by Tom HARALDSEN
BOUNTIFUL—A recommendation may be forthcoming from the Bountiful Planning Commission on development standards for the Downtown (DN) Zoning District. That item was on the agenda for Tuesday night’s commission meeting, which occurred after our press deadline.
The questions to be considered by commissioners, and subsequently forwarded to the city council for its future consideration, concern maximum building height standards for properties along 100 West and 100 East, as well as landscaping standards for multi-family residential and mixed use developments, and architectural standards. The DN Zone runs from 400 North to 500 South between those east and west boundaries.
It all involves the massive population growth expected to occur along the Wasatch Front in the next 15-20 years.
During the last January meeting of the planning commission, only four of its seven members were present when proposed changes were discussed. The biggest change from standards originally approved last October was increasing the maximum building height from 35 to 45 feet. The other changes included reduction of the minimum landscape standards for multi family developments from 40 to 10 percent, and requiring articulation at certain intervals in a building’s architectural structure.
But the four commission members at January’s meeting deadlocked and couldn’t reach a decision to approve or deny the recommendations.
At the Jan. 23 city council meeting, city planner Chad Wilkinson reviewed the proposed changes, emphasizing that “this is not a change in the zoning–it’s a change in the zone texting.” He explained the proposed changes for those attending to participate in a public hearing, and several residents voiced concerns–mostly about the increased height change from 35 to 45 feet. Those standards are most likely going to come in to play as multifamily residential structures are built.
Mayor Randy Lewis reported that he and councilmember Beth Holbrook had participated in the Wasatch Choice 2050 earlier that day.
“What we learned is of the projected massive growth along the Wasatch Front–an estimated 57,000 new residents every year,” he said. “We’re going to be a part of this. We have to be visionary. Right now, 75 percent of the housing along the Wasatch Front is in single-family dwellings. For us to meet the expected needs of that population growth, that number needs to be reduced to 60 percent, with the remaining 40 percent living in multi-family dwellings.”
“How do we accommodate the needs of those who want to have our kids live near us,” Holbrook asked. “This is something that all cities need to address.”
Council members discussed the changes, but ultimately voted to send the issue back to the planning commissioners for their recommendation, which they may have made on Tuesday. If they did reach a conclusion, the issue may come before the city council on Feb. 13 or at a later date.