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City council opens the door for new Taylorsville townhouse development

Feb 09, 2017 01:40PM ● Published by Bryan Scott

Developers plan to break ground this spring on 63 townhouse units in southeast Taylorsville. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

Gallery: City council opens the door for new Taylorsville townhouse development [4 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Carl Fauver |  carlf@mycityjournals.com


A unanimous vote from the Taylorsville City Council at its Jan. 11 meeting has cleared the way for 7.1 acres in the southeast corner of the city to be transformed over the next 18 months.


With none of the controversy and debate often associated with zoning change requests, the council quickly gave the greenlight to developer Ken Olsen and builder Brad Reynolds to move forward on a plan to construct 63 units near 1300 West 6600 South.


“City staff have been great to work with on this project,” Reynolds said. “They’ve been very accommodating in reviewing our plans and concepts. I’m confident people will like it.”


The Taylorsville City Planning Commission recommended the zoning change with three conditions:

Each townhouse unit must be at least 1,600 square feet

The structures can be no more than 2 stories high

There can be no more than 11.5 units per net acre 


Buyer and developer Olsen is particularly excited about the project, because the acreage is near and dear to his heart. 


“I grew up about a half-mile from this property, and one of my best childhood friends lived in a home right next to it,” Olsen told council members. “Although I’ve done (development) projects in several areas throughout the (Salt Lake) valley, this is the first time I’ve done something in Taylorsville.”


Olsen is purchasing the land from two separate families. One of the owners—Clinton Michaelson, 90—said his part of the deal includes ownership of one of the townhouse units.


Speaking on the porch of his home—which will be torn down for the project—Michaelson said, “I built this place with my own two hands, more than 50 years ago. Change is never easy, but I do like the (construction) plans. I also look forward to having less land to maintain.”


Reynolds said each townhouse structure will feature three to five units. 


“The units will have two-car garages, granite countertops and two-toned exterior paint,” he added. “They will be marketed separately and not available as rentals.”


The new project is in the extreme southeast corner of Taylorsville city, with Murray on the other side of 1300 West and West Jordan directly to the south. The adjacent properties in each of those cities already feature multi-family housing.


The new townhouses are expected to sell for $240,000 to $325,000. Construction is scheduled to begin by June 1, with the first units ready to occupy within 90 days.


The 7-plus acres now feature just a couple of houses along with agricultural buildings and a few animals.


“We hosted an information meeting for adjacent property owners, and they all seemed to be pretty pleased with our plans,” Olsen added. 


Unlike many requests for zoning changes, not a single person appeared before the Taylorsville City Council to oppose the project. 


Once the townhouses are occupied, they will generate much more property tax for the city than the land does currently. Additionally, the yearlong construction will provide many jobs.


“Most of my construction work is completed by subcontractors,” Reynolds said. “I employ about 300 of them and am very pleased with their quality of work.”


Many of the townhouses will enjoy views across the entire Salt Lake Valley.


The nearly 80-year-old quote, “You can’t go home again” is attributed to author Thomas Wolfe. But Olsen isn’t buying it. 


“I used to have many sleepovers at my friend’s house next to this property 45 years ago,” he said. “I’m proud to be involved in a project that gives this acreage a valuable new use.”


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