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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Daybreak Apartments?

On March 25th, a notice from the City of South Jordan was distributed to Daybreak residents in close proximity to the proposed Daybreak Apartment Venture #1. This has created some controversy as many residents do not remember hearing anything about apartments in any of the literature or meetings that Kennecott Land or the HOA has sponsored. When many people envisioned Daybreak they saw some high-density housing like condos, but not apartments. However, I am sure that Peter Calthorpe, the man behind the design of Daybreak, envisioned apartments being integrated into the town and urban centers of Daybreak. The reason? New urbanism provides housing such that younger and older, singles and families, the poorer and the wealthier can find places to live. As I have mentioned before, affordability has been a problem in almost all new urban communities. One way to solve this problem is to provide small affordable apartments.

While apartments should be a part of any new urban community, they can have a detrimental effect if applied incorrectly. First, the apartments need to be located in town centers close to shops (possibly above them). Secondly, the apartments must be aesthetically pleasing. Numerous new urban communities have accomplished this by successfully integrating the design into the town center without stand-alone complexes that have big parking lots. Finally, dedicated apartments should not be located outside of town centers in large numbers. The occasional rental house or studio above the garage is ok, but if a large amount of rental properties or apartments are located outside of the town center the community suffers as transient families dominate the community. I would be extremely interested to see the plans of these new apartments to see how Kennecott Land wants to incorporate them.

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