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Know the West

Jackson voters say yes to planning

  At a time when the nation's electorate has turned decidedly anti-government, Jackson, Wyo., voters said yes to an extensive set of new zoning and land-use regulations. The new laws, which curb commercial, lodging and residential growth in town, won with 55 percent of the ballots in a Jan. 31 special election. Eight hundred and fifty votes were cast in favor of the regulations, 696 against. The election was a coup for Jackson town officials, who had spent three years and more than $1 million writing the new zoning plan. The plan was suspended in November, by public petition (HCN, 1/23/95). "It's good to get some reaffirmation on the direction we should be going in the town," says town councilman Scott Anderson. But Jackson developer Jere Bishop, who organized the petition drive for a special election, paid more attention to the wealth of "no" votes. "I don't think the town can discount the fact that 700 people voted against this," Bishop says. On this point, the town may agree. "I'm not sure we'll ever know why so many people voted against it," says town planning administrator Bob Horne. "But this is definitely something I want to talk about. If I've got 700 pissed-off people out there, I'd like to know why."