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Ogden City exploring limits on new apartment construction in commercial zones

By Rob Nielsen - | Jun 6, 2024

Rob Nielsen, Standard-Examiner

An apartment complex rises along 12th Street on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

OGDEN — Ogden City is looking at a new approach to the construction of multifamily residences as the public and city officials look at formulating a new general plan.

This week, Ogden City sent out a press release detailing a desire to pursue an ordinance restricting apartment construction in certain areas.

“Ogden City Mayor Ben Nadolski and his administration are proposing a zoning ordinance change that will place temporary limits on new apartment building projects in Ogden,” the release said. “The proposal is the result of broader collaboration and partnerships with State and local leaders working to make data-driven decisions to address the ongoing home ownership crises.”

In the release, Nadolski said the city aims to have a broad spectrum of housing choices.

“Our goal is to provide diverse and balanced housing options across housing types, locations, and affordability levels,” he said. “And the data shows that our citizens need and want to buy single-family homes, especially first-time home buyers.”

In an email to the Standard-Examiner, city spokesman Mike McBride said it’s the perfect time to look at how the city approaches housing.

“Ogden is in the early stages of updating the general plan,” he wrote. “This is a long-forecast look to 2050 and how our planning and zoning will support the vision and hopes of our community, including housing needs and quality neighborhoods. Between 2020-2023, Ogden increased inventory of housing by more than 2000 units with only 3% classified as single family. 62% were multi family. Now is the time for an evaluation of current and future needs while we work to update the general plan. Even with this proposed change, Ogden staff projects that Ogden has sufficient vacant and redevelopable land zoned for multiple-family housing, such as in downtown, in mixed-use zones, and multiple-family residential zones, to accommodate needs for new apartments for at least the next twenty years.”

McBride added that the proposed ordinance change doesn’t necessarily dissuade the construction of new apartment complexes, but rather encourages their construction in other areas of town officials believe are more conducive to their building.

“Ogden continues to seek development of new multiple-family housing in appropriate areas, such as within downtown as part of the Make Ogden plan, in mixed-use zones, and in multiple-family residential zones,” he said. “At the same time, Ogden is seeking ways to provide more opportunities for single-family and ownership housing.”

The release further details where apartments could be restricted with some exceptions.

“If adopted, the ordinance will update standards related to senior and mixed-use multiple-family dwellings,” it said. “Additionally, it will place limits on new apartments in commercial zones C-2/CP-2 and C-3/CP-3, which are generally located along Wall Ave. and Washington Blvd. in the areas north of 18th Street and south of 27th Street, and along 12th Street and Harrison Blvd.”

As stated in the release, new apartments in the specified areas would be prohibited unless developments can be classified under one of these exceptions:

1. Senior multifamily dwellings.

2. Multifamily dwellings next to Ogden Express, or OGX, station areas along Harrison Boulevard.

3. Mixed-use projects on lots of at least 10 acres.

McBride said projects that are already approved and underway will not be impacted and added that the ordinance could help give the city breathing room to address its housing woes.

‘This will give Ogden time to thoroughly plan through an extensive community vision process for healthy neighborhoods that accommodate our housing needs,” he said. “The proposal would apply only to new projects, not projects under construction or where a valid land use application has been filed. The proposal would not prohibit new senior apartments. Senior housing has different neighborhood needs than other types of housing, and the need for senior housing is forecasted to grow more rapidly than needs for other types of housing. The proposal also would not prohibit large mixed-commercial/residential projects that provide substantial services and amenities on-site.”

The city will gather public input on the proposal in the coming weeks, with the first opportunity being at the Ogden City Planning Commission meeting slated for 5 p.m. July 3.

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