The following is from another group of concerned residents:
Why is Providence City pushing to rezone 79 acres of open space on the east bench to medium and high-density housing?
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What is LCR?
LCR (Life Cycle Residential) zoning was recently passed by the Providence City Council and is Mayor Drew’s signature legislation. It is meant to allow developers to build medium and high- density housing, mixed with single family homes and integrated green-space in Providence. It’s more complicated than this, so we encourage you to read the full zoning ordinance on Providence City’s website.
Why are many residents opposed to LCR?
Many residents’ are not opposed to the concept of LCR but find its application very problematic. Because it’s broadly written, LCR allows land developers great discretion on the amount and type of green space required and the density of housing they build (4-12 units per acre, including apartments and townhomes/condos). Early plans for the city show that LCR zoning may be available anywhere in the city. Currently the city is considering an application to rezone 79 acres on Providence’s bench, allowing the developer to build high-density housing in this area.
How much denser will this new development be than existing zoning?
We’ve asked the Mayor, City Council, city employees, and the developer – nobody can tell us. Because of the zoning we can safely say it will be at least twice the number of residences and potentially 400-500% as many. It will also include condos or apartments, likely both.
I live in Millville, is there anything that I can do?
Yes, your presence at city meetings says a lot! You are Providence’s closest neighbors and we should make decisions like this together. If you were our next door neighbor, we wouldn’t put up a fence without consulting you. You get it.
Is there a development plan that I can look at?
No. This is one of the main reasons we are speaking out. No developer should be given the amount of control that LCR currently provides.
I’ve heard that the Mayor and the City Council have already made up their minds and want this rezoning, why should I speak out?
City officials need to be accountable to their residents and represent their views. We believe city officials will listen to our voices; if not, we intend to take this rezoning to referendum.
Isn’t planned green space a good thing?
Yes, however previous interactions with this developer and others have shown that areas designated as green space are typically less desirable (utility easements under power lines, high water table areas, steep grades, etc.).
Isn’t the state of Utah requiring cities to build more affordable housing?
Yes, the state is requiring municipalities over 5,000 people to build moderate income housing into their general plans. They are requiring cities to share these plans with their residents. Providence’s plan was last updated in 2000. We think it’s prudent to finish the plan before rezoning large swaths of undeveloped land.
If more housing is needed, what else can we do?
Modern smart growth hinges on the principle of the urban-to-rural transect (you can look it up). This LCR rezoning places denser populations away from major corridors and city transit, ignoring smart development fundamentals. It not only breaks up the continuity of existing neighborhoods, it adds unnecessary traffic and constructs denser populations away from required city services.
We have lots of ideas and many intelligent people that want to help address housing needs (builders, business experts, and economists). We also believe that residents should define the community in which they live.
Would high density in this area be safe?
We don’t know, but we’re skeptical. We would like more information on road access, traffic studies for various densities, road steepness, the impact of an earthquake, threat of wildfires, silty soil, and more.
I don’t live in this area, why should I care?
These new residents will be traveling through your neighborhood. LCR rezoning is likely coming to your neighborhood soon too.
PLEASE attend the following city meetings.
(Meetings are at Providence City Hall, 164 Gateway Dr)
Mayor’s Town Hall – Sat. December 8, 8 – 10 am
Planning & Zoning – Wed. December 12, 6:30 pm
City Council Mtg.* – Tue. January 8, 6:30 pm
Please note, these dates may change. Please join our Envision Providence Facebook group to stay up to date.
Tips for meetings
- Be respectful.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early.
- Bring this flyer and ask the questions on the back. Keep public discourse factual.
- Make large visible signs to share your opinion.
- Invite your neighbors.
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE MAYOR AT THE TOWN HALL
- Are you in favor of rezoning the 79 acres just south of Providence Canyon to LCR? Why or why not?
- The draft general plan will currently allow LCR rezoning anywhere in the city. You have also written a proposed ordinance that would allow residents to build accessory dwelling units on their lots with few restrictions. How do these decisions fit into your vision for providence?
- Due to South Providence’s boundary peninsula, Millville will be greatly affected by Providence’s zoning decisions. How do Millville residents feel about the prospect of zoning much of Providence’s southeast bench to higher-density LCR?
- The state is requiring cities to develop a master plan that includes the development of moderate and low-income housing. The law also requires that cities share these plans with their residents for comment. Why are large swaths of land being rezoned to LCR before the city completes its plan?
- City representatives have stated that LCR is a response to the need for more affordable housing, yet, at the recent planning and zoning meeting, Mayor Drew stated that the proposed LCR above Providence Highlands would be high-end housing. How will this rezone help provide needed affordable housing?
- What was the public’s feedback regarding the first Providence area rezoned to LCR and how was that feedback received and used by the city?
- Areas of providence have distinct character: the old town with its quaint trees and unique homes, central bench with its large lots, and the east bench with its impressive custom designs, among others. When LCR is applied to areas of existing development, how will that affect the continuity and character of existing neighborhoods?
- Rezoning areas to higher density housing brings in fewer property taxes and decreases property values for existing owners, yet, developers are able to extract more value from their struggling land investments at the residents’ and city’s expense. Could this be viewed as a redistribution of wealth and a tax payer bailout for real estate developers?
- Since the city rezoned the Chugg property to LCR on the north end of town, the very first LCR in Providence, problems have arisen with the developer regarding who is going to pay for a needed $300k bridge for egress/ingress into the community. How much of the cost is the city bearing for the bridge and do the lack of specifics in the LCR unfairly advantage developers by rezoning first and dealing with the details later?