The smoke is beginning to clear around what a neighborhood plan for northern South Park might look like, though the town and county still have a ways to go before things are finalized.

The Jackson Town Council and Teton County Board of County Commissioners have both opined in meetings over the past few weeks on what they want to see as far as planning goes. A rough timeline and process are coming into focus, though other final details won’t be hashed out until a joint town and county planning meeting on Sept. 14.

The Town Council and County Commission appear to have reached consensus on having planning staff and a stakeholder committee oversee the process.

Both bodies supported the motion in independent meetings on Aug. 17 and Aug. 24.

Who would be on that committee remains to be seen.

“We’re not going to be doing the zoning here,” Mayor Pete Muldoon stressed during an Aug. 17 Town Council workshop.

Northern South Park is in county jurisdiction, not the town’s.

“This is the public’s decision, I think, about what we want this area to look like,” Muldoon said.

The County Commission supported the same arrangement Aug. 24, as well as a plan for two or three public workshops, which was in line with the Town Council’s earlier recommendation. But timelines, the area of the plan and who will lead the effort must be worked out.

The Town Council wasn’t clear on how long it would want the planning process to take in mid-August, with some councilors arguing for completing it by the end of the year, others looking to have it finished within a year of letting a facilitation contract and some saying it’s too early to say how long the process should take.

The County Commission, by contrast, settled on an eight-month time frame in Monday’s meeting, which also saw commissioners propose limiting the scope of the plan to the area defined as subarea 5.6 in the 2012 Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Plan: the land the Lockhart and Gill families are both eyeing for housing developments. The Town Council did not consider the geographic scope issue earlier in the month.

Despite a compromise reached with the release of a draft update to the Comprehensive Plan that would see the county take the lead on planning the area with the town as a recommending body, there is still some consternation among town councilors about being in a subordinate position to the county.

While the County Commission unanimously supported a motion to have staff draft a request for proposals for facilitating the plan with the compromise arrangement, the Town Council has not reached a firm consensus about its desired role.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or

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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