In a letter to the Wyoming Legislature and the governor, Teton County commissioners are taking a strong stance in opposition to a bill that would strip counties of zoning authority over private schools.
"In general, we have serious concerns with any proposed legislation that negatively impacts the ability of County government to exercise appropriate local control over policy and regulation, and specifically, we oppose any proposed legislation that preempts local zoning," the letter says. "In addition, we are concerned that preempting local zoning authority has the potential to impact public infrastructure investments and strain County budgets."
The bill — Senate File 49 — was filed in the state Legislature amid a local fight over Jackson Hole Classical Academy’s plans to build a new school south of town, which has riled neighbors who fear a campus would threaten rural character.
Supporters of the bill include Sen. Mike Gierau, D-Teton, who says the county should work out a way to allow the academy to move forward in order to relieve overcrowding in Teton County’s public schools and create educational choices in the valley. He feels the county's local planning process has been “hijacked” by opponents of the academy’s plans.
Read more in the Jan. 16 Jackson Hole News&Guide.