@Mike Richards - South Jordan, Utah"With today's technology,
there is little reason for having 90% of the population living along the Wasatch
Front. We have a large State. We need communities in every part of the State.
There are plenty of hard working people in the more rural areas and plenty of
opportunites for high-tech companies."_____________I agree
completely. Unfortunately, the high-tech companies are not willing to play
along. Such as Pluralsight's recent announcement to expand in South Jordan
instead of Davis County. Also, many high-tech companies don't
allow remote workers. Allowing workers to work from home more frequently would
help, and even allowing remote workers in small towns in central or southern
Utah would help immensely. Unfortunately, high-tech companies instead pack
workers into crowded, open space office buildings. And we wonder why we have
serious traffic problems and non-affordable housing along the SLC metro area.
"The solution is to encourage more young people to engage in vocational
training, increase training programs across the state and liberalize immigration
policies to allow more workers. Excellent jobs are available in the construction
trades if our education system prepares young people for them."----------This is a contradiction. Liberalizing immigration will
discourage young people to seek vocational training to solve the so-called labor
shortage. You cannot increase immigration and expect existing workers to train
in the areas where additional cheap-labor immigrants are being brought in.Let the free market work: wages will increase, workers will naturally
migrate to the higher-wage vocations, and there won't be a worker shortage,
if there even is one now. Liberalizing immigration will prevent workers from
training in these areas.
OOPS!On my last post got my 550 pound gorillas and my 5550 pound
purple hippos mixed up.The lack of affordable housing in both the
homeless housing plans and the Envisioned Utah future planning scenarios,
constitutes a 5550-pound purple hippo in the parlor Fatal Flaw!
The total lack of housing affordability in Utah's Envisioned future
planning as well as the homeless housing plans constitutes a 550 pound purple
hippo in the parlor....fatal flaw.
Open Minded Mormon said, "When a developer makes a new
neighborhood, the entire development of the homes is levied with all the
additional tax burden required to build that neighborhood...."."Roads, water, power, gas, sewer, fire hydrants, lights, curb and gutters,
sidewalks...[cut]....Each NEW home was assessed that additional value,.... ~
$15,000 per home over 20 years... ."When I suggested something
along these lines at a local meeting, which was looking at the Mid Jordan TRAX
extension of UTA's TRAX system, one prominent supporter of the DayBreak
Development...[or should I say of Kennecott Lands Co.]... criticized me as
though I was proposing the end of 'mom' and 'apple pie' in
America.In other words, it was O.K. for Kennecott Lands Co. to pay
for just the costs of the E.I.S. study....[a million dollars or so]..., but not
have to pay for the entire added costs to extend the original Mid Jordan TRAX
line way round the west side to DayBreak development, about $140 million
extra.The local coterie of true blue believers in Envision Utah and
Smart Growth are all for the latest Smart Growth theories, but still want the
magic of massive freebies from government.
Mike Richards said,"Try driving through South Jordan in the
morning or evening. 90th South is clogged. 104th South is clogged. 114th South
is clogged. 123rd South is clogged. "We have not added East-West
freeway links, over the last four decades as recommended by the Institute of
Transportation Engineers. Also, despite the fact that Northern Utah
has had the highest reliance on freeways in America, the valley Mayors chose, 20
years ago, to focus billions of dollars in taxes taken from car users into
building trains. Back in 2006, I made and displayed to politicians,
large charts showing how minute the share UTA's trains would carry,
compared to predicted growth in demand as calculated by WFRC engineers.
Quadrant by Salt Lake valley quadrant, l compared the modeled demand for
trip-making in the 2002 WFRC LRP, with the best Federal Transit Administration
net, net estimation of future ridership on the West Valley, Mid Jordan, and
Draper TRAX light rail extension lines.UTA trains would never affect
growth curves. The predictable result has been that UTA's trains have
failed miserably at taking up growing demand for adequate freeway-supported
local road grid.
To "Husker2" our highschools are not intended to have kids graduate with
a degree in Engineering or Computer Science.Our colleges do a good
job educating kids in those fields. The problem is that no many kids want to go
into STEM jobs.As for rents, those costs are not that high. You can
find apartments outside of downtown for $650 to $700 per month. If you are ok
with roommates you can get a room in a house or shared apartment for $150 to
$300 per month.
I lived in another state for decades.There are ways to make this
work - but it requires an evil not many in Utah are wiling to accept = state and
local government regulation.It works like this -- When a
developer makes a new neighborhood, the entire development of the homes is
levied with all the additional tax burden required to build that neighborhood
and it is included in the purchase of the newer homes and neighborhoods. Roads, water, power, gas, sewer, fire hydrants, lights, curb and
gutters, sidewalks, along with fire and police.Each NEW home was assessed
that additional value, and it then added only to those home owners needing the
new services. ~ $15,000 per home over 20 years, or about $65 per month.This accomplished 2 things.1. Newer homes initially cost
more than older homes, and they held a higher value longer.2. Older
homes, and those already on fixed incomes did not see their taxes rise year
after year to pay for other peoples new developments, and it kept housing even
more affordable in already established neighborhoods.It was the FAIR
and honest thing to do....
The proper place for high density housing is in urban centers where residents
can truly enjoy the benefits of high density. Being able to walk to work, to
the grocery store (or corner market), to the park, and to lots of restaurants
are the real advantages to individuals and society of high density housing. Spot zoning to put high density in the middle of well established
single-family homes doesn't offer any of the benefits of a walkable
community. It just adds lots of extra cars to roads not designed for them as
high density residents drive to work, to the store, restaurants, parks, and
trails. It increased demand for taxpayer funded parks for those who
didn't buy yards. It also adds to the profit margins of developers as they
shift costs to existing residents. Economists call this "externalities"
or "rent seeking". Laymen call it "crony capitalism".Mr. Banker isn't about to volunteer to have high density housing added to
his gated community. He just wants the rest of us to accept it into our middle
class neighborhoods.No more spot zoning. Keep high density where it
belongs: Urban centers near jobs, stores, and commercial recreation.
Eco 101 = Supply and Demand.Low supply, high demand = higher housing
pricesHigher housing prices require higher wages.Unless you
want Government to step in and regulate housing and wages, you better find
a free market Eco 101 way to find strike balance.BTW -- Is it
just me, or is anyone else tired of listening to Trump crowing about WallStreet
making $20 Trillion dollars, that he and the Republicans want to give huge
tax breaks to those Billionaires, while -- those of us in the Middle
class haven't seen anything 'trickledown' or wage increases in
over 10 years....
The op-ed discusses the problem, identifies a few peripheral issues, but fails
to get to the core.There is a limited amount of land in the SL
Valley. Yet government keeps trying to attract all the new jobs to that valley.
Utah is 90% empty land. There is absolutely no good reason why we only have a
single urban area with reasonable employment. (St. George is urban retirement,
mostly low paid service economy.)Spread out a bit. Spot rezoning
to allow high density into the middle of existing single family housing degrades
quality of life for everyone except developers who make big bucks but never put
high density next to their own homes. From southern Utah county to northern
Washington county there is a lot of places for businesses and lower cost land
for housing on I-15. Lots of other land along I-70.Impact fees
protect existing residents from paying for new development. It takes money to
provide increased water, sewer, power, and roads. No reason to shift these
costs from those benefiting from them to existing residents except higher
profits for developers.Housing is very affordable in rural Utah.
Get some jobs outside the Wasatch Front and problem solved.
Utah has traditionally had a policy of keeping wages low to attract businesses,
but it backfires when it comes to suppressing wages for skilled jobs like
tradesmen and teachers!In our highly mobile society, these
individuals either change jobs, or leave Utah!
Anderson suggests that businessmen forgo profit.You go first, Mr.
Banker. You go first.
Salt Lake is limited by the mountains and people will always come to the Wasatch
front because that is where the jobs are.We should have high density
housing in the downtown area - high quality condos and apartments surrounded by
restaurants and cafes and shopping. Make it walkable and pedestrian friendly.
Create a nice city lifestyle and people will flock to it. Not
everyone wants or needs a big house in the suburbs.
From the article "Excellent jobs are available in the construction trades if
our education system prepares young people for them."So why
aren't our high schools preparing kids for the jobs that are available
right here in Utah?? Why does every housing construction site only have workers
who are clearly immigrants and well out of high school?? Meanwhile kids
graduating from high school and college in Utah are faced with enormous rent or
housing costs that force them to stay home with parents, grandparents, etc.Utah is quickly becoming a smaller version of California with
overcrowding, rising cost of everything, and mismanaged government (including
High density housing requires much more infrastructure than single family
housing. In my neighborhood, the minimum lot size is 1/3rd acre with a single
house per lot. So, even with large families, that means that there are 10 to 20
people per acre. Water lines, sewer systems and roads cost much less with 15
people per acre compared to 150 or more people per acre. Try driving through
South Jordan in the morning or evening. 90th South is clogged. 104th South is
clogged. 114th South is clogged. 123rd South is clogged. Some of those roads
have three lanes each way, and they're still clogged. Look at the number
of stores it takes to support high density. How about the schools? The police
department? The fire department?I'm not against high density
housing, but the complete picture must be seen.With today's
technology, there is little reason for having 90% of the population living along
the Wasatch Front. We have a large State. We need communities in every part of
the State. There are plenty of hard working people in the more rural areas and
plenty of opportunites for high-tech companies.
Salt Lake Valley is locked in by mountains, and most of the prime real estate
has been taken.Relaxing zoning laws, and other regulations will drop
prices for a while, but eventually these buildings will fill up, and the housing
increases will resume.High housing costs seem to be inevitable in
contained cities like Seattle, New York, San Francisco, and now Salt Lake
City.Will Utah exceptionalism find a way to avoid this trend?
The competition for workers may be intense right now, but I would hate to see a
push for lots of construction workers, and then when the big projects mentioned
in the article finish, have a bunch of people out of work. That doesn’t
sound like good planning either.
So, the author wants to repeal the law of supply and demand. Lots of luck with
that. Nothing is going to change too many people wanting to live in a built out
area between two mountain ranges. It will be ludicrous to watch
Salt Lake politicians try to figuratively 'hold back the tide' by
throwing your tax dollars toward buying old beat up motels for 4 million dollars
in order to build 'affordable' housing. How do the politicians define
'affordable'? 'Affordable' for whom'? Just another
example of throwing your tax dollars at a problem to make voters feel good, but
not even coming close to addressing the problem realistically.
Our water policies are anti-home builder. We have 2017 market prices for water
rights which home builders are required to buy give to cities as impact fees
coupled with a 1985 Domestic Duty (indoor water required for a house) which are
55% too high.It's been over 30 years since we've updated
the Domestic Duty, and the requirement should gov down from 400 gallons per day
to 173 gallons per day.In 2009, the Utah Division of Water Resources
best methods and analysis determined 173 gallons of water per day was used
indoor by the average house, yet the Division of Water Right refuses to lower
the Domestic Duty 55% to 173 gpd.The added cost per door just for
this error is $4,200 in a city in Utah County. That's pure waste due to
known error in our Domestic Duty.On an 200 unit condo project, that
an added $840,000 for nothing of value to the home builder or home owner.
Government regulations are the problem. For example, to build in Utah County it
is highly likely you must build, pave and dedicate a road. For
example, a 3/4-mile road with the required 12" of road base will cost $350k
to $400k.Dead ends, cul-de-sacs, dirt and gravel roads are not
permitted. Roads must have a separate entrance and exit. Your driveway cannot,
even for 1 foot, pass thru a private, interior road.Expect to pay at
least $27k for the required 9 acre-feet of water because monopolies monopolize,
$25k for an at-grade wastewater treatment system, $8k to hook up your power,
tens of thousands to bring utilities to your property, $9,500 to dig a 145-foot
well.Brigham Young urged young men to build a 10x10 home, and plant
flowers and shade trees to attract a young lady. Now you cannot build less than
1,200 sq ft.It is highly unlikely that you can buy raw land in Utah
County, develop it, and build for under $350k.Utah County is 2,144
square miles in which 2,003 square miles is land and not water; 96% is outside
of the incorporated towns.19th-century pioneers would have been
denied settlement in Utah County. Plenty of land but insurmountable
We just relocated from the Northeast last December, and spent the first eight
months in Herriman. The brand new housing is all high density, built on tiny
pieces (it's difficult to call them "lots") of land. The homes are
selling for New England prices, with hurry up levels of quality, without the
land and without the feeling of community.We found a good quality
existing home in Iron County, with land and views that are not limited to our
neighbor's garage. It's not just about developers overbuilding down
here, it's about providing decent places to live - and that is in conflict
with developers' bottom lines.
In all areas of our life the cost of living is too high. I remember when houses
were $10,000, but people argue that wages were also much less. Yet the %
increase of houses is greatly disproportional to the % of wage increases. This
is all due to insurance companies. Do your research. Those businesses which
charge less, don't accept insurance; but if a business accepts insurance,
their cost to you is as much as 200% mark-up. The housing industry is no
different. At every stage there is an insurance company calling the shots. 2008
was not about lenders giving to people who didn't pay it back. It was about
the insurance companies who forced the prices too high. It's poor business
and anti-capitalistic which is supposed be to run on supply and demand, yet just
like with cars, they won't lower prices beyond a certain mark. It's
not because of labor costs and material costs. A fast food meal costs less than
$.25, but they make a huge profit by charging $5 to $10; and that profit is not
going to their employees. Get rid of insurance and we can make America great
Who wouldn't love to buy a decent home, better home, or a new home? Many
jobs in Utah do not pay well even with training and education. With many jobs
wages are stagnant while the cost of housing continues to climb and climb. What
was a $400,000 home is now an $800,000 home. There are nice, but not fancy
homes, that are a $1,000,000. Think about the down payment for those and what
you have to make to make a monthly mortgage for them. In Utah's quest to be
a little Silicon Valley they are going to drive many families out of the housing
market and discourage a lot more from moving here due to high housing costs and
terrible air. Pride cometh before the fall but the same applies to greed.
And how much is Zion's Bank willing to do to help with the housing crisis?
One thing is for sure - housing prices have increased dramatically. In just the
6 years or so since we bought our home the price for our starter home has risen
nearly to the then-price of our dream home! Now our dream home is a price that
we never would have imagined was possible.
"Homebuilders say finding skilled labor is their biggest problem."Trade labor wages have been stagnant for 15 years. Homebuilders
don't want to pay a fair wage even though they sell their homes for much
larger prices and profit margins than 15 years ago. Plumbers,
electricians, HVAC professionals can move to another state and make 30% more.
Utah has a shortage of skilled labor, just like qualified teachers, because
greedy people won't pay going rates.
There is not a shortage in the skilled trades because wages have not even kept
of with inflation. The shortage talk is a scare tactic to get more immigrants
here to drive down wages even further.
Start with increasing wages. A home looks more affordable when you have more
money. Money lubricates the wheels and the economy gets rolling.