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Sandbox of Graphic Ideas for
Utah's "Guiding Our Growth"

Regional, "30,000 ft" Comparisons

Existing

Higher Density

Lower Density

0_4.1.jpg

New Cities (Satellite)

Bring More Residential to
Downtowns and Commercial Districts

0_2.1.jpg

Opportunistic Infill:
Protect Open Space and Farms

Large Lot General Expansion

External Focus

Internal Focus

Paired Sliders: Mardi Gras vs New Colors

What's New?

New Commercial roofs are slightly lighter orange than houses.  Existing commercial also slightly different than existing houses.  Includes Churches, Parks, Schools.  Mountain colors are "less brown"  

Mike's Thoughts:

I like eliminating red.  I like the mountains better.  I like the schools and churches and parks.  I like the tan color of new commercial buildings. They jump out a bit more than if they were exactly the same as houses, but still fall in the "new building" theme because it is shade of orange.

Large Lot Pros and Cons

Positives

  • Creative outlet for landscaping enthusiasts

  • Off-street storage for RV’s and extra vehicles 

  • Private outdoor space for kids, pets, chickens, etc.

  • Easy to host large private events

  • Free front-door parking at most stores, homes

  • Cabins in mountains offer private recreation

  • Path of least resistance

Negatives

  • Expensive homes, infrastructure and landscape

  • Growing numbers can't afford large yards, or are unable/unwilling to "mow big lawns."

  • More water, air pollution, travel time per capita

  • Most streets "bare bones" (minimal aesthetics, alt modes)

  • Walkable “Places” cannot easily emerge

  • Rural valleys lose vistas and small-town appeal

Paired Sliders

External Focus:   
0) Existing vs 1) Large Lot, Full View

Features in Graphics

Sketchup-to-Lumion 3d model. Any view is possible

  • White: Existing Single Family

  • Orange: New SF, New Non-Center MF & Mixed-Use

  • Red: New SF on benches and sensitive lands

  • Pink: Historic Mixed-Use + New Mixed Use in Centers

  • Blue w/Signs: Auto-Oriented Commercial

  • Grey/Black: Roads and Parking Lots

  • Mountains: Generic to fit into most Utah settings

  • Dark Green: Parks, residential landscape, farms

  • Sage Green: Open space, farms

Large Lot Pros and Cons

Positives

  • Creative outlet for landscaping enthusiasts

  • Off-street storage for RV’s and extra vehicles 

  • Private outdoor space for kids, pets, chickens, etc.

  • Easy to host large private events

  • Free front-door parking at most stores, homes

  • Cabins in mountains offer private recreation

  • Path of least resistance

Negatives

  • Expensive homes, infrastructure and landscape

  • Growing numbers can't afford large yards, or are unable/unwilling to "mow big lawns."

  • More water, air pollution, travel time per capita

  • Most streets "bare bones" (minimal aesthetics, alt modes)

  • Walkable “Places” cannot easily emerge

  • Rural valleys lose vistas and small-town appeal

Maybe show small amount of orange expansion from existing cities? 

External Focus:   
0) Existing vs 2) Satellites

Features in Satellite View

  • Parkways between places will not experience extreme side friction (55 mph, few stops).

  • Greenway around satellites for trails, farms, camping, and defines "a new place".  Maybe 300 ft min?

  • SF in satellites is shown "pretty tight" to signify that typical SF likely to range from 1/6 to 1/12 acre lots as a means of achieving affordability and farmland / water conservation.

Satellite City Pros and Cons

Positives

  • Advantages in achieving affordable housing, walkability

  • Allows existing neighborhoods to stay the way they are.

  • Parkways leading to Satellites do not slow due to numerous traffic signals.

  • Greenbelts around satellites facilitate farming, access to open space, and define city edges (e.g., Plat of Zion).

  • More water and infrastructure efficient than some growth strategies.

  • Professionally maintained landscape is more common, easing burden of personal property maintanance.

Negatives

  • Historic commercial areas may struggle, losing out to satellites

  • Historic cities may struggle for tax base to maintain premium services

  • Young adults and elderly may need to move far from home.

  • Large lots tend to come with old homes in older communities.

External Focus:   
3) Large Lot vs 1) Satellites

Internal Focus:   1) Large Lot vs 3) General Infill (not yet built)

General Infill graphics not yet built.  Below is a place holder until after we get feedback on previous.

General Infill Pros and Cons

Positives

  • Young adults and elderly can more easily find affordable, ideal dwellings close to home.

  • Accessory Dwelling Units improve affordability for young people; create caretaker opportunities for elderly

  • More people per city = more revenue in taxes, and at same time lower taxes per household.

  • Less infrastructure per capita makes it easier to fund Complete Streets and other services.

  • Saves water, saves farms, improves air, improves use of alternative modes, reduces travel time per capita.

Negatives

  • Parking may require a longer walk

  • A bit more traffic in neighborhoods if heavy utilization of ADUs

  • Paradigm shift: Moves more toward pre-WWII America, which may create "devil you don't know" anxiety for many.

  • Less RV ownership (i.e., more RV rentals).  More off-site RV storage

  • Less land for gardening and hobbyist landscaping (i.e., more need for creativity in tighter spaces).

Positive and Negative?

  • Increased mixing of income groups. This has many positive aspects but some may see it negatively.

Internal Focus:   1) Large Lot vs 4) Activity Centers (not yet built)

Activity Center not yet built.  Below is just a place holder.

Activity Center Pros and Cons

Positives

  • Similar benefits as General Infill, but less ADU/opportunistic focus, more intentional Centers

  • Avoids cost of “Complete Streets” for full arterial length.

  • Focuses attention on doing a good job increasing accessibility, alternative mode usage, catalyzing mixed-uses at specific centers of activity.

  • Little disruption to auto-dependent uses between one center and next (i.e., blends post-WWII and pre-WWII).

Negatives

  • Demand for parking near Centers may spill over into nearby neighborhoods on busy days

  • Without ADUs, will be difficult for some age-in-place homeowners to secure on-site assistance.

  • Without ADUs and large-lot-to-townhome conversions, difficult for young families to find affordable options in historic suburban neighborhoods.

Positive and Negative?

  • Increased mixing of income groups. This has many positive aspects but some may see it negatively.

0: Existing vs 1: Large Lot, Mountain Valley View

Ideas for Small Mountain Valleys

  • This is not "Richfield," but instead is sensitive valleys that are near big cities, meaning there is potential to consume the whole valley rather quickly.

  • Not presently much thought put into building placement, but can do that if everyone likes the general look and feel.

Large Lot, Iter 1 (Left) vs Iter 2 (Right)

Corridor Views

Infill, Iter 1 (Left) vs Iter 2 (Right)

Community, Bird's Eye Corridor Comparisons

Where the last set was "caricature," the set below is much closer to a true scale.

External Focus:   0) Existing vs 1) Large Lot, Corridor View

Features in Community / Corridor Views

  • Focuses on where the infill opportunities are really located.

  • Historic "Center" in pink, with street trees

  • Under-utilized land and parking lots clearly visible

Large Lots of Yester-Year, Pros and Cons

Positives

  • Free, front-door parking at most stores

  • Keeps commercial separate from residential, the way most have been accustomed to for decades.

  • Easy path of least resistance: Market / policy inertia still strongly underpins this pattern despite emerging demographics and affordability challenges that would benefit from alternative patterns.

Negatives

  • Extensive general infrastructure makes it hard to finance aesthetics and alternative modes.

  • Rapidly consumes farms, water, open space.

  • More driving is required, which increases travel time.

  • Safety: Arterials like this are slow due to congestion & signals, but fast enough to be dangerous.

  • Youth who can't drive, young adults who don't want to, and elderly who shouldn't, have a hard time.

Internal Focus:   0) Existing vs 3) General Infill, Corridor View

Features in General Infill View

  • Street Trees / Complete Streets are essential.  Must come first or the scenario cannot happen (other than ADUs).

  • Trees on entire corridor highlight expense of "Complete Street'ing" long lengths, when maybe just in Centers could help focus dollars and growth.

  • Pink does not expand (reserved for Centers scenario)

  • Highlights opportunistic nature... "infill here and there, where ever it is easiest."  No particular focus on specific centers.

  • Some new growth at outer edge.  Is it enough or should we do another row?

General Infill Pros and Cons

Positives

  • See earlier positives

  • In addition, more "taxpayers per square mile" makes it easier to afford upgrades such as Street Trees, transit, and other features and services.

  • Creates affordability in both housing (lower rent and mortgage) and transportation (shorter drives, more use of alternative modes)

Positive and Negative?

  • Increased mixing of income groups. This has many positive aspects but some may see it negatively.

Negatives

  • Parking may require a longer walk

  • A bit more traffic in neighborhoods if heavy utilization of ADUs

  • Paradigm shift: Moves more toward pre-WWII America

  • Less RV ownership (i.e., more RV rentals).  More off-site RV storage

  • Less land for gardening and hobbyist landscaping (i.e., more need for creativity in tighter spaces).

Still to Come: Activity Center, Satellite

Ideas for Individual Graphics

In the regional and corridor series, views are from the same camera angle to facilitate transition comparisons.  It may also help to have some close-up shots to highlight unique attributes of various growth types.  This lists some of those ideas: 

  • Infill: A single block or two showing before / after neighborhood infill techniques:

    • Mother-in-law, where the same house is white before, then maybe foundation turns orange and a stairway installed to show a basement apartment. 

    • Over-garage ADU

    • In the garden ADU or tiny house

    • Two homes with rather large yards, converted to 6 small, tight SF homes.

    • A single home replaced by 3 townhomes?

  • Satellites:

    • Entrance to Satellite where you see green parkway as you come in, and lots of very tight SF neighborhoods.  

    • Townhomes and nice MF close to transit as you get closer to center

Internal Focus:   ADU Closeups

ADU Closeups

  • Left slider: Show a single family neighborhood with maybe three old, tiny homes on large lots, a cul-de-sac, and a couple other roads.

  • Right slider: Three old homes replaced by 12 townhomes.  A cul-de-sac house builds a backyard garage with apartment over top.  Another house in area just changes from white to orange, along with a door to basement showing up (mother in law).  

ADU Pros and Cons

Positives

  • Second income, which helps young families get into a home (both as renters or as owners of the rental)

  • Elderly who have no nearby family can offer "reduced rent" to someone to mow lawn, shovel snow, help with errands.

  • Efficient use of homes built for many, but occupied by just one or two.

  • Efficient use of yards built for gardens, but only growing weeds.

  • Exposure to neighbors of different incomes and ages.

  • Any additional traffic is very minimal - easy for most streets to handle unnoticed.

  • Increases property and sales tax revenue without increasing cost of services very much.

Negatives

  • May be hard to figure out how to park extra cars off-street on snow-plow days.  (Could be a requirement of ADU)

  • Some neighbors may worry about increased potential for crime, clutter, degradation.

  • May "steal" from pool of renters who would otherwise be in centers and nearer to transit.

  • If heavily utilized, could make neighborhoods feel more crowded.  Mitigate with a max # of ADU permits within say a quarter-mile of the candidate home. 

Carry over graphics from North Carolina project

Below are some things that can serve as examples of what else we might do to help distinguish the four scenarios might look different in terms of typical cross sections, typical birds eye and pedestrian-level views, etc.

Below is today vs what NCDOT may be likely to do as traffic continues to grow.  Notice today's single left lanes become double lefts.  Today's shared thru+right becomes a dedicated right.  A few of the auto oriented buildings on the bottom and left give way to "slightly larger" auto-oriented buildings.

Below is the same angle, but zoomed out to see what we envisioned for the rest of the area, along with all four one-way intersections. Peach colored buildings are new, while white/brown and white/cream buildings are existing.

This is a good view of the pedestrian environment made possible by these one-ways.

Thoughts on "Slow the Growth"

Below is Mike's idea of succinct language to educate about this topic and get feedback on options for slowing growth.  Maybe it could be a script for the governor in a video on the topic?

“What about slowing growth in my town, my region, or the state in general?”
With increasing congestion, lack of water, air pollution, loss of open-space, and other negatives associated with growth, many say, "Just make it go somewhere else!"  To some extent, cities can limit their own growth, and there are pros and cons for doing that.   In a metro area with many cities, that doesn't limit regional growth.  It just leapfrogs past you.  They drive through your town anyway without helping your tax base.  That is the point of "Guiding our Growth" - exploring how to accommodate city and regional growth in ways that minimize the negatives.
 
In a free country, the things we do to make Utah nice for ourselves also makes us a magnet – giving our kids job opportunities and bringing in even more.  Or alternatively, to slow growth significantly we would have to intentionally or accidentally make it worse to live here.

However, there are a few policies that could slow regional or even statewide growth at least a little, which might find significant support.  For example, if the state or individual communities are aggressively marketing and offering incentives to come here during boom-times, should they really be doing that?  

On a scale of 1-5, rate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements:

  1. When tourism is booming, the state should KEEP advertising to attract even more tourists.  When the economy is booming, officials should continue efforts to attract even more outside businesses with high-paying jobs.  The positive aspects of growth always outweigh the negatives, so the faster growth the better.

  2. When tourism is booming, the state should STOP advertising to attract even more tourists. When the economy is booming, officials should STOP efforts to attract outside businesses.  Growth in boom-times is fast enough without trying to make it even faster.

  3. When the economy is doing poorly, that is the time to work to attract tourists and new businesses.  We should only try to attract tourism and businesses from the outside when our economy is doing poorly.

Maybe something like this reflects listening to people.  It educates by explaining that most of the growth will keep coming, because our efforts to make life great here will also keep our kids here and even bring in more.  But it also empathizes by asking an important question – during boom-times, do you want us to keep working to attract even more attention, or should we back off of the gas pedal to the extent that we can?

Slow The Growth
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