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West Valley City Journal

Increased parking sees rebuffed townhome project approved

Feb 07, 2022 03:40PM ● By Travis Barton

A rendering of the proposed townhomes by Brad Reynolds Construction via West Valley City documents. (Screenshot)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Parking makes a difference. 

After an initial denial by the West Valley City Council with a 3-4 vote in November of a townhome project at 3200 W. 3554 South, the council unanimously approved the development in December. 

What changed? A commonly voiced topic in council meetings over the past several years: parking. 

The townhomes were originally proposed as a 37-unit project with 11.5 units per acre before dropping to 35 units with 10.9 units per acre after it was reviewed by the planning commission. But members of the City Council still had issues with the parking, or lack thereof. 

Though the parking standards were met in the second proposal, Councilman Lars Nordfelt noted each situation is unique and dependent upon location. 

“People will want to have guests, that’s natural and there’s no place for them to park unless the resident doesn’t use their driveway and I just don’t see that as being feasible,” Nordfelt said. 

He said that could potentially work in another area with more available on-street parking and liked the quality of the townhomes saying it would be “a great addition to our city.” But overall he felt the lack of parking causes future problems that aren’t easily remedied. 

“Right now is the time to fix that,” he said before later adding, “I don’t want to put a burden on the residents there, the businesses. I think that’s too much.” 

Former Mayor Ron Bigelow pointed out during the November council meeting that parking wasn’t unique to West Valley City and felt more parking wouldn’t necessarily be the solution.

“The issue won’t go away even if there’s some more parking there,” he said, noting he lives in a neighborhood of single family homes and parking issues exist there too. 

Councilmembers were worried the lack of parking could see cars pushed out onto 3200 West creating problems there. Residents and councilmembers suggested no parking signage be placed along 3200 West as well. 

After the rezone request was denied in November, the council continued the application to eventually mid-December where it was approved unanimously. The developers agreed to 33 units with 10.28 units per acre and an additional 16 parking spaces. Total parking for the project now has 148 spaces now reaching 4.48 spaces per unit. 

Resident Darrell Curtis commended the council for holding out to get more parking. 

“The more parking we can get in any of these areas where there’s multi-unit housing, it’s going to be better for the community as a whole,” he said. 

Parking is a regular topic of discussion in council meetings as elected officials requested city staff on various occasions to study and produce parking data on the city’s higher density projects. Whenever a project comes before the council, parking capacity and design is typically one of the first questions asked. 

In its application letter, Brad Reynolds Construction wrote their project would be “an attractive and valuable addition to West Valley City” providing “much needed housing in the area.” 

Brad Reynolds Construction also developed The Villages at 27th at 2700 W. 4500 South, a 147-unit townhome development.