LOGAN – An ordinance amending Logan City’s Mixed Use (MU) Development Standards was approved by a 3-2 majority Tuesday.
Municipal Council members Herm Olsen and Jess Bradfield voted against the ordinance.
The amendment adds language that gives the Planning Commission flexibility on approving projects on land zoned MU. It also adds minimum commercial building area and minimum residential requirements for MU projects.
According to the new language in the Land Development Code:
The intent of the Mixed-Use Zoning District (MU) is to encourage a concentration of different uses within an overall project. Mixed-use developments shall have both a residential and a commercial component unless it is demonstrated that a site, because of its size, location, or other factors, won’t support certain uses. Regardless of the composition of uses, all mixed use projects shall be scaled to ensure consistency with the surrounding neighborhoods.
Community Development Director Mike DeSimone said the new language allows the planning commission the flexibility and discretion to review and address MU exceptions on a case by case basis. For example:
The Planning Commission may authorize a reduction in the amount of minimum commercial building area if the Commission can make findings supported by substantial evidence, including a market analysis submitted by the applicant, demonstrating that the goals and intent of the mixed-use zone are being achieved with the project design.
“The Planning Commission really wrestled with this,” said DeSimone. “They were truly trying to find what made sense from their perspective in terms of mandating specific minimum square footage’s of commercial within an area next to a residential area. They really struggled with it and they also appreciate some of that latitude.”
During a public hearing Tuesday night, Logan Resident Paul Rogers said he was excited about MU working in Logan but doesn’t feel the new language is adequate. He was concerned that if a developer was able to demonstrate a project supports additional commercial and less of the residential component, it would defeat the purpose of the MU standards.
“If we just throw things, in my opinion, in to the market forces, we are going to lose,” said Rogers. “This is not going to be mixed use. Developers are going to edge as far as they can, for as much profit short term and we’re going to end up with places that are not walkable, bikeable, cleaner air, higher quality of life.”
“I like the flexibility that we have here,” said Council member Tom Jensen, who, along with Jeannie Simmonds and Amy Anderson, voted for the amendment. “We have made a giant leap forward from where we were. I compliment the staff in what we’re doing. I think this is a good move.”