Over the last year, hundreds of community members have engaged in Jackson/Teton County’s Growth Management project, a process for updating our 2012 Comprehensive (Comp) Plan, which recognizes that the environment, community, and economy are equal priorities for today and into the future. With additions and directives about implementation incorporated as proposed updates, the final step in the process is a public review before adoption can occur. The draft Update to the 2012 Comp Plan and a guide for reviewing it can be found at: www.jacksontetonplan.com. Send public comment on the draft prior to the scheduled Joint Town and County Planning Commission meeting on September 14 and/or before the Joint review by the County Commission and Town Council on October 5 to Kristi Malone at: firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 1727 Jackson, WY 83001.
Eight years into the plan, it is exciting to report that today, 60% of development in our valley is in areas with existing infrastructure and where residents can walk or bike to their daily activities. Prior to setting community-wide goals in the Comp Plan, 60% of development potential was in areas with valuable wildlife habitat and open space. With community priorities in place, we have reversed that trend for the long-term health and viability of our community, environment, and economy. This is a large accomplishment and truly something to celebrate. In addition, of the over 100 strategies adopted in 2012, more than 60 of them (61%) are now complete demonstrating the need for updates and enhancements to keep us working toward specific goals aligned with community priorities.
This Comp Plan draft includes input from hundreds of community members who made over 900 comments at various public engagement sessions in the fall of 2019. The initial phase of the Growth Management Plan was designed to encourage broad and robust public comment so suggestions could be assessed by staff and become the basis for updates to the Plan. The next phase of the project was the presentation of potential updates to the Town Council and Board of County Commissioners for review, discussion, and direction before being incorporated into the draft and released to the public. Since the initial draft was released in March the process has been delayed due to COVID-19, allowing Town and County elected officials to provide additional direction which has been incorporated into this final draft for the public to review. This deliberate process has allowed for streamlined integration of additions and enhancements as key issues were discussed jointly by the Town and County in public forums. This draft reflects over a year of foundational long-range planning between the Town and County and will be the last phase of the Growth Management project, hopefully leading toward adoption of an updated Comp Plan. Key enhancements addressed in the Draft include:
- Aspire to Big Goals
- Improve Water Quality
- Emissions Reduction & Climate Action Plan
- Provide Housing Options
- Growth Areas and Boundaries
- Commit to a Shift in How We Travel
- Define the Economy We Want
- Define the Level of Service We Expect
Growth Management is an integral part of the Comp Plan and ensures our community takes the time to pause, evaluate, recognize successes, and identify areas for improvement. This process highlights that the Comp Plan is a living document that we adapt as our community continues to shift and change. Through its different iterations, we refine our aspirations and develop solid strategies to move us toward them. Our community has achieved a lot through the Comp Plan, and there is still plenty more to do to ensure Jackson and Teton County continue to thrive.