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City Council Ratifies $38 Million Bond

Apr 07, 2016 04:42PM ● Published by Sandra Osborn

By Sandra Osborn | s.osborn@mycityjournals.com

South Jordan - The South Jordan City Council ratified the Daybreak Assessment Bond despite Mayor Alvord’s efforts to pause or revoke it. The bond was approved by the former city council in a special meeting held on Dec. 22, 2015, and was set to ratify and begin disbursement of funds in March 2016. 

The Daybreak Assessment Bond is a contract between South Jordan City and Kennecott Land for $38 million to develop 1100 acres along the southwest end of the Daybreak development. The plans call for 7,000 homes, including 2,800 apartments and 1,000 condos, with the rest being single-family homes, according to the latest figures by Kennecott Land. 

“Those home unit counts do not change whether we do or not do a bond,” Ty McCutcheon, vice president of community development at Kennecott Land, said.

According to Kennecott Land, the bond will help accelerate commercial development — an important part of the city’s future tax base that will help reduce pressure on residents to pay for city services. It will not burden current residents of Daybreak or other parts of the city. Under the parameters of the bond, it will be paid for by future development.

Leading up to the vote, the mayor sought to engage the residents. He voiced his concerns for the acceleration of high-density housing. Residents filled the council chambers leaving standing room only at the meeting on March 1. But as the residents spoke, support for the bond outnumbered those against 2:1. 

Resident Sam Winkler called the council to keep in mind who is affected when making these decisions. 

“My father just passed away and my mother is looking to move into a townhome. Does that mean she can’t live in South Jordan? My daughters, before they get a decent job and live in an apartment, they can’t live in South Jordan?” Winkler asked.

“Density aside, it is just a financing tool, paid by Kennecott instead of by me, the resident,” Jonathan Ward said in support of the bond.

“While building the infrastructure mainly will relieve traffic in Daybreak, it will not on Bangerter,” resident Paul Bateman said against the bond. “Our city is against high-density housing. Do what your constituents want.” 

After listening to the residents, the mayor made a final plea.

“This bond is going to accelerate the density,” Mayor Alvord said. “Recent Y2 survey results have consistently shown high-density housing growth is opposed by a large majority of residents. We have a responsibility to represent the people.”

The council members took a moment to explain their decision before casting their vote.

“The density is coming. There is no changing the density,” Councilmember Shelton said. “The bond allows us to do it in a way that is not piecemeal but planned out. The infrastructure will be a benefit to our residents today. This agreement gives us the opportunity for commercial development we may not otherwise have.” 

“The staff and the former council studied and were very deliberate about the bond,” Councilmember Marlor said. “We elected a council who on Dec. 22 made an agreement with Kennecott. I support the motion and vote that were made. I intend to keep those promises.”

“If we revoke this bond, the cost to the residents is high. If we were going to revoke the bond, we should have engaged with Kennecott when we took office. It is not practical at this time,” Councilmember Harris said. “Besides, is it worth delaying the infrastructure? The city does not have extra money to do this. If the bond goes through, then the cost doesn’t fall on the taxpayer.”

“I am not a proponent of high density, but our city needs to keep its word,” Councilmember Zander said. “If we don’t, other businesses will not choose to reside within our boundaries. Facilitating this ratification will strengthen our road structures and water systems. That is key. If we want to be partners with Kennecott Land, we need to be congenial and trustworthy.”

“I am concerned about growth and the speed of growth. South Jordan is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. We are going to make it grow faster. I am not okay with that,” Councilmember Rogers said. “If this accelerates development along the Mountain View Corridor, I hope it incentives UDOT to extend 201. It would be extremely unfortunate if they don’t.”

The ratification of Resolution R2015-83 concerning the bond on Daybreak Assessment Area 1 passed 4–1, with Councilmember Rogers casting the dissenting vote. 

“We have a strong long-term partnership with South Jordan City, and we appreciate the support they have provided us over the years. We view the bond as another partnership with the city to accelerate investment, growth and development in the southwest part of the valley,” Kyle Bennett, Kennecott Land’s communications representative, said after the ratification.  

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