A conversation with Salt Lake City Planning Director Nick Norris
Utah’s population growth
Salt Lake City is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and Utah’s population is quickly growing. For the first time since the Mormon Pioneers settled in Salt Lake City, there are thousands of people who want to live, work and play in downtown Salt Lake City and they are moving here from other states like California, Oregon and from back east.
Unlike other larger western cities, Salt Lake City has always been lacking in a strong, dense residential urban core in our downtown area. Why hasn’t Salt Lake City grown to accommodate more residents as Denver, Seattle or Portland have? Nick Norris attributes this to a variety of factors but mostly because zoning laws prohibited building efforts in downtown. This is changing.
Salt Lake City Housing Crisis
Today, Salt Lake City is attracting investor groups from California and Denver who are accommodating a new demographic of residents who don’t want to have a yard but are seeking apartment living with amenities. This new demographic wants to have a yoga studio in their building; a shared patio space to have their BBQs and they want and a city where they can dine out; visit parks and trails; walk to theater and performances or Jazz games, and have the option of not even owning a car.
In our wide-reaching conversation, we discuss the growth and development of downtown Salt Lake City over the years, and what the changing nature of downtown Salt Lake City will mean for long-time residents. Will we lose parking in downtown? Will we need to sacrifice our high standard of living to accommodate growth? Or is a more densely populated downtown an excellent boon to our economy?
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