Judd Grossman

Judd Grossman wants to put the town’s new zoning rules to a referendum.

Alongside his personal campaign for office, Town Council candidate Judd Grossman is collecting signatures to put the town’s recently approved zoning updates to a referendum.

Grossman is circulating a petition that could give residents a vote on new land development regulations, which determine how Jackson’s land can be used. The council spent more than a year adjusting the regulations for various parts of town and just finalized them last week.

Throughout the process, Grossman frequently opposed the new zoning, which will grant additional growth in certain neighborhoods.

“This is a really big deal,” he said. “It’s a reshaping of all the neighborhoods in town, and I’m not sure if the public’s totally sure of the implications of that.”

The updates allow the town to absorb 1,800 units of development potential from rural Teton County in an attempt to centralize the town’s workforce and minimize adverse effects on open spaces.

Grossman believes development should be limited to already dense areas, particularly the West Broadway commercial corridor. He argues that distributing density around Jackson’s periphery, as the town has done in some cases, will exacerbate traffic and overpopulation problems, and alter the character of neighborhoods whose residents prize tranquil streets and neighbors.

Grossman also said the new housing units could quickly become unaffordable for the average person unless they are deed-restricted for workforce occupancy. He said the best estimate he has found is that 900 of the 1,800 units being added to Jackson from the county will not be deed-restricted.

Alex Norton, Teton County’s long range planner, said there are no definitive estimates yet. But he argued that deed restrictions on even half the units — on top of new mitigation requirements that require developers and businesses to house a certain percentage of the employees their projects generate — would help solve Jackson’s housing problem.

“That’s a massive step toward the solution,” Norton said.

He added that he feels Grossman is focusing mainly on one aspect of the issue. Holistically, the new zoning follows the town’s overarching goal of shifting residential development out of rural areas and into complete neighborhoods, the largest of which is the town.

“It’s the yin and the yang,” Norton said. “And if you just look at one side of it, it’s a very different story than when you look at the package together.”

Grossman said that based on state statutes, he has until Aug. 7 to collect about 540 signatures, or 10 percent of registered voters, to send the zoning updates to a referendum. So far he has about 40.

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911, town@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGtown.

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(6) comments

Judd Grossman

I would prefer that our beloved neighborhoods don't get "ying yanged". There is a more appropriate place for density and it's in the commercial urban corridor from Smiths to DQ. That's where people can realistically walk to the services they need. 900 market units are like two Cottonwood Parks worth of homes that history shows us will become less and less affordable to working people. That means they will be come part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Every single new unit that comes into Town needs to have a workforce occupancy deed restriction.

Noah Osnos

Is there sufficient "capacity" (infrastructural and buildable) along Broadway? Do we accept 4-story buildings in this scenario. Do we restrict parking spaces for these potential units? I think that specificity will matter in this particular referendum.

Judd Grossman

All good questions, Noah. There seems to be a lot of capacity in the CR zone and in mid-town, especially if we waive parking minimums for deed-restricted housing, and allow taller buildings. Restricting parking (parking maximums) is a step beyond waiving minimums, but both head in the direction we need to go if we want to lesson the traffic impacts of additional density.

Judd Grossman

(The comments below from 7/23/18 are from a different version of the story)

Judd Grossman

A couple corrections:
1) I'm not worried about parking. I'm worried about overpopulation and traffic.
2) I don't wish to see price caps on deed-restricted housing - only workforce occupancy restrictions.

John Sinson

100% right. I'm voting for your sir. No more density.

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