Guest editorial: Form Based Code wrong for Bonanza Park |

Guest editorial: Form Based Code wrong for Bonanza Park

Michael Wolfe, Salt Lake City,

The Wolfe family has owned and operated business and properties in Park City since the early 1970s, we currently own the Sports Authority building and are partners in other properties in the Bonanza Park. In total we have approximately 10 acres or 10 percent of the proposed area of change.

Form Based Code seeks to turn a suburban area into an urban area. Is that the right idea for a suburban historic ski resort town?

The planners are pushing the benefits of FBC but when queried do not offer disadvantages to such a plan. I would like to point out the following that developers in other cities have told me about:

  • It is confining
  • It curtails public debate and input
  • It is expensive to produce
  • Does not address non-urban development plans adequately
  • It is incomplete and uses unnecessary jargon
  • Tries to much – not always limited to context
  • It will take many years before any of the supposed benefits will be realized
  • It will hurt property values in the short run
  • It will cause rents to increase in the long run
  • It will be a burden on the city to maintain the roads and plow snow, 25 percent of the land is new roads
  • It breaks up large parcels severely limiting the type of development
  • It will leave the city open to lawsuits by existing property owners
  • It will increase the current density when built out by 100 percent
  • It can cause lenders to withdraw or increase rates
  • Contaminated soils will be disturbed
  • Underground parking and structured parking is expensive
  • Because of the expense affordable housing will not become available
  • The Form Based Code vision for Bonanza Park includes the following which already exist:

  • Bonanza Park is a vibrant neighborhood
  • Local businesses are encouraged and thrive (Due primarily to low rent)
  • There are already opportunities in the district for a range of housing types
  • It is already a multi-generational neighborhood
  • Several other of the vision items can be achieved without FBC

  • Connectivity of the streets and pathways
  • Increased transit opportunity
  • Guidelines that improve aesthetics
  • The city should be an advocate for those people who own property in Bonanza Park, I don’t know of any current property owner that is in favor of this change. The property owners feel it is not broken why fix it?