Lockharts look to build
By Billy Arnold
Jackson Hole Daily
The Lockhart family is taking steps to develop a 117-acre piece of its ranch land in northern South Park.
Hal Hutchinson, a land planning consultant representing the family, submitted an application to the county Wednesday for a three-phased rezone of the property.
“The approach we are presenting seeks to provide for housing that can be developed in a thoughtful manner using a neighborhood plan approach,” he wrote in the submission, which asks the county for a pre-application conference, the first step in pursuing a rezone.
“This approach allows development to occur as demand dictates,” he wrote. “It also includes solutions to difficult issues, such as traffic congestion.”
Though it came without the fanfare of a public announcement, the Lockharts’ move is the same procedural step the Gill family took in January when it proposed rezoning 100 acres on the northwest corner of the Jackson Hole Hereford Ranch.
The plan put forward proposes a nearly identical rezone to the Gills’: upzoning parcels from rural and suburban to auto-urban residential.
That would allow for more density on parcels that are now open agricultural land while, Hutchinson wrote, allowing agricultural uses to continue elsewhere on the Lockharts’ expansive property.
Rural lands to the east, between Jackson Hole High School and Highway 89, where cattle commonly graze, are not included in the proposal.
“The family actively ranches their agricultural lands and intends to continue with this practice well into the future, as long as the agricultural use remains feasible,” Hutchinson wrote. A rezone of a “small portion of the overall family lands,” he wrote, would make continued ranching possible on the “majority of their lands.”
The Lockhart plan would move in phases, starting with the 59 acres closest to Jackson Hole High School, allowing for “existing agricultural land to remain in active agricultural use until such time as it is needed to achieve community goals for housing,” the plan states.
The rezone, if approved, would encompass about 40 acres more than the 74 acres the Gills have in the pipeline.
The submission includes neither a ballpark estimate of how many units of housing could be developed on the rezoned land nor information about how many units would be deed-restricted in some way for the local workforce, or even if any would.
As it currently stands, the Gills’ proposal, which has evolved since it was first made, could see 312 units of housing, with 65% under some sort of deed restriction, including some units reserved for Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Teton Area.
The issue of developing northern South Park has loomed large over the town and county in the final stages of their growth management program, the process through which both bodies are updating the 2012 Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Plan. What a neighborhood plan for the area would look like and who would be involved in the planning process has been a source of disagreement throughout that process.
Application materials suggest that the Lockharts are open to some sort of neighborhood plan, but do not specify what exactly the family would like to see in that process.
“The applicant will be developing a concept neighborhood plan with the formal rezone application to show circulation, access, anticipated density, parks, and daycare services in the rezoned area,” Hutchinson wrote.
He later wrote that the Lockharts’ rezone application is a chance for the Teton County Board of County Commissioners and county staff to “work with the applicant to develop meaningful housing that benefits the community ... create a comprehensive neighborhood plan” and “meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.”
Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.