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Opinion: More housing comes at a cost — and not just in dollars

Housing developments are building up the mountainsides and into spaces too dense for adequate green space

SHARE Opinion: More housing comes at a cost — and not just in dollars
Apartment homes for lease in Sandy on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

Apartment homes for lease in Sandy on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Some things come and go like seasonal illness and the holidays. Some things go on, like unsolved challenges. An ongoing major challenge is housing needs. Having read the Deseret News article published last month titled “Utah’s top home builder went to Washington, D.C., met with Mitt Romney. Here’s why,” I am concerned as a citizen in Davis County.

I object to the compressed housing density all along the Wasatch Front. More is not better. Housing means more than a roof and a bed to sleep on. Housing should be well thought out — considering quality of life. There should be strategic greenery and not just wall-to-wall structures. After all, New York City has Central Park, which should be a guide for this reasoning.

I further observe that new housing is building up on the mountainsides. Leave the mountains alone!

As to space for new dwellings, consider unused parking lots (like at malls); consider reclaiming run-down neighborhoods; consider antiquated industrial locations, and so on.

Municipal leaders should be very careful not to be seduced by clever developers addressing continued expansions and an increased tax base. Housing with quality of life requires supplemental services of many utilities, roads and maintenance, safety concerns including law enforcement/fire protection, etc. Some new housing developments, I observe, are so concentrated that a fire truck could not access the housing structures.

Professional individuals are expected to address this housing challenge. But the “problem-solvers” should include more than real estate developers. They should include municipal leaders, engineers, public safety representatives, utility people and others. Keep in mind that water is scarce (drought) but is a major necessity for new housing developments. More considerations should include schools and churches and all factors which make up a healthy community, not just housing. 

Elmary Davidson

Layton