Utah Supreme Court: Residents' vote to block development at old Cottonwood Mall stands

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  • Makid Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 30, 2018 8:47 a.m.

    If the developers stuck to the original zoning there would be an increase in apartments over what has been proposed and 0 single family homes.

    There would be more retail and less commercial opportunities, combined with a larger amount of apartments, traffic would be worse than at the peak of the Cottonwood Mall era.

    The main changes were to allow the taller buildings to be along the main roads, as opposed to the center of the project, increase commercial while lowering retail opportunities, and decrease the overall zoning to allow single family homes to be built.

    I just feel that the people voting against this shot themselves in the foot as the Legislature (Developers) will now act to increase zoning along the Wasatch Front and strip the ability for citizens to oppose legislative actions by cities via referendums.

  • MacD slc, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 3:37 p.m.

    This does not have to be the end of the story for the Cottonwood site.
    It can be a bend in the road where The city leaders, the developers, and a Holladay
    citizen input group work together to modify the current plan to make
    it acceptable to all of the groups involved.

  • MansGame Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 2:57 p.m.

    The natural cycle for housing in a high demand area is to increase in value and therefore cost. The citizens of that community should benefit from the community they have created and have a balanced development not a disparate high-density block that doesn't fit. The traffic management and adjacent infrastructure cannot support the added residents and pathways needed during high use. Let people continue to migrate to lower cost housing and lower cost commercial real estate to the west, north and south. We as taxpayers and citizens are not obligated to keep creating overpriced junk condos to appease planners and politicians all while creating a disconnected element of the community that is transient and not economically stable. This county is becoming like the San Fernando Valley with the ridiculous density and near complete loss of beauty of cared for properties. Go sit on 21st So and 13 E any weekday and watch where this is headed. Ultra high density mixed use space to nearly triple the size of the sugarhouse community with no improvement on road density, pathways or mass transit. Time for citizens to fight or leave. IMO

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 11:49 a.m.

    Utah Supreme Court made correct decision. Residents of Holiday voted their will and it should be respected. They are not against intelligent development. They are against high density growth that changes the quality of life for their community.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 11:49 a.m.

    Utah Supreme Court made correct decision. Residents of Holiday voted their will and it should be respected. They are not against intelligent development. They are against high density growth that changes the quality of life for their community.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Nov. 29, 2018 10:07 a.m.

    Does this ruling mean the Supreme Court cannot be bought off?

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 9:48 a.m.

    It is time for Holladay to rezone this eyesore to rip off the band-aid, rezone this eyesore to high-density residential and be done with it. It should have been obvious to everyone years ago that the age of the indoor mall is long gone. If this property cannot sustain a commercial component, then its next best use is as high-density residential.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 9:47 a.m.

    Thanks to the NIMBY mentality, Today's home prices will become the affordable home prices of the future.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 9:47 a.m.

    Any decision that is voted on and the will of the voters should stand intact as voted on.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 9:43 a.m.

    Although I agree that we need more affordable housing, I don't for one minute buy that the deveopers themselves are particularly concerned about that issue. Their aim is to maximize the profits on the Cottonwood Mall property and to that end, they want to cram in as many high-value residences as possible. I don't fault a corporation for wanting to make money, but I wish they wouldn't try to spin it as altruism and public service.

    Nov. 29, 2018 9:16 a.m.

    @stand up for truth,

    How, exactly, does low density development solve a resource scarcity problem?

    Also, you're dead wrong about the crime rate in cities with higher density. As Salt Lake's population increased since 1997, the crime rate per capita dropped. There was a period between 2011 and 2015 where the index rate increased each year, but it has since returned to the trendline where the index drops about 1 point/year. Even at the 2015 high, the index (99.72) was well below 1997 (119.94). By 2018, it was at 85.99, lower than any year prior to 2008.

    These data are all from the Utah Dept of Public Safety crime statistics website, if you'd like to check them for yourself.

    I had a harder time finding good data on Las Vegas. Its violent crime index had a peak in 2008 and has since returned to levels lower than it saw in 2002, so it may be decreasing similarly to SLC. But its trends don't really matter, since the Vegas MSA has almost twice the rate of violent crime as SLC metro, but a lower population density (4700 people/sq mi to SLC's 5200).

    You should probably investigate some of your other closely held beliefs to make sure they're not built on a foundation of cotton candy.

  • StateTheFacts Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 8:54 a.m.

    As a resident of a nearby city faced with similar in-fill development; Holladay city and the developers of the old Cottonwood Mall property focus on density within the boundaries of the property. If all the residents of this high-density development stay 24X7 within the boundaries, so-be-it; but they don't. This high-density project adds considerable strain on transportation, access in and around the project and utility requirements. It appears the developers have not spent much time in the current poorly planned Holladay 'city center” up the road on 4800 South and 2300 East. That intersection is a nightmare. Sad, the developers and city officials don't approach this beautiful Cottonwood Mall development with a sense of the larger community value appreciation as opposed to the density within the project boundaries. Suggest planners and developers create plans with touch-points to all residents within the broader community and stop cramming to boundary lines. Property owners do have rights and must be respected; but development zoning and ordinances must respect the total community which extends beyond the property boundary.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 8:40 a.m.

    The developers mentioned and our Legislative body of such, have approached the Supreme Court of Utah with a little bit of power as our current President has shown towards the division of power.

    The Legislative body makes laws and it took the courts to rule and not the Governor to enforce. Of course, he and the Legislature are developers.

  • Don Bixby Centerville, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 8:30 a.m.

    At the end of the day this was actually about zoning, not about this specific project. While this specific project drove the discussion, if you propose a development that is consistent with the zoning, it has to be approved. Zoning exists for a reason - to establish expected uses of land in certain areas. The willy nilly changing of zones to fit specific development proposals is backwards. Yes, zoning can change, but it should be done purposefully, before a specific development is proposed. Then developers won't waste so much money trying to propose something that is inconsistent with the current zoning. Ivory gambled and lost on this one, thinking that their proposed development would push the zoning change to happen, as they should have.

  • dddavisson Hillsboro, OR
    Nov. 29, 2018 7:58 a.m.

    It is proper the court decided that those who govern are not morally superior to those they govern.

  • stand up for truth Lehi, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 7:42 a.m.

    Stop the high density housing. We have finite resources and crowding in contained areas is not the answer.

    More importantly however, we must stop local governmental boards who try to "buy" companies like amazon, google, microsoft, apple, and now PayPal by offering them tax credits to locate here. We don't need to entice companies to come to Utah. Never ever should we pay for them to come. These are companies making billions of dollars every year. They should be paying more, not less if they want to come.

    Jordan School district, Lehi city council and numerous other boards need to be replaced by Utah citizens that understand that bigger is not better when it comes to outside businesses who want to take over our finite resources and then try to change our Utahn values. One need but look at Nevada, a once conservative state, that now bleeds blue. The quality of life in these cities has gone downhill over the past 30-40 years this has happened. They have filth and crime like never before.

    We need to get involved with the local boards and stop this nonsensical thinking that we need more out of controlled and dense housing or the future for our kids will be jeopardized.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    Nov. 29, 2018 6:39 a.m.

    Interesting that Ivory, Woodbury, and city leaders all neglected to say something important about this ruling or what it means. Not one of them mentioned the citizens in any kind of positive way. They all talked about economic impacts, and future development. In other words doing what the citizens desire effects their ability to make great sums of money, so they are upset. It would have been nice if a single one of them had said, "the citizens don't want this. We respect their desires." Nope didn't happen. They want to make money and they will probably take this back to court until the court rules in their favor. Money trumps all.

  • ofer4 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 29, 2018 12:02 a.m.

    So now the SLC Chamber of Commerce, of which Ivory and Woodbury are members, is advocating to take away the voice of citizens. I'm sure glad that city and county taxpayer dollars are used to fund this organization.

  • gringote9 Spring, TX
    Nov. 28, 2018 11:11 p.m.

    Looks like Utah is going to turn into California, blocking development left and right. Holladay residents (which I used to be) might feel smug as their property values escalate, but it will get uncomfortable as you get greater disparities between rich and poor while the middle class gets squeezed. Try visiting San Francisco these days where you have some of the most expensive real estate in the world surrounded by garbage, human feces and people passed out in the streets. Not pretty. I guess you'll continue to enjoy that beautiful, abandoned Macy's box for awhile longer!

  • Superwoman Herriman, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 10:44 p.m.

    This is a big win for citizens! The developers can still build on this property if they follow the current zoning regulations. They wanted to change the zoning and the residents have every legal right to oppose them. High density housing is not affordable and The fake “housing crisis” being pushed by the developer funded media and politicians is making it harder for residents to have a voice. Not everyone is entitled to live in the valley, people need to buy what they can afford, wherever that may be. It’s not NIMBY to ask for responsible development.

  • zgomer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 10:30 p.m.

    They should have just kept it as it was and then there wouldn't be this mess...

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 10:31 p.m.

    The question is, who gets to decide how a city should be developed: existing residents or newcomers? Zoning is supposed to provide a long-term expectation for all property owners. If the zoning is changed, surrounding property owners are affected and their voices should be heard.

    High-density housing is not the only answer to population growth. It is only necessary if we insist in crowding the population together into small areas. Such a pattern seems to benefit developers but I fail to see how it benefits the rest of us.

  • Wyo_Jake Casper, WY
    Nov. 28, 2018 9:29 p.m.

    The area ought to be used to benefit the poor and needy and to also build nursing homes.

  • Makid Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 8:15 p.m.

    @Odin Edwards;

    Did the developer that built your home build the roads to the house in the subdivision? How about the utilities? Most developers do this and then just turn them over to the City/County. If they are done with care, the developers will receive payment for the service, otherwise the City/County must take the roads/utilities as is and then spend additional money to fix any issues.

    This is on top of having to do repairs over time, snow plowing and more.

    People like to think that their house wasn't subsidized by others but in 95% of cases, this is not true.

    Also, why do people keep saying the developers were getting $20 Million. They were getting a property tax deduction to be taken over the next 20+ years. The only way they would get the deduction is if they continued to do maintenance and continued to own the buildings. This means that they have to be in it long term. If they sell at 5 years, they would only get a maximum of $5 Million in deductions.

    Also, the deduction is from the increase in property taxes over the current value. So the City isn't losing any money. If they pay $1 Million today, that is the least the City would get tomorrow.

  • Odin Edwards Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 6:29 p.m.

    This was NOT affordable housing and the developer would receive $20,000,000 plus dollars in subsidies from the tax payers. My three bedroom brick rambler in Holladay City would cost less than anything in the Holladay Quarter and it didn't require dollars from the tax payers in order to build it. Let's not use the affordable housing argument.

  • Odin Edwards Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 6:27 p.m.

    This was NOT affordable housing and the developer would receive $20,000,000 plus dollars in subsidies from the tax payers. My three bedroom brick rambler in Holladay City would cost less than anything in the Holladay Quarter and it didn't require dollars from the tax payers in order to build it. Let's not use the affordable housing argument.

  • Makid Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 5:27 p.m.

    I would expect the State Legislature to change the laws regarding Citizen Referendums on City legislative actions. It may be removed completely and the Legislature may override the initiative that was passed.

    This is because the Legislature has stated repeatedly over the last 2 years that if increased density zoning doesn't happen soon for areas along the Wasatch Front, they would act and disrupt the zoning in many cities by forcing the increased density zoning on them.

    This referendum is exactly the spark that may force the Legislature to act.

  • Holladay citizen Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 5:23 p.m.

    Holladay citizens did not oppose the plan before that stuck to the zoning.
    Most citizens I know want something built and are very cooperative with helping. I think even the developers that live in Holladay would be NIMBY with their Holladay property....
    Might be time to get clever. Evaluate the real land cost, get developers that have a vision of the future, land swap, etc.
    Is there really a housing crisis? Who is supplying that information and who are they funded by? Real data would be helpful. I disagree that this is bad for future developing- I think this sets a precedent that we have doing for a reason.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 4:48 p.m.

    I doubt any developer will touch the lot now. I think if someone does not want a property developed, they should buy the property, and pay taxes on it equal to what it would bring in if developed.

  • Kikioahu Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 4:41 p.m.

    Just a thought. It seems very natural to oppose a high density housing project in our neighborhood because it may disrupt the quality of life that we enjoy. My hope is that instead of just protesting and saying, "not in my back yard", we can work together and find a compromise that benefits those in need of affordable housing. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us. My Baby-boomer generation has been spoiled. Great jobs, paid off houses, pensions, 401k's, full social security, medical benefits, and Medicare are taken for granted. Unfortunately our younger generations are finding a much tougher path to a safe and satisfying life. Aren't compassion and empathy for others in need virtues that we all hold close? Let's sacrifice a little and say, "yes in my back yard". We can make it the best back yard anywhere! It's okay to give back.

  • AlagnakLounger Heber City, UT
    Nov. 28, 2018 3:17 p.m.

    'We the People' are becoming darn near impossible to govern. We seem to want our cake and eat it too. When people realize that their children can't afford housing hear in Utah (ya know that whole supply and demand thing), they will have no one to blame but themselves; after all, they won their referendum. Restricting supply will not cause demand to go away; just increase housing prices. On the upside, I guess all those Californians moving here will still be able to afford housing even we, and our children, can't.