This is my unedited Q&A with John Spina that formed the basis for his Candidates Take Stands On Zoning article in the 6/29/16 issue of the Jackson Hole News and Guide:
John Spina: What aspects of district 2 are you in favor of and which do you disagree with?
Judd Grossman: The District 2 process has been a junk show. The Town Council has whiplashed between extremes in a way that shows a lack of competence, and undue influence from special interests. Here is what needs to happen: The amount of commercial and lodging growth allowed in District 2 should be limited to that allowed in the 1994 plan; Non-conforming structures should be grandfathered in, so that owners are not penalized for redevelopment; Bonus density should be restricted exclusively to employment based deed restricted units. I oppose using market rate units as part of a density bonus scheme, and adding short term rentals is out of the question.
John Spina: For those you disagree with how would you alter them?
Judd Grossman: We need to allow density bonuses for employment based deed restricted units only – nothing else. Adding to our market rate residential, commercial and/or lodging capacity will only exacerbate our workforce housing imbalance.
John Spina: What issues are you looking to solve through the rezoning process?
Judd Grossman: Our valley is suffering from its popularity. There are too many jobs and there is too much traffic. Government has a responsibility to zone for a balance of development opportunities. Right now we are out of balance in our workforce housing supply. Rather than use massive taxpayer subsidies to provide very few units we need to focus exclusively on zoning density bonuses for employment based deed restricted units in the walkable urban core. That way employers and employees will have the opportunity to take care of their own housing needs without depending on the taxpayers and without making our traffic problems worse. Focusing deed restricted housing into the walkable urban core will put new development where people will have easy access to jobs, shopping, services and transit.
John Spina: How do you envision rezoning the rest of town – i.e. should there be increased density is certain areas? Where can neighborhoods be more efficiently utilized? Where can commercial be developed?
Judd Grossman: It’s vital that we continue to preserve the amazing character of our valley. That means protecting open space, wildlife habitat, and our stable residential neighborhoods. Density should be focused into the walkable urban core and diminish as you approach the public lands on the town periphery. We have a responsibility to offer employers and employees the opportunity to take care of their own housing needs in a way that doesn’t increase our traffic problems. I’m calling for a Workforce Housing Overlay in the walkable urban core. I’m talking about the areas of our town that are currently zoned for relatively low density commercial development: mid-town, the gateways, and parts of downtown and North Jackson. Within the Workforce Housing Overlay there should be significant density bonuses for adding employment based deed restricted units. The individual units should be limited in size and have no parking requirement. The Workforce Housing Overlay will allow us to address our workforce housing challenges in a way that enlivens our urban core while protecting our open spaces and stable neighborhoods, and will avoid adding traffic to our already failing road system.