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Future Neighborhood at 90 Virginian Lane
April 24, 2023: Housing Authority Under Contract to Purchase Virginian RV Park
May 24, 2023: Neighborhood Meeting
On May 24, 2023, the Jackson/Teton County Housing Department held an open house for neighbors surrounding the Virginian RV Park site at 90 Virginian Lane. With direction from the Town of Jackson and Teton County, the Housing Authority Board is currently under contract to purchase this site for future development of Affordable Workforce housing.
This open house was designed for early engagement of the midtown neighborhood in the redevelopment process and provided open outlets for neighbors to share local knowledge and future aspirations for their neighborhood. Feedback gathered will help the Housing Department refine goals for community housing developed at this site.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are you going to pay for this?
Teton County and the Town of Jackson will use Housing Supply funds to purchase this property. These funds include mitigation fees from private developers, General Fund contributions from each jurisdiction, and Specific Purpose Excise Tax funds collected as a County-wide sales tax.
Will you have to borrow money to pay for it since you have yet to collect all the SPET funds?
We will either bond for the balance or the County will prepare an inter-fund loan from existing capital.
Will this parcel have to be upzoned or changed in zoning?
No, the NH-1 zoning already allows the density and building types envisioned for the development. The parcel’s location near a cross-section of transportation, recreation and public amenities make this parcel a great selection. This property checks the boxes for where housing should be built based on our Comprehensive Plan, community goals, and quality of life for residents.
How many homes are you building here?
We will go through a community planning process for the entire site. The NH-1 zoning is the highest by-right residential zoning in Town. While the base zoning and Workforce Housing Floor Area Bonus tool would allow between 150-250 homes, we must collect community feedback before assigning a fixed number of homes to this new neighborhood.
What will the affordability of the homes be?
We will go through a community planning process for the site. While we have not determined the exact affordability, we anticipate a mix of income-restricted (Affordable) and Workforce (occupancy-restricted to local workers) homes.
Will these units be ownership or rentals?
We see a mix of both being applicable in this project. The community process and input will determine how to structure these homes with maximum benefit to people needing affordable, stable housing.
Is this purchase the best decision? Why not focus on Northern South Park after years of work?
We do not see these two initiatives as an either-or scenario and should not be categorized as one. Instead, our affordable workforce housing needs require a robust response from public, public/private, nonprofit and private solutions working together to create homes within a wide spectrum of opportunity to address diverse needs.
With the Virginian RV Park parcel already zoned NH-1 and surrounded by existing public infrastructure, this lot represents a great opportunity to build housing soon. A strong pipeline of units is essential to meet the demands and needs of housing in our valley. This parcel and Northern South Park both play a role in incentivizing the construction of affordable homes.
The recent Teton County Regional Needs Assessment highlighted data that by 2027 we need an additional 2,000 deed-restricted housing units in Teton County, Wyoming alone, to retain existing community patterns. This data shows that all solutions need to be supported and celebrated regarding affordable housing in Teton County, including Northern South Park and the Virginian RV Park parcel.
What about traffic?
Traffic and transportation issues are always considered when beginning a development. This parcel is directly located by pathways, sidewalks and START Bus connections. While we know neighbors and travelers down Snow King Ave will be concerned, we are confident working with staff and local organizations such as Friends of Pathways and Age Friendly Jackson Hole; we can address issues to improve efficiency, accessibility, and overall user experience.
Is this neighborhood going to serve Town and County employees? Are Virginian employees going to get a first right to these homes?
We are thrilled to be working on this project so soon after our successful ballot initiative. An integral part of the Nov 2022 SPET initiative for community housing was that anyone qualifying as workforce has access to the funded housing regardless of specific workplace. As such, the SPET funding going into this development will strictly and proportionately fund housing local workers without obligation to maintaining a specific workplace. The Town and County may decide to invest separately in the future to reserve some homes to offer as a benefit of employment, outside of the SPET-funded segment of the property. Five homes will be first-right for the Virginian, included as part of the negotiation for this land purchase.
Where will campers go now that you're redeveloping the last in-town campground?
The Virginian RV Park will remain fully operational for the 2023 and 2024 seasons while the community planning process for permanent housing takes place. During the next two years, we will work with our friends at the Chamber and the Travel and Tourism Board to educate visitors on the RV camping opportunities throughout the community and in our national parks.
How long will this project take?
We want to ensure we are using taxpayer money efficiently, and with that goal in mind, we will be working towards breaking ground in late 2024. We hope to have people in homes in 2026 or early 2027.
This parcel is located in close proximity to Flat Creek, an impaired waterway. What steps will you take to ensure this development does not contribute further to the issues facing Flat Creek?
Our community must develop housing while protecting the ecosystem features essential to our wildlife, overall goals, Comp Plan and visitors. Flat Creek is a critical waterway in the Town for wildlife and quality of life. We will work with our excellent Town and County staff, and community organizations such as Teton Conservation District, POW JH and the JH Alliance to ensure that this project enhances, not harms, the Flat Creek Corridor. Similar to improved transportation options on Snow King, incorporation of best practices, upgraded infrastructure, etc. could be a co-benefit as Flat Creek protection is improved via this redevelopment.
Karns Meadow is home to many wildlife, and the Town is discussing plans for its future design. How will this project impact Karns Meadow?
Our incorporated community’s 100-plus-year history shows that we can co-habitate with wildlife and live near our national parks and forests. On a larger scale, locating density in the Town of Jackson benefits wildlife overall and natural resource goals by avoiding sprawl into critical habitat and decreasing commuter traffic from neighboring towns through critical migration corridors.