A new downtown development project is one step closer to becoming reality after the Logan City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to rezone property located at 150 South 100 East.
The property, which is east of Main Street and south of Garff Wayside Garden, is the site of a proposed housing development which includes a 120 unit multi-family apartment building, 10 town homes, surface parking areas with site and landscaping improvements.
Beth Larchar from Obodo Development, along with property owner Trent Cragun, requested the rezone in an effort to accommodate the scope and scale of the proposed project.
Larchar and Cragun have been working with the Logan City Planning and Zoning Commission, downtown business leaders and residents in the nearby Wilson neighborhood to come up with what they say is a, “quality project.”
“The project has changed a lot during the last couple of years,” said Larchar during a public hearing Tuesday night. “Our commitment to Cache Valley is real. We live here, too. We are not coming in from out of town and trying to change things. We want to see it grow responsibly.” She added, “Look at it as an investment in Logan.”
A number of residents in the area expressed concern during the public hearing that there are too many changes and not enough assurances. Among other things, many worry about traffic, parking spaces, losing precious trees and green space.
Mary Ellen Robertson has had a family-owned home on 100 East for over 100 years.
“I’m concerned the proponent will just say whatever needs to be said to convince you to move forward and convince you to reduce recreational space and then go forward and just build what he wants without regard to concerns of the neighbors,” Robertson said.
Keith Schnare, a member of the Wilson Neighborhood Council, represented a group of Wilson residents who opposed the rezone and the project.
“Wilson citizens are not happy with the rezone,” Schnare said. “The fact that the proposal has changed makes little difference to us. Over 600 of us told you no rezone. What part of no don’t you understand? What part of no don’t you understand?” he repeated.
Gary Saxton, Logan Downtown Alliance manager favored the rezone.
“I’m impressed with this development and excited to see it go forward,” Saxton said. Members of the alliance “are looking forward to having more residents near downtown that will patronize their establishment so they can essentially pencil their payroll and their profitability every year to make sure we have a quaint beautiful downtown.”
Council members rejected a rezone of the site two years ago saying it needed further study. Since that time, the Planning and Zoning Commission has been working with the project applicant to come up with what the city leaders say is a better plan and a good compromise.
Councilmember Jess Bradfield, who voted in favor of the rezone, said he took concerns of citizens very seriously. “We must also advocate for other ideals as well, such as responsible growth which this plan seems to accommodate,” he said.
“If we do not build up Main Street, the actual core of the neighborhoods will take the brunt of the development impact.” Bradfield added, “The west side will continue to be stress tested with a barrage of rentals and transient families where all the developments have recently occurred.”
“It’s difficult when this is in your backyard,” said Councilmember Amy Anderson, “but as we look at the choice of infill versus sprawl and the proximity versus Main Street, this does seem to be the neighborhood where a project like this makes sense,” she said.
The next step for the proposed development — the Planning and Zoning Commission will review the project design at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 23. The public is invited to give input.