BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
BOUNTIFUL – City planning, like a lot of other things in life, is a constant balance.
Bountiful City Council member Beth Holbrook, who has worked with the planning commission since before she got elected to the council, knows that firsthand. The commission, along with city planner Aric Jensen and others, work to find a compromise between maintaining tradition and planning for the city’s long-term needs.
“How can we balance out our land-use policy with what our vision is for the future?” Holbrook asked the Bountiful Rotary at last week’s meeting. “What does it mean to keep Bountiful the way that it is? How is the community going to benefit?”
A major issue that the planning commission is looking at is the rise of multi-family housing in Bountiful. Main Street’s recent remodel added floors of multi-family units above the stores, and the Village on Main development further north has equal amounts of senior and regular multi-family housing. Both buildings have waiting lists for tenants.
“We are seeing so much of that type of development,” said Holbrook. “It’s really advantageous for people, and I’d like to see more of it come into play.”
One of the advantages for those living in mixed-use housing is a significant savings in gas money. Gas prices have gone up dramatically over the last few years, and with the Utah legislature expected to pass a gas tax next year the costs will only go up.
Mixed use housing is also attractive to seniors who may have limited mobility.
“The people who have houses on the hill don’t want to have to worry about mowing their lawns on a slope,” said Holbrook. “They want to be adjacent to things.”
It was with this in mind that city officials used redevelopment money to help bring the mixed-use buildings to Main Street.
“We’re 95 percent built out, and we still have net increases in population every year,” said Holbrook. “(Mixed-use buildings) are a good idea for a city as built out as we are.”
Transportation is also a major issue for city planners, particularly those in communities such as Bountiful where many of the adults commute to jobs outside the city.
Holbrook recently joined a board looking to improve transportation in south Davis, including filling in the gaps that FrontRunner left behind.
“East-west connections are very spotty,” she said. “We want to get people where they need to be.”
For those who are sticking with their cars, dedicated right turn lanes should be added to the intersection of 500 South and 500 West sometime within the next six months to a year.
“At first the construction will cause even more transportation issues,” said Holbrook. “But long term, it will be more beneficial.”
No matter what the issue, Holbrook and other city officials want the community’s help in keeping the balance. She asked residents to send in their thoughts about keeping the balance in their own neighborhoods.
“A lot of times, we don’t get feedback unless it’s at a public hearing,” she said. “And those can be a little confrontational. We’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts.”
Send your planning feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep all e-mails respectful.