The Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 2012, but that doesn’t mean much until the underlying laws, know as land development regulations, are put in place.
Over the course of three years, it hasn’t happened.
We asked Mayor Sara Flitner “Why?”
Part of the issue, she said, is simply the complexity of the issues and the time that it takes to draft the actual language.
But another stumbling block may be the way the elected officials and planning department started out the adoption discussion.
District 2 was chosen as the first zone to tackle as perhaps the most complex and controversial zone to work on. District 2 comprises downtown Jackson, including the lodging overlay and most commercial square footage and it offers very little in opportunities for the hot button topic of workforce housing.
Flitner says “The conversation feels like a doctor who wants to talk about knee replacement with a patient in the middle of having a heart attack.” Getting bogged down in the non-residential versus residential square footage has been frustrating”.
Flitner now believes District 2 should be set aside and Districts 3 and 4 should be brought forward so they can have a conversation about where some housing solutions can take place. “I want to give the community the conversation they, and I, want to have.
She knows not everyone will embrace that approach. Opponents of commercial growth or reduction of it have both made noise about the option that would put the success or failure of District 2 (or any of the others) to a vote of the public.
Another issue that has taken up a lot of time has been joint meetings with the county commission, which in the days of the comp plan were necessary as it was a town/county document.
But now that the zoning rules are in play, neither government can really vote on the others jurisdiction.
“We just need to prioritize things and check some boxes.”