Image by Daniel Greene via FlickrHere is some articles from today's Deseret News that deals with development and shopping centers in Layton.
Layton OKs housing units
First of all, let me call your attention to one of the last sentences of the article:
Councilman Renny Knowlton said he's noticed that single home development has slowed down a lot recently.
No kidding? This guy is a smart one.
The town homes approved on Gentile are within walking distance of the Front Runner station, and although not true transit oriented development it can be considered part of the Front Runner station area as the picture shows.
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This next article:
Layton hoping to lure businesses
Shows that Layton is having some Sandy envy. It has to have all the coolest stores and restaurants despite the infrastructure nightmare they create. Hill Field Road is already a traffic nightmare and more stores along the corridor will only worsen the problem. Will these new chain stores bring in enough sales tax revenue to overcome the infrastructure problems that already exist much less would be created? Of course not.
Instead of worrying about having every chain store on the list, how about promoting Layton's unique character. Layton has a nice downtown area that is very close to the Front Runner station. How about promoting some of those small businesses and showing that Layton has something special? After all, chain stores are everywhere but that small business...
Finally there is this article about the shopping center at Fort Lane and Gentile Streets:
Developers are excited about Layton shopping center
Once again, we have developers looking to develop a property that they can depreciate over 7 years and show losses on making big bucks but could care less what happens to the area around the shopping center once they make their money.
Both of the streets are two lane roads. Once again you have to ask, will this center produce enough sales tax dollars to cover the infrastructure cost it creates, not to mention the additional police and fire protection and other city services? Of course the answer to those question is no.
It's time for city governments to start looking beyond just the sales tax revenue brought in and look at the actual long term cost of a project including additional services. Cities should be looking for create unique shopping experiences not worrying if they have every chain store on the list.