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Mackay's Wilson plan is turned down, again

By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole Daily
May 02, 2013

Teton County commissioners voted Wednesday to reject Jamie Mackay’s plans for a 13,000-square-foot project in downtown Wilson.

On a 3-2 vote, commissioners ended one chapter in their saga with Mackay, but their decision opened new questions about what’s next for the property next to Nora’s Fish Creek Inn.

“We’re all glad it’s done and that we can move on now,” County Commission Chairman Paul Vogelheim said after the vote.

Vogelheim declined comment on a new proposal that calls for nearly twice as much development on the 2-acre property. He also wouldn’t speculate about further court challenges.

If Mackay chooses to pursue the matter, he’ll have to appeal to district court. He deferred questions after the hearing to his attorney, David DeFazio.

“After three years of working with the planning staff, planning director, planning commission and two boards of county commissioners, we’re obviously disappointed,” DeFazio said Wednesday in an email. “Especially considering that the proposed plan was tailored to fit the character of Wilson and the intent of the Wilson commercial district.”

Mackay’s plan has been bouncing between planning hearings, county commission meetings and the courts since it was submitted several years ago.

The hearing Tuesday was the third time commissioners reviewed the project since it was sent back to them last winter by the Wyoming Supreme Court.

The state’s highest court ruled that commissioners failed to follow their own regulations in reviewing the project. The justices said commissioners had to vote on whether the project would improve views and reduce environmental effects on the site, two requirements of county land-use regulations.

Commissioners Ben Ellis and Melissa Turley voted for Mackay’s plan; Vogelheim and commissioners Hank Phibbs and Barbara Allen voted no.

“The impacts of five families versus one family ... I cannot make the finding that it lessens the environmental impact,” Phibbs said.

Mackay’s initial proposal called for eight residential units totaling 6,390 square feet and three commercial units totaling 6,400 square feet.

The new proposal, submitted in April, is for 6,290 square feet of commercial space and 10,080 square feet of residential development on part of the land. Residential space would be divided between guest houses and affordable housing units.

At the rear of Mackay’s property, the new plan calls for 5,886 square feet of residential development divided between a home and a guest house.
 

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