public can also participate via a Zoom link provided on the meetings’ agendas.