Community Development Director Scott Langford
The Development Services Department provides professional planning, engineering, and community development services to improve the quality of life for the residents of West Jordan and to help the City achieve both long- and short-term goals and objectives for management of growth and development.
Planning for Community Balance
The department continues to work with the City Council, Planning Commission and developers to meet the demands for more affordable housing. To demonstrate to legislators who are interested in passing legislation that interferes with cities’ authority to determine local land use issues, West Jordan City Council declared publicly by resolution that it has made significant independent progress toward being part of the housing solution. The resolution, unanimously approved on Feb. 13, 2019, detailed the efforts made, both past and present, by the City of West Jordan to approve a range of residential zoning densities and housing types to provide housing opportunities for all age groups and income levels.
“This resolution will hopefully educate legislators that West Jordan has provided its share of high-density housing,” said Mayor Riding, “I think many people mistakenly believe our city is all quarter- and half-acre single family lots. But the truth is that we have already or are in the process of approving a range of housing options.”
Take a look at Mayor Riding’s video that the Utah League of Cities and Towns put together as part of their “Cities Work” campaign designed to spotlight the efforts cities are making to help incorporate high-density projects to help close the gap for affordable housing.
Proper Placement of Density
In meeting the State’s demands for higher density and more affordable housing, West Jordan City Council emphasizes the proper placement of various types of housing as part of a comprehensive plan to provide balance – a balance of mixed use that makes sense and enables the highest and best use of resources, and a balance of options for people in all stages of life whether newly independent adults, young families with children, empty nesters or retirees looking to downsize.
West Jordan has six TRAX stations. It makes sense to allow high-density land use near these TRAX stations and encourage pedestrian activity, which in turn reduces vehicle miles traveled. These types of developments are mixed use and include residential, shopping, dining and other amenities.
Currently, there are three major development sites that leverage the benefits of TRAX stations:
· The Village at Gardner Station
· Novi at Jordan Valley Station
· A third potential transit-oriented development is proposed at the City Center Station located at 7800 South Redwood Road next to the civic center complex.
Incentivize higher density to areas that would benefit from increased foot traffic
West Jordan has recently adopted a new zoning law that incentivizes high density housing in the city’s larger commercial zones. The goals of this new Residential Overlay District (ROD) are as follows:
· Encourage pedestrian activity to reduce vehicle miles traveled and maximize local business patronage
· Facilitate the redevelopment and use of properties in West Jordan where public infrastructure is already in place and in need of revitalization
· Encourage flexibility in the redevelopment and reinvestment in retail and entertainment-based properties
· Promote the use of innovative approaches to redevelopment that utilize sustainable development practices
There are currently over 3,000 residential dwellings that are approved and in varying stages of development within West Jordan. These units include 618 single family dwelling units and 2,536 multifamily dwelling units, many of which were grandfathered in before the City’s “Cap and Grade” ordinance was passed in 2013. The Cap and Grade ordinance specifies a city-wide target ratio of 77% single-family to 23% multi-family (not including senior and low-income housing per Fair Housing Act requirements) to comply with the City’s General Plan, which also focuses on the proper placement of multi-family housing to mitigate infrastructure impact.
Streamlined & Business Friendly
In addition to the housing efforts listed above, the City declared it is committed to providing an efficient and user-friendly process to developers and builders. The current building permit review time for new single-family homes is only 2.8 days. Ongoing efforts to streamline the process also includes next-day inspections for most building permits, a 10-day average building permit review time on non-residential construction and contracting with a third party for plan reviews and inspections for larger and more complex builds.
We recognize the need for and are working to allow zoning that allows for housing opportunities for all age groups, lifestyles, and income levels. We want to be part of the housing solution.