Contradiction and Reconciliation

May 28, 2010

I see two overarching contradictions between the policies outlined throughout the Revised Comprehensive Plan and the directives the Joint Planning Commission have issued. The first is the elimination of ARU’s in the unincorporated county. Apparently, much of the public agrees with me on this. I feel that the abundance of public comment opposed to this directive will insure that it gets brought up for discussion and resolution by revote.

 

The second major contradiction is the elimination of the concept of Nodal development. As outlined in my previous written comment, a nodal development pattern is exactly what we have on the ground in Teton County today, and it is aligned with many of the other significant goals of this plan such as increased mass transit opportunities, compact development footprints and the preservation of open space. Failing to acknowledge this is hypocrisy. Failing to correct it would be unconscionable.

 

I have organized my reconciliation list to address the second inconsistency (Node elimination) rather than by Theme.

 

Nodal Development Elimination Contradictions

 

  • Policy 1.2.d: Improve air quality    “Strategies to improve air quality will include reducing vehicle miles traveled.” A nodal development pattern would help reduce vehicle miles traveled.

 

  • Policy 1.3.b: Maintain expansive hillside and foreground vistas: “Development in such areas will retain these vistas by being located at the periphery of the expanse and naturally screened.” The opposite of a nodal development pattern is a sprawling development pattern which would cover the valley floor in a uniformly spaced sea of houses.

  • Rec # 172:  “Maintenance of the existing residential and/or nonresidential pattern allowed today is the desired land use pattern in the areas formerly known as nodes.”  The existing land use pattern in Teton County is nodal. A land use pattern which focuses development to a single area (town) is not “maintenance of the existing residential and/or nonresidential pattern allowed today.” Recommendations #147 and #172 conflict.

  • Theme 2, 3rd paragraph text (p26):  “35-acre ranchettes are valuable and easy to create but are inconsistent with the community’s goal to preserve large open spaces for their ecological and scenic value. To achieve the community’s ideal of preserving undeveloped lands as perpetual open space, land owners need to be able to achieve value from a development that also preserves large amounts of open space and clusters development out of ecologically sensitive and scenic areas, near existing development.” These sentences explain why nodal development should be preserved rather than eliminated.

  • Policy 6.2.a:  Develop a land use pattern based on transportation connectivity; That’s a nodal development pattern.

 

  • Theme 8, 3rd paragraph text (p92): referencing the avoidance of sprawling development patterns directly contradicts the elimination of Nodal development pattern. Same is true for Principle 8.2, Policy 8.2b, 8.2c, 8.3b,

 

Other Contradictions

 

  • Policy 2.3.b:  Fit the contextual scale and design of existing development in town:“ development in Town must be consistent with existing contextual scale and design.” This contradicts “Theme 3 – Uphold Jackson as “Heart of the Region” – defines the characteristics of areas in Town appropriate for preservation and areas targeted for growth.” Targeted growth areas will not match the existing contextual scale and design. Omit the sentence.

  • Policy 3.2.c:  Protect the image and function of Town Square”  Last sentence: “Pedestrian only areas around the town square should be considered including the feasibility of closing certain streets to vehicular traffic.” Contradicts Rec# 222: ”Identify pedestrian only areas around the town square including enhancement of pedestrian amenities and closing streets to vehicular traffic” Our recommendation was to identify pedestrian only areas, including closing streets to vehicular traffic not just consider their feasibility.

  • Theme 3 Workforce Housing definition: Seriously, you can’t call it “workforce housing regardless of employment.” Omit the words “or employment” and add a sentence including retirees as part of the historical workforce.

 

General Comment by Theme

 

Theme 4/ Public Comment

I agree with the Conservation Alliance’s 5/28 comments regarding this Theme as they relate to Affordable Housing (which is one component of Workforce Housing.) More specific explanation of our Affordable Housing program needs to be included. Why it exists, what it’s goals are, how they’re being achieved, what needs to be reevaluated & update in this plan. Specifically, new ideas are included?

 

Theme 5/ Public Comment

I support the inclusion of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce recommendations.

 

Strategy 6.7: Establish a Regional Transportation Authority: I support the concept, as well as joining the Linx Co-op, but they’re two separate entities. The Linx Co-op is a regional transportation network, a Regional Transportation Authority is a policy making body charged with identifying and funding projects and initiatives.

 

New Ideas

 

Remove language stating that the only Node will be Town, and language that Wilson, The Aspens, Teton Village and northern South Park will be eliminated from the Plan as nodes appropriate for increased development (172 and 147.) Allow PRD development transfers into specific Targeted Growth Areas within these Nodes, as designated by the FLUP, in association with permanent conservation. Once these Targeted Growth Areas have been filled to capacity with transfers related to permanent conservation, all PRD density bonuses will have to occur on site or in other rural aresa of the county.

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