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Moratorium Update and Other Notes

April 21, 2008 — 4:00 P.M. — Temperature at the Jackson Hole Airport = 28 degrees!  Brrrrrrrr…..

Yes if you read the headline it is 28 degrees.  This would not be such news but those of us in Jackson Hole have had just about enough winter.  We finally had some warmer weather during the weekend to melt some valley snow but overall this has been the spring that just has not started yet.  Last year – a warm dry year – was on the other end of the spectrum as most of us were concerned about drought and wildfires.  This year we are starting to be worried about when the tulips are going to bloom.  Last year I planted my garden on March 21st.  This year I planted it on Saturday – April 19th.  This was the earliest I could possibly put a shovel into the ground.  I planted Spinach, Beets, Carrots, Kohlrabi, Kale, and Chard for those who care.

Snow King Resort is still completely snow covered.  Yes I also skied on Saturday.  Top to Bottom.  Pretty good slush/corn skiing.  One of the few benefits of the cold spring.  There should be some excellent skiing to do in the National Park – all the way through May!  Fishing on the other hand could be a different story.  So far reports are fair unless we get some warm weather and then it seems to pick up.  Today would be down right freezing.

Real Estate wise Jackson Hole seems to take a break during Spring Break (2 weeks).  The offices of Sotheby’s International Realty were quiet during the break but we did see a resurgence of agents today in the office.  Activity could be described as surprising steady.  There are a total of 55 Pending transactions with a total Listing Volume of $133 million.  The average list price being $2,425,944.  There are 3 transactions that are priced over $10 million!  Overall Christy and I see a lot of inventory in almost all segments.  There are good buys in just about all segments with the exception of the Westbank inventory.  The major void in the Westbank area (South and North of Wilson) happens in the price range from $800,000 to $2,500,000.  Even this area has a few available offerings that could be considered rare.

On real estate news – The Teton County Planning Commission voted 3-1 to advise the Teton County Commissioners to enact a freeze on subdivisions and zone changes for parcels of 20 acres or more.  An exception to the suggestion is Teton Meadows which received an exception to the moratorium.  Teton Meadows is looking to change the complete dynamic of the South Park area with a gross up zone asking for 500 homes (most of which are under the "affordable" categorization).  Unfortunately the effects of this decision could change Jackson for ever so in my eyes the only solution for the Teton County Commissioners to to deny this development.  As seen in the recent news and probably the reasoning behind the moratorium is that there is still a lot of land available to develop so the scare technique that Teton Meadows is using is not the case.  There are a lot of developments that could offer affordable housing and most of these are in better locations than the rural character of South Park. 

There was a great letter to the Editor in the Jackson Hole News and Guide in the April 16th edition written by Dale Kaplan.  She suggests the Town of Jackson explore the idea of moving the Teton County Fair Grounds to make room for a dense, yet sensible residential development in the location of the Fairgrounds.  I have thought about this many times – Dale beat me to the punch.  If we are going to force dense development upon the valley the Fair Grounds make the most sense.  It could be the second heart of Jackson with multiple stories – commercial, retail and residential all with in walking distance of Snow King, the Town of Jackson, Cache Creek.  Minimal car traffic.  I believe it is time we start to explore these issues instead of jamming 500 homes in an area that should see 50.

I hope you enjoyed this entry from the Jackson Hole Real Estate and Community News Blog.  If you would like addtional information on Jackson Hole please feel free to email or call.  For Real Estate News check out www.JacksonHoleExperts.com.