Commission approves energy efficient development

As people are returning to the city, it appears that traditionally suburban home builders are following. Garbett Homes, which has long focused its efforts in the suburbs, building energy efficient homes in the south end of Salt Lake County, Cedar Hills and Layton, continues its expansion into the Salt Lake City real estate market with the a new subdivision planned in East Central neighborhood.

The Salt Lake City Planning Commission approved a Subdivision and Planned Development request from Garbett to build a McClelland Enclave, a six unit residential project on the 500 South block of McClelland Street.  The project includes six mid-block parcels that will front a private road that is a partial continuation of McClelland Street.

Aerial map of McClelland Enclave.  The project area is outlined in red.
Aerial map of McClelland Enclave. The project area is outlined in red.

Planning staff recommended that the planning commission deny the request due to concerns about the limited access to site via a 10-foot road that would only be able to accommodate one traffic direction at a time, making it impossible for cars to pass each other.  The narrow lane would also make it difficult for the developers to provide designated pedestrian walkways and leave enough room for cars.

Neighbors expressed concerns about a lack of fire access, increased traffic and overcrowding of trash and recycling bins along 600 South, as sanitation collection can’t access the units.  The homes will also need to have interior sprinkler systems to help against fires because the access road is too narrow for a fire truck to reach the homes.

Jacob Ballstaedt of Garbett Homes, acknowledge that the response from neighbors has been mixed. Ballstaedt stated that turnarounds have been adjusted to allow for service vehicles, but through working with the fire department his company has worked out a way for fire trucks to fight fires from 600 South.  The developers also plan to resurface the private access road to make it better conducive to the extra vehicular traffic.  The homes will be part of a homeowner’s association that will maintain the road.

“Our development will actually improve the conditions there, it will improve safety, it will improve the historic nature, it will remove the blight that’s there and it will be done so in a responsible manner,” said Ballstaedt.

There are currently three homes in the project area.  Two of the homes are currently occupied and the third is vacant.  The development will retain one of the existing homes, while building five new energy efficient homes.

The McClelland Enclave is one of several projects Garbett home is developing in the city.  Construction is underway on the 360 Apartments, a six-floor 151-unit project directly west of Pioneer Park.   Garbett also planned to build the Hardison Apartments, a mixed-use residential development proposed for the south west corner of the intersection of 500 East and South Temple. But the Historic Landmark Commission rejected the  project that would have included 166 units and 5,515 square-feet of commercial space.  Garbett has since abandoned plans for the Hardison.

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.