Citizens March to Town Hall for Housing

By on June 6, 2016

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – A grassroots organization is planning a rally and march to town hall today to encourage the involvement and engagement of Jackson’s workforce on housing issues. Shelter JH will gather demonstrators at 4 p.m. today at Town Square to create posters and banners. An estimated 100 participants will then march on to town hall where they will sent up tents and other temporary shelter outside town chambers. The group will then attend the 6 p.m. meeting.

The regularly scheduled meeting of town government officials will include possible decisions and a first reading of land development regulations for Jackson’s downtown core, known as District 2.

District 2 LDRs have been mired in controversy beginning when public pushback, led in part by demonstrations organized by the Conservation Alliance, succeeded in getting the town council to change course and not add more nonresidential zoning. As the zoning regulations approached a final vote, prominent members of the business community rallied—forming a nonprofit called Think About It, Jackson Hole and speaking out at public meetings.

The two sides have found an easy battleground in housing. Shelter JH, while concerned with ongoing workforce housing affairs, has chosen the District 2 LDRs as a place to begin their discussion. More commercial entitlement not only doesn’t get housing built but it exacerbates Jackson’s housing shortage, they say.

Think About It, and other business leaders, believe the D2 core area is exactly where retail and lodging is desired in order to maintain a vibrant downtown. They say better tools from the planning department will allow them to build more residential along with their commercial development.

“It’s not a crisis. It’s an emergency,” said Mary Cobb-Erickson. The director of the Community Resource Center is also Shelter JH’s co-organizer along with Jorge Moreno. “Homelessness is real in Jackson. We need immediate action to enact emergency housing solutions. The march is about empowering our workers, encouraging people to get involved, and providing a platform for people to have a voice.”


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