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Midvale Journal

General Plan provides guidance on Midvale’s growth

Dec 01, 2016 02:49PM ● By Travis Barton

Three seats will be up for election this year including mayor, District Four city council and District Five city council. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

The Midvale City Council adopted the Midvale City General Plan 2016 during their city council meeting on Oct. 18. The ordinance repeals the current General Plan from 2000 with the 2016 plan now acting as the guiding policy document for land development. 

“A lot has changed since the old plan was adopted and we’re excited to have something new to work from with the changes that have occurred in the last 15 years,” said Lesley Burns, city planner.  

Development of the new plan began in the fall/winter of 2014 culminating in the recent approval. The process included reviewing prior plans and policies with an analysis of existing conditions before assessing specific opportunities. 

In the plan, it states it is “designed to be both an aspirational statement of the vision of the city’s residents and a practical tool to guide future decision-making by Midvale City staff and officials.” The document is meant to answer questions residents might have about Midvale’s future. 

Burns said it was important to remember that the plan is a conceptual direction of where they want to be going rather than a zoning map. 

“It’s providing some policy direction for decisions on ordinances and it’s the actual ordinances that end up being the mechanisms for development,” Burns said. 

As a plan for the future of Midvale, the document is supposed to answer questions about household decisions, utilities, businesses and the city. Its usage will come into effect when elected officials have decisions to make regarding land use and updates to city codes. City planning staff will be responsible for coordinating the plan’s administration. 

Throughout the process, project planners strove to involve community as much as possible with representatives setting up tables at neighborhood block parties, Harvest Days and other city events to receive feedback. 

“We always wish more people would come out, but I think we got a good response from those we were able to go to and get information from,” Burns said. 

While the plan is meant as an overview of policy going forward, it identifies areas where little change is expected and those where larger transitions are anticipated. 

Burns said State Street was a consensus element among residents that they would like to see changes and development along the popular roadway. 

In the general plan, State Street is given future land use goals, which include supporting the development of “higher-value commercial and business uses through the development of mixed-use and higher density residential uses.” 

In the final city council meetings before the plan was adopted, residents told city council their appreciation for the general plan and also their concerns with specific areas. Most notably, the transit oriented development (TOD) zone near the TRAX station on Center Street where a new development is being constructed. 

Brad Rosenhan, a nearby resident of the TRAX station, said he feels the general plan is reasonable, but he’s worried about its implementation in the TOD zone. 

“The wording of the [zone’s] ordinance is not consistent with the general plan and is certainly not consistent with the wishes of the citizens of Midvale,” Rosenhan said during the city council meeting on Oct. 18. 

The plan states its implementation will involve “additional planning on a more detailed level.” This will include small area plans for the neighborhoods adjacent to TRAX stops. Burns said that’s one of the goals in the general plan.

“The ordinances will come through that next level, which is a little more specific,” Burns said.