The town and county have finalized new policies that significantly change how developers are asked to pay for or provide housing for employees generated by a new project.
The Teton County Board of County Commissioners and Jackson Town Council passed different mitigation rates Monday afternoon for nonresidential development.
While nonresidential projects in the town, like offices or restaurants, will have to pay for housing for 55 percent of the year-round, full-time employees generated by the project, the same project in the county will need to provide housing for 48 percent.
In the town and county, the mitigation rate for lodging and residential projects is 73 percent of full-time, year-round employees generated.
The new rules seek to strike a balance between housing and job growth by tying new development to a requirement to provide housing for projects that generate jobs. Their approval follows a 16-month public engagement process to revamp policies aimed at off-setting some of the community impacts related to new development.
Previous regulations required developers of residential projects to do the heaviest lifting on building affordable housing. Part of the goal of the proposed new system is to reduce the burden on residential construction to incentivize developers to build housing.
The requirements for developing projects like offices, retail and restaurants are increasing substantially under the new model. That has drawn consistent criticism from business leaders who say the increased mitigation burden for commercial development is too dramatic.
The town only exempted day cares from the requirements, while the county exempted all private schools recognized by the state.
The county approved the rules 4-1, with Commissioner Greg Epstein opposed. The town approved the rules 3-2, with councilors Bob Lenz and Don Frank opposed.
Read more in Wednesday’s Jackson Hole News&Guide.