Holladay Town Hall Meeting Recap
Nov 05, 2015 03:01PM ● Published by Carol Hendrycks
By Carol Hendrycks
Holladay Councilman Lynn Pace, District 2, facilitated a Town Hall meeting on Oct. 13 at Holladay City Hall addressing dozens of Holladay residents looking to hear about the latest city updates, ask questions and discussion local concerns.
His first topic to residents is a reminder about mail-in voting for the General Election held on Nov. 3. Military and overseas ballot mailing was June 26 for the Primary Election and Sept. 18 for the General Election. Ballots will include a postage-paid return envelope. Ballots must be postmarked the Monday before Election Day. There will be ballot drop-off locations at The City of Holladay, 4580 South 2300 East, and The Salt Lake County Government Center, 2001 South State Street, Suite S1-200. For those voters who need assistance or who did not receive a ballot, they may vote at City Hall on Election Day. Pace explained that the mail-in method proves to be more cost-effective and has a higher level of voter participation. Ballots are authenticated by voter signature.
The next item of business voters will address on this upcoming ballot is the Transportation Sales Tax – Proposition 1 which is a proposed quarter-cent sales tax increase (an additional one cent in sales tax for every $4 of purchase price). If approved by voters, increased tax revenue would be distributed countywide with 20 percent to the county, 40 percent to UTA, and 40 percent going to cities to be used to support improvements to roads, sidewalks, trails and transit.
Pace explained his view on supporting the tax, expressed that our roads are in disrepair, that we are already behind due to lack of funds and demonstrated that it is more cost effective to pay for road maintenance rather than reconstruction. The gas tax increase going into effect on Jan. 1, 2016 can only be used for roads, and does not pay the bill as this is a fixed number of cents per gallon and remains flat. Gas tax is distributed per X amount of miles of road per city. Sales tax is distributed half by population where you live and point of sale where you purchase. Property taxes remain flat in Holladay and the council and residents prefer that it remains this way.
Many attendees do not like to see a high percentage going to UTA, however many expressed that for every person who rides UTA buses and trains there is one less car on the road alleviating traffic congestion, contributing to improved air quality and lessening wear and tear on roads. The General Fund will not support the current road maintenance concerns.
Cottonwood Mall Update
The update on Cottonwood Mall is as follows. General Growth Properties adopted and approved a redevelopment plan in 2005, however that plan will not be realized. The new plan is out to market with letters of intent by Howard Hughes Corporation, which includes residential for the eastern and south-end edges that would be single-home dwellings, condominiums and apartments. Ivory Homes is interested in developing the housing, which is approximately 600 units.
There is single-level retail, no offices and Macy’s will move to Fashion Place Mall. The tenants such as Smith’s will be groceries only, not a large marketplace, a movie theatre space is open, and a possible fitness center may open as well. The hope is that there will be enough critical tenant mass to build the project in the very near future. However, before that can happen, the existing development plan must be amended or replaced by a new one through a public process.
Once the new plan is in place, it is expected that construction might take up to two years to complete. Questions that were posed are: Does the new plan require rezoning? Is the financial package still the same? Is this plan the best we can get? If we say no to the plan will Holladay continue to look at a vacant lot? Stay tuned for notices about upcoming public hearings. If you have questions or ideas contact Paul Allred, community development director at 801-527-3890.
The General Plan
The General Plan is 15 years old. There have been several article updates informing the public throughout the year and public open houses that promote the General Plan. The plan is an advisory document that affects private property but is binding for public property. Quality of life issues such as trails, parks, transportation, land use, water, air quality, housing, community identity, trees, sidewalks, street lights, more bus routes and less parking in areas are things that the plan considers that define the character and direction of the community over the next 15-20 years. The plan is in discussion with the Planning Commission now and will be presented and reviewed by city council in January 2016.
Budget Review and Property Taxes
The budget review and “Where the Money Comes From” was viewed and discussed with the audience that displayed taxes by service category. Pace explained that property tax is a revenue based system. Certified tax rates depend on value. The city collects 14 percent of the property tax. Property taxes have not been raised in 15 years in Holladay and the council prefers it remain this way.