In our opinion: Sandy development is latest in the impossible high-density housing crisis

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  • Flipphone , 00
    April 9, 2019 8:35 a.m.

    Was homes costing $35,000 to $50,000 thousand dollars in the 1970's affordable when the average wage was $3.25 an hour? I do think that today's generation spends their money on to many wrong things, do you really need a $1,000 smart phone and a $300 dollar a month phone bill?

    April 8, 2019 9:49 a.m.

    "Neighborhood preservation" is immoral and unethical when its use promotes increased sprawl and/or prevents supply increases that are necessary to support lower housing prices.

    I'm also constantly surprised how some conservatives get so upset about someone making a profit when that someone happens to be a real estate developer. A transaction where someone makes a profit isn't evil--it's Pareto-improving--even if the profit flows to a guy (or gal!) building an apartment building.

  • All American Herriman, UT
    April 7, 2019 3:18 p.m.

    Affordable housing? Just compared new home prices to townhomes and condos in Herriman. There is little difference in price - several thousand. (Of course, there are more expensive houses.) Think those townhomes and condos are for rent? No, they're for purchase. Then the little family or couple who bought one grows into 4-6 people, the condo is too small and they either sell or rent it out.

    I've been around long enough to have seen the build and bust scenario before. They will overbuild high density housing, then can't sell or rent them, and prices will drop substantially. Then buyers will come out of the woodwork, buy up a bunch of them, the media will tell us how cheap they are, people will move in and, again, media will tell us we need more affordable housing.

    As a previous commenter said, we're not against high density and affordable. It just needs to be put in the appropriate places.

  • Truth2017 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2019 10:19 a.m.

    Sorry, distracted while writing prior response.
    2. Crime dropped as housing became unaffordable.

  • Truth2017 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    I am not an expert but the reason high density housing housing is so attractive to thise seeking profit is that is being built on the existing infrastructure. In an area without the infrastructure, higher impact fees are imposed on developers, which reduces their profits.
    2. New York had some of the highest violent crime rates in the country for a long time. Ironically, as housing became more unaffordable, prices dropped.
    3. I disagree that it is not related to high density housing. Its disengenious to argue we need more affordable housing, then proceed to built almost exclusively rental units. Again, rental units tend to make money for the owners/developers, they seldom help people afford a home.
    4. If new developments are in other areas, the growth will be spread out and new recreational areas can be developed. Cramming all the development into existing single family neighborhoods, just lessens the quality of life for all of us. Most people that live in Utah enjoy the space, we do not wish to become another New York.

  • Jason Berntson Salt Lake City, UT
    April 7, 2019 2:14 a.m.


    1) Suburban sprawl incurs much higher infrastructure costs than high-density housing in existing urban areas. Much of the needed infrastructure already exists. Now imagine how much infrastructure you have to build for a brand new suburban neighborhood.
    2) The association between density and crime is tenuous at best. If density led to high crime rates, then New York City would be the most dangerous city in the country - in reality, it's one of the safest.
    3) That's not the housing's fault. How many people just starting out do you think can afford to buy a house? This is like blaming the fast food cashier for the ingredients of the burger - it's a system issue, not a high-density housing issue.
    4) It doesn't have to be this way. Banning high-density housing won't save our canyons...and if stores are overcrowded, then more stores open. Good design can mitigate negative impacts on roads or public spaces - unfortunately, Utah isn't leading in the good urban design category.

    I understand why someone who's lived in a house for 20 or 30 or more years wouldn't like a brand new apartment complex going up next door, but frankly places change.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    April 6, 2019 6:50 p.m.

    @cjb - Bountiful, UT
    April 6, 2019 1:01 p.m.
    We can't allow people who already have housing to prevent people who don't have housing from getting any."

    Nobody's trying to do that. There's millions of acres in Utah where they can build new, affordable homes. People, in already crowded neighborhoods are not wanting more, high density housing forced upon them.

  • Biscuit , 00
    April 6, 2019 6:35 p.m.

    Come to Orem if you want to see a city that's been destroyed by high density housing.

  • Elsleuith Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 6, 2019 4:49 p.m.

    High density housing may make sense from a developer point of view but over time the congestion, parking and deterioration of the neighborhood will have negative effects to the quality of life on the Wasatch Front.

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    April 6, 2019 1:09 p.m.

    This Opinion is total nonsense. Current residents--in a democracy (which is sadly waning)--have authority in and over their own communities and cities.

    This Opinion seems to indicate that high density everywhere is just tough, but inevitable--and that city leaders simply need to ignore their constituents wishes because it's good for them. In reality, there is plenty of land locally and in expanded areas (just like the last 9 generations of Utahns have done).

    The clear reality is that we're fast moving toward a future where people do not need show up in person for 9-5 robotic jobs, self-driving cars will enable living hours from work, empty parking lots and wide roads will lose their necessity, gigabit home connections will empower current and future lifelike experiences, and where most retail and manufacturing and dealerships will disappear. Since millennials have a third the children of their forebearers and populations decline--along with the real estate efficiencies mentioned--within 7 to 15 years we'll see a real estate collapse.

    Lastly, Utahns welcome development and density--but in appropriate ways and places, and with a thoughtful long-term plan.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 6, 2019 1:01 p.m.

    We can't allow people who already have housing to prevent people who don't have housing from getting any.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 6, 2019 12:41 p.m.

    This isn’t about affordability this is about cities and developers making as much as they can.

    Cities make more on property taxes with high density versus single family homes per acre and developers make more money as well.

    I am sure these town homes will go for market rates meaning in sandy they will go for high 300’s to low 400’s. That isn’t affordable.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    April 6, 2019 12:40 p.m.

    This isn’t about affordability this is about cities and developers making as much as they can.

    Cities make more on property taxes with high density versus single family homes per acre and developers make more money as well.

    I am sure these town homes will go for market rates meaning in sandy they will go for high 300’s to low 400’s. That isn’t affordable.

  • PMSmith SANDY, UT
    April 6, 2019 11:36 a.m.

    Remember - you neighborhood was once a "development" area and it seemed to work for you - try not to deny others of an opportunity along the way.

  • Truth2017 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 6, 2019 10:55 a.m.

    There are other issues to consider when it comes to high density housing.
    1. Greed and profit motive of developers. High density housing built, developers make huge profits and the taxpayers incur most of the cost, including new infrastructure to accommodate all these new residents. As pointed out, many law makers in Utah are involved in the real estate business.
    2. People living in high density housing tend to be transient and less involved in the community. Where high density housing is built there are greater incidents of crime in a smaller geographic space.
    3. Most of the “affordable” housing being built are rental units. People who live there will never gain any equity. The old way where people start out buying a cheap place and building up equity does not apply to most high density housing. It creates a subclass of poor perpetual renters. Small chance to ever move up.
    4. Finally, overcrowded canyons, parks, roads, stores and public spaces decreases the quality of live for most people living here. Why should we promote the destruction of our lifestyle to accommodate developers? High density housing is the camel in the tent for most long term utah residents.

  • Flipphone , 00
    April 6, 2019 8:45 a.m.

    If you don'g want affordable housing, then stop complaining about lack of affordable housing and build mega mansions, or a strip mall, either way some citizens won't be happy.

  • David Richard Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 6, 2019 7:58 a.m.

    This isn’t about developers vs. long-time residents. Why do developers want to build high density housing? Because our children can’t afford a homes on a quarter acre lot.

    Let’s learn from the housing disaster that is California and allow our kids to buy/rent condos, townhomes and apartments. It’s a supply/demand solution capitalists appreciate while liberals should appreciate that it’s the most environmentally environmentally friendly.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    April 6, 2019 7:39 a.m.

    Zoning is created to have manageable space and growth. People buy houses based on zoning. Most moved to places like Sandy and Draper to get away from Urban areas. Developers use zoning as a sales tool to sell new homes . "See- your property is protected. This area nearby is zoned agricultural (or commercial, single home residential). Then, after they've sold all the homes in residential areas, they "donate" to local governments to change zoning to stuff in and overcrowd suburban neighborhoods. Time to outlaw developers influencing local government.