**Shout out to my husband for transcribing for me today!*
2 minute question
Kaysville doesn’t have a lot of affordable housing, and most of it is concentrated in one area of the community. Would you like to see more affordable housing projects in the city, do you have a specific area you think would work best, and how would it impact the current usage for that area? How do you protect that as well?
That’s an interesting question because Kaysville has grown really fast recently. We’ve all felt it, and Kaysville actually has a maximum capacity limit that we have. I’ve been looking into that and learning quite a bit about it. We will approach that quite fast, so what the little area we have left for growth we have to have a lot of strategy with. Our affordable housing is a very small market of our population here in Kaysville, smaller as it comes. The biggest area for growth is in West Kaysville. That’s where I live. That’s where growth has exploded. And I believe that if we’re going to offer or have availability to affordable housing we need to have a plan of where it goes, how it’s developed and how it’s maintained. We’ve had lots of developers that have come to Kaysville and almost taken advantage of our good intentions and our good assumptions about developers. They leave things undone and zoning doesn’t quite accommodate for everything that we need. So I think what Kaysville needs to do is we need to sit down with our master plan and zone for housing, zone for what that looks like as far as is it high density, low density and it continues on and how far and what developers cannot come in and develop until they meet our standards that are in Kaysville city bounds. West Kaysville is probably the very best place to offer that. It’s also the place that has the most impact with our commercial and opportunity to grow our tax base this way. So I would say we need to work with development and commercial together and compare them both together in West Kaysville if that’s where the growth could happen.
So maybe this is a little near and dear to me because I, where I just moved from is just north of the Francis Peak apartments if you know where that area is. It creates.. maybe that’s low income housing, I don’t know what you want to call it, low income apartments, but affordable housing is a problem for a lot of people. If you think about what makes people attracted to good cities, it just drives up property values. The demand is there. If you want to sell a house right now I can get it sold for you. I’m not a realtor or anything (laughing), but you guys know that effect. But I also think about the opportunities again, it needs to be carefully planned if we’re thinking about this. Everybody thinks I don’t want affordable housing close to me. You know, there’s no other nicer way to say it. I say that but we have to think about what we are as a community. Do we love people? Do we want to serve them? I miss the area I just moved from because of the opportunities it gives me to serve and love people. And you might think this guys hokey and he’s running for city council position. Whatever. But you know there’s some unique opportunities. I agree with what’s been said. I agree that we need to think about where it’s going to be best, open our hearts, open to the people. Some of this is again the nature of we’re making this a great city. People want to get here, so I don’t know what to tell you. Do we make it a less desirable city and that will drive people away? That’s not what we want. Being careful about how we do it, where where going to do it, plan things out. Again, maybe I’m thinking low-income housing. Sorry, that’s what goes through my mind, but it really is affordable. We need people here to love, to serve, to help, and to help them to get to a better position. That’s the Kaysville I know and the Kaysville I’d like to be a part of, and I hope we can do that.
Randi von Bose
When I first moved here 3 years ago, my husband and I were able to buy a home that was the original home on, basically, a ranch. It was situated so that the owner who bought it could look out at his roping arena, and live his dream every day. But as Kaysville began developing the demand for land became great and he sold his land. And so my whole neighborhood behind me is built on the land that originally belonged to the home that I live in. As we moved in a new piece of land, a piece of farmland that was attached to the neighborhood but hadn’t been previously sold was being sold. And there were developers coming in and wanting to develop it under an R… I know all these codes… there’s a lot of codes (laughing). Lorene knows them all. But they wanted to develop it under a code so that they didn’t have to be half acre lots. And the neighborhood was upset about that because it does affect your neighborhood. It affects how you live. And I think a lot of us are in that position, where we bought a house hoping that we would have our little piece of heaven. And no one wants to see that taken away, but at the same time, there are many, many people who are here in Kaysville who would not be here if that land was not developed in the first place. And I think that; I’m going to caveat this, I think growth is important, but I think that we need to keep up with the roads before we keep building. But I think that having that affordable housing come into our city could be a great boon for our city. It could open up our doors. It could open up our eyes and help us be a little more understanding of the world around us, and I do think that would be a good thing. I think as we’ve talked about the west corridor, there is opportunity there. There is land that we could include in our plan to try and include some of this and to make our city a little bit more diverse and allow more people to have the experience that living in Kaysville is.
So the fact of the matter is no one wants affordable housing in their back yard. There’s many reasons. I can tell you right now that the most crime Kaysville has in the city is in affordable housing areas. For whatever reason, when you bring that affordable housing, it brings in that element and it’s hard to deal with. And for those who are thinking about, well, I’ve got some land right by me and it’s sold to a developer and the city decides, well, let’s put affordable housing there, I guarantee you would come running into the city council and beg, “Please don’t do it. We don’t want it there.” Does that mean we’re heartless people. No! We’re not heartless people. We still care about these people. We just need to figure out how can we make it work. I know there are some communities where they actually dot affordable housing throughout the communities so it’s not all lumped together, and by doing that it makes it so they’re around people who are going to be more helpful to them, and give them a better chance of being successful in the community. And that’s what you need to do when you have people that are struggling to make ends meet. You have to be able to reach out and help them as much as you can. Are we going to be able to do that in our community? Probably not, but it is something that we have to think about. And I hope when it comes to that, we hear from you, because it’s so important. It’s your voice that matters. Thank You.
I get uncomfortable talking about affordable housing in terms of us vs. them. I think that I adore the idea of welcoming more neighbors of different experiences, of different backgrounds, of any of that. I think that affordable housing gets in trouble when people try to relegate it to a specific area. You automatically create an “other side of the tracks.” And that’s a preconceived notion before a single person moves in. I don’t think that it necessarily has to be a hotbed of crime, or anything else. I don’t like thinking about it in those terms. I would love to welcome more affordable housing into the city. I think that it’s important that it’s disbursed throughout. I think we have a lot of large developments going in and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with part of our city code saying that if you have a development of a certain size or a certain number of family home units that maybe we could also require or encourage to somehow make it economical for them to make some portion of those low-income, or more affordable housing. I think there’s a lot of options there. We can do that without making it an us vs. them argument. That is distasteful to me in the Kaysville that I know. I’ve been the guy that had a hard time making his house payment early in my marriage, and I’ve made great friends in the rather dense apartment building right behind my house. So I hate the idea of thinking of that in an exclusive way. I think we can be open. I think we can be welcoming. I think we can make sure that we don’t automatically relegate any low income or affordable housing to a specific place, a specific area. I think we make sure it’s disbursed. It’s part of the community and it just enhances the fabric of Kaysville. And I think there are a lot of options to be able to do that.
This is an area that the planning commission deals with a lot, because zoning is a big part of how a city can hopefully grow in a good way. So we regularly have before us on the planning commission, potential developments east of highway I-15, and when those are multi-units we have a lot of residents that come and they say, “Why? Why is all of this only allowed on our side of Kaysville?” And when we did an update to the general plan, the planning commission because we studied urban planning and we go to conferences and we talk about good planning for cities to grow really well in a healthy way. We did recommend just a small change to the zoning west of the highway but that particular council did not approve it. I too believe it is very important to have affordable housing. My husband and I were married and had 3 children before we moved to Kaysville and we got our very first house. We were in Air Force base housing, we were in duplexes, we were in apartments for years. And then we came and were able to get our first house in Kaysville and contribute to this community. I think it’s very important to be affordable for young professionals and young families and to welcome them in.
I think that, when I’m thinking affordable housing I’m thinking the house that my kids are going to be wanting to move into, right? I have a 23 year old, a 21 year old, and a 19 year old, and I want them to stay in Kaysville. So therefore it would be really good if there were houses around that my kids could move into. Now, there ain’t nothin’ affordable on a half acre lot, so that is why we have a lot of the more affordable housing on the east side because we don’t have that zoning restriction. So we’re going to have to make a decision as a community, alright? Are we willing to let go of having half acre lots or, are we willing to let go of that to have more affordable housing stock here in Kaysville. It’s also something I’m really interested in; tiny houses. You know, if there’s any way to work that into the plan, I would love that. No other community that has a tiny house village. And you know, if it’s young professionals, or, that’s an option that we can look into. But it isn’t fair to force… I don’t like the ghetto-ization of one specific area of our community, but is it too late? Is it too late to decide that we want affordable housing both on the east and the west? That’s something that we’re going to have to have a discussion about.