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The Future Landscape of Sandy City

Mar 09, 2016 02:43PM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Stacy Nielsen | stacy@mycityjournals.com

Sandy - It’s been almost four years since the adoption of the Sandy Civic Center Area 30 Year Development Plan. 

“There has been significant implementation toward this plan,” Scott Bond, Sandy’s assistant chief administrative officer, said during the meeting between city council, the administration, and the Sandy planning commission about the CAIRNS plan – a core piece to the Civic Center Development plan in efforts to bring everyone up to date on its progress.

“We felt it important to review where we are and where we are going. We established this project four years ago, and we asked where do we go from here. How do we plan for the long term and for the future and develop in the right way?” Mayor Tom Dolan asked. “It’s one of the reasons we established the CAIRNS plan – to give us a view of where we are going. Some of it is open still for interpretation and some of it is already in place.”

The plan extends from 9000 South down to 10600 South, primarily west of State Street to I-15. There are tentative plans for the area around 9000 South, and reportedly Larry H. Miller wants to partner in developing it and the area around the Rio Tinto Stadium. 

Workers Comp reportedly didn’t have any big plans, but it wants to develop, and it has added a corporate headquarters. Along with its two buildings, it is building a parking structure the county is said to be helping with. By building these projects, a thousand stalls went away and a parking structure is said to be needed. They have in place a plan for 1,200 stalls. There is discussion of another building to the west of the Workers Comp project. Included are plans to build a small hotel right across the street from its current building. 

Along State Street there are development pads -- American First Credit Union for one and restaurants for the other three pads.  Moving over to the light rail stop area, originally they were approved to build 1200 apartment units, office and retail space; now they are considering developing fewer apartments -- about 900 units.  They already have the first building leased and are ready to get underway with the next building.

Under the old Sandy Station place, the next phase of the Security National site is condos and townhomes. 

“That is what was approved and that is what we want,” Dolan said.

Some key elements of the plan include the Kaplan residential project and the Hale CentreTheatre that are both currently under construction. An 11-story office building, a Gardner company project, is in the early stages of site preparation.

The old post office property has been sold to become four multi-family buildings, which equates to about 90 to 95 condos. Also, in the area over by Target at 10130 South State Street, property was sold to a developer who wants to build multi-family units. There are also talks about the area of the land behind Hilton Garden Inn and REI about building a 200-room full-service hotel. South Towne Center is also being renovated. Concepts indicate some of the entrances will be updated. 

“They are going to give it a whole new look and feel,” Bond said. 

After being brought up to date on the progress, the city council was able to ask questions, and some concerns were raised.

“I am concerned about traffic issues and want to look at it as a whole, and I would like to see more about what is actually being considered to address transportation,” Councilwoman Maren Barker said. 

“The first thing we did was a traffic study. How do we accommodate growth if the density is increased? Monroe street north will be widened,” Dolan said, citing one part of the study that was presented.  

Councilman Chris McCandless brought up outlier parcels, or areas, some of which have been a source of public controversy in recent council meetings where developers have approached the council with rezone applications for higher density.  

“Some of the outlier parcels need to be included with the plan; they have an impact on what we are going to do,” McCandless said. 

Meanwhile, Councilman Scott Cowdell expressed his feelings on higher density to the west of State Street. 

“I am in favor apartments and condos closer to the freeway. We have kind of diverted from the original area of State Street to the freeway. The farther west that can be gone with higher density buildings the better,” Cowdell said. 

Recent rezone applications for higher density have been more to the east of State Street.

“[With] the original plan that was put in, things that we have learned over time that aren’t going to be quite as practical, now we are going back after we have had some time to put it in place,” Bond said. 

One of the things cited to be done for the council’s benefit is to have the latest update on the CAIRNS plan attached to the budget each year.  

“When we first looked at this process, we looked at what would happen over a 20-year period. [It’s important] to not get trapped by looking at it project by project,” Nick Duerksen, Sandy’s director of economic development said. 

 “We also have to remember who already lives here. A lot of our residents are very hesitant about this. It’s great to offer new things and wonderful opportunities, but there are ways we can make it easier for the people already living here. This is not downtown Salt Lake,” Barker said.     

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