According to the 2012 U.S. Census, South jordan was named the second-fastest growing city in America! Why? Aside from being a great place to live, South Jordan has some of the last remaining land parcels in the Salt Lake Valley. Utah has lower taxes which has attracted many businesses from neighboring States. Growth in South Jordan will continue. How we grow is an important question to ponder. I would like to discuss my vision for South Jordan as we look ahead.
Ultradent and Merit Medical made South Jordan their corporate headquarters. Ebay has a data center in South Jordan. Roseman University put their dental school in here. We need to encourage more of this kind of growth.
As Mayor, one of my chief duties is to bring businesses to South Jordan. We need to make companies aware of just what a great place South Jordan is to live and work. I will reach out to California technology companies. Recently, Adobe put a large building in Lehi. South Jordan should court companies like Adobe to move to our city. We can also persuade corporations to move their headquarters to South Jordan.
If we can continue to foster business growth, it will help pay for the demands on our schools districts. Business growth will bring jobs to South Jordan and to Utah. Growth will increase the property values of our homes.
The city owns a premier piece of land next to 1-15. We should develop Mulligans Golf course and court destination restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory to this choice property.
I will close the deal with Costco and give them just enough incentive to finally open in South Jordan.
I see business development as key to lowering our property taxes. I also understand that lower property taxes will, in turn, attract jobs and growth to South Jordan.
I have a vision that South Jordan can someday rival Utah County and become the technology hub of Utah. After all, we have the available land. We have youthful demographics. We have a highly educated populace. We have low crime. We simply need the vision.
For starters, we should work to get Google Fiber to South Jordan. Provo beat us to the punch as they were first to get Google to put their internet service in their city. Imagine internet speeds at 100 times faster downloads! With Google fiber and other technologies, South Jordan can become a premier destination for high-tech companies.
As mentioned earlier, Ebay has put a data center near Daybreak. It's a good start, but we need to court more technology companies to South Jordan.
To help us reach this goal, we need to keep our tax rates low. Doing so will attract out-of-State companies to South Jordan. We need a Mayor who is enthusiastic to see our city grow in this way.
Nearly 80% of our growth in population has been new high-density housing. This kind of growth will overwhelm our traffic and schools if this trend continues. Too much high density growth can also effect our property values. I would like to put into place policies that favor development of single-family homes.
The above graph shows the percent single family homes that were constructed in the past few years. As you can see, in 2008, 80% of our growth was non-single family homes. Unfortunately, this trend has continued as South Jordan has seen most growth in the form of High-density Housing.
History of Housing
Sometime near the turn of the century, the State of Utah mandated that every city should offer an "adequate" amount of moderate income housing. South Jordan was in clear violation of state and federal mandates, at the time. Fines and sanctions were threatened. In response, South Jordan developed a "master-plan" for the city which included VMUs (Villiage Mixed-Use) and RMUs (Residential Mixed-Use). This signaled to developers that they could now build apartments and condos in South Jordan. With the addition of Daybreak, and other communities, South Jordan now has a variety of housing options. I believe that some of this kind of growth is healthy. It allows businesses to flourish and for those who work in the the service sectors, to live here too. However, this kind of growth should be limited.
A return to Single Family Homes
Now that we have met State mandates (and then some) it's time to return to zoning and policies that favor construction of single-family homes. South Jordan has traditionally been a city where people have come to invest in a home to augment their retirement savings. It is important to make sure that our homes will appreciate in value. Too much growth in apartments and condos has the potential to change the nature of the city. South Jordan needs to remain a place where people stay and take ownership, not a city of renters who are simply passing through. How we grow in the next decade will determine much of South Jordan's destiny. It is imperative that we get this right.