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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan City Council rejects project for senior center housing

Aug 30, 2017 11:25AM ● By Jana Klopsch

The city council decided to not move forward with the senior center project instead of bringing it back into discussion at a future date. (Jessica Parcell/City Journals)

By Jessica Parcell | [email protected]    

As elections come closer, city council members are more certain that what the people don’t want is more high-density housing.

City Planner Greg Schindler presented for the city council the proposed project for a senior center with condominiums on Redwood Road. Schindler said the project would cost around $7 million.

“The proposal is to have one building, but it would be bottom level being the senior center,” Schindler said. “The upper three levels would be apartments for seniors of moderate income.”

He said that the original plan included lower-level parking, but that was later discarded, as it would have increased the cost $7 million to $8 million. The building would also exceed the city’s 35-foot height limit.

But the cost wasn’t the residents’ big concern. Many residents were worried about the density problems it would cause. She thought the proposed 13.2 units per acre may not seem like an issue, but it would just add to the density problem that the city already has.

“We’ve talked about roads going east and west and wondering why we have traffic—it’s called density,” a concerned South Jordan resident said.

High density was a big part of the council discussion, and while some thought the project a recipe for disaster, other residents thought it would bring more affordable housing options to the community.

One resident said many of the housing in the city already doesn’t meet state and federal requirements for 30, 50, and 80 percent of median income, and building this center and apartments would meet those requirements.

“The apartments over in the TOD area—transit-oriented development—for those in the audience, are by the Frontrunner station,” a resident in support of the project said. “Those apartments run for $1,400 a month. So, they’re not even at 80 percent; they’re more than many mortgages here in the third-acre plots.”

Still, the council had its own questions. Councilman Patrick Harris had concerns about how the money was going to be distributed between utilities and housing.

“Can you just give me a ballpark amount?” Harris asked, “How much $7 million would be used to benefit the senior center such as utilities and some other things? And how much of it would go towards the housing?”

While Harris was assured the council would be involved with all the numbers and before the project started would be approved by the council, it wasn’t enough to convince the council to pursue it. 

Ultimately, the council voted to strike the item from the agenda and to no longer look at the senior center as a potential community and housing project.