Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Forest Service land deal falls through

The largest tract of developable land in downtown Jackson is up for grabs — again. A contract between the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Rustic Inn owner Jerry Johnson fell through for the 10-acre parcel owned by the federal government on North Cache Street. The deal collapsed Nov. 19, according to a U.S. Forest Service press release. “The Forest Service and contract buyer could not agree on closing terms that met the buyer’s investment strategy, so the buyer withdrew the offer,” the release said. Lingering uncertainty about the future zoning of the land may have made closing the deal difficult. Johnson requested extensions to the closing date in order to work through those issues, the Forest Service’s release said. “The buyers wanted certainty and wanted a quick close,” said broker Bill Van Gelder of Sotheby’s International Realty, who is working on the land sale. Those are difficult stipulations to provide right now, he said. Indeed, the public land will have to be rezoned when it switches to private ownership, but the town has said it can’t give any indication of what that zoning may be. For the first step of a rezoning, Jackson Town Council members and Teton County commissioners would have to undergo the lengthy process of amending the comprehensive land-use plan. Then the council would have to vote on new land development regulations for the property. Those working on selling the land have said that scenario makes any purchase unique and potentially difficult...more

This is hilarous, but sad too: One form of gov't (municipal) is preventing another form of gov't (federal) from privatizing it's land. Buyers won't buy until the land is zoned but the city won't zone until the land is private.  Gov't planning at its best.  Usually its the feds who mess up or influence local gov't but the process is reversed in this case.

The private sector needs a stalker.  The feds have the Nature Conservancy to purchase land and hold it until the feds have the money to acquire.  We need a Freedom Conservancy to purchase and hold land until its ready for final sale to the private sector.

No comments: