‘Y’ did WYDOT fail us

I wonder if other Jacksonites and those who commute daily to work in Jackson are as fed up with inept WYDOT as I am.

The backups WYDOT created at the “Y” during paving Thursday and Friday are beyond anything that is reasonable. There should be consequences and even fines. When contractors don’t stay on schedule or keep delays within timeframes specified by contracts, they are fined for their errors. The same should apply to the state agency, WYDOT, that messed up so epically.

Last week people were late to work or never made it there. Students were late to school or late getting to after-school sports practices and to home. Long-planned appointments were missed, and countless other disruptions to thousands of people trying to drive in or out of Jackson happened for two days in a row. This is 100 percent unacceptable.

It also does not engender trust going forward. Will the Teton County commissioners hold WYDOT accountable in any way? Will the commissioners continue to give WYDOT free rein on road reconfigurations?

Despite lots of public input on the “Y” reconfiguration before construction began, WYDOT and county officials ignored this community and our comments opposing some of what WYDOT planned. Similarly they are now doing the same with the proposed Tribal Trails Connector.

It’s time to press pause and rethink what WYDOT will continue to be allowed to do in Teton County. Where are the checks and balances? Teton County also has culpability here. Why didn’t county officials step in Thursday and prevent two full days of this disaster for its citizens, businesses and the tourists they invite here?

Joan Anzelmo


Clean start to spring

To all caring citizens who picked up roadside trash: great job. It looks beautiful!

Eleanor Onyon


100 percent too high

[The following letter was addressed to the Jackson Town Council and Teton County County Commission. — Eds.]

The proposed 100 percent housing mitigation is simply a no-growth policy. Private development has provided the vast majority of affordable housing. These requirements give no flexibility to developers and small businesses owners nor get to the density and floor-area ratio needed for projects to be even marginally financially feasible.

A 100 percent mitigation rate is a nonstarter. When no new development happens, including redevelopment of existing nonresidential spaces, our community will have a net gain of zero affordable dwelling units. Zero development will yield zero workforce housing.

The nonresidential use charts proposed with the 100 percent mitigation inject confusion, not clarity, in an apparent attempt to demonstrate that 100 percent is something less.

A proposal to eliminate accrued entitlements and housing mitigation if a nonresidential use is vacated for 12 months unreasonably burdens and is hurtful to private property owners and does nothing to increase workforce housing.

A proposal to reduce the single-family housing exemption from 2,500 square feet to 2,000 square feet is unreasonably expensive on the very working families we want in our community.

A proposal to count basements as developable floor-area ratio is counterintuitive to providing inexpensive workforce housing.

A proposal to eliminate the fourth story in Urban Residential zone Planned Residential Developments will eliminate workforce housing.

Taking residential parking requirements off the table in Districts 3-6 results in the inability to increase residential density, the very goal of these housing districts.

As property owners, small business owners, employers and longtime and lifetime residents and families of our community, we understand the critical need to increase our workforce housing inventory. After all, our children and grandchildren want a productive opportunity to grow roots here. These solutions must be tied to increasing density, adding floors of dwelling units, decreasing on-site parking while utilizing alternative transportation, using subsurface development potential and other creative solutions. Increasing density in town and the complete neighborhoods of the county will provide needed housing solutions while protecting our rich natural resources, open spaces and rural character.

John Carney, Anna Cole, Sadek Darwiche, Kelly Lockhart, Joe Rice, Ted Staryk

Board members of Jackson Hole Working

The future is now

You have just experienced a future with only one intersection for all of northwest Wyoming. Tribal Trails and a North Bridge are absolutely needed. Now is too late.

Diane and Keith Benefiel


The King is king

Snow King is a critical element to our town, our county and our community. A healthy Snow King benefits all, so long as that health does not come at the expense of community character.

Unfortunately, your article May 2 provided little clarity on the issues. In fact, it perhaps created more questions.

How, if at all, should the financial health of the developer have any impact on decisions that impact our community character?

The author notes the Snow King and adjacent condos were sold in 2011 to dig the owners out of debt. How much debt remained, if any? How much of the owners’ invested capital was paid off? Do they have any investment remaining? Or millions?

The headline notes a “paltry” profit on the owners’ part. But what defines “paltry” or a “slim margin”? Hypothetically, if the owners have none of their original investment remaining, a slim margin could be an infinite return on investment. If the owners still have millions in the deal, well, that is a different story.

Lease fees paid (chart on 26A) have no relationship to operating profits. Moreover, the article does not state whether each mountain compared has an identical fee calculation or what that calculation might be, so the fees paid data is largely useless. Yet that data is a foundation for much of the article.

Snow King is a big deal to all involved. I think we all want a success. Alignment and longterm success require meaningful transparency, and the News&Guide can contribute far more effectively than the piece I read last week.

Glen Esnard


Don’t hunt griz

I am a sportsman and outdoorsman and writing to urge Wyoming Game and Fish Department Commissioners to preserve our small and vulnerable grizzly bear population and vote against the proposal to hunt and kill grizzly bears in Wyoming. I live in close proximity to Wyoming and frequently travel there with groups to visit and enjoy the beautiful scenery and stunning public lands and take photographs of the wildlife. We love the people and small towns of Wyoming and enjoy contributing to the local economy by staying in locally owned lodging and dining and supporting local restaurants, merchants, gas stations and businesses. Harming the small bear population will hurt the state economy.

What makes Wyoming special is that it is a place that can and has preserved its lands and wildlife. We have 330 million citizens living in the United States, and only 1,000 to 2,000 grizzly bears remaining. They live in fragile places and face habitat loss and scarce food and water resources. Surely we can think of better solutions to help their shrinking population survive than by issuing licenses to shoot them. Killing healthy males and accidentally shooting females with cubs will decimate their ability to survive.

John Wadden


Letters to the editor should be limited to 400 words, be signed and include a town of residence and a telephone number for verification. Letters are due by 5 p.m. Monday. No thank yous or political endorsement letters. Guest Shot columns are limited to 800 words. Email editor@jhnewsandguide.com.

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