Meadowbrook Station is a light rail stop in an older industrial area near the center of the Salt Lake Valley. It has the potential to provide residents and business owners convenient rail access to downtown, the University of Utah, and many other regional centers in our valley.
The Meadowbrook community leveraged the Envisioning Centers process and Wasatch Choice for 2040 toolkit. A collaborative process engaged citizens and nonprofits (including those serving the underrepresented) alongside both developers and city and county leaders to identify and explore common hopes and dreams and create scenarios that captured ideas and opportunities.
The scenarios are market responsive—they include the kinds of homes and places that people will need and can and that developers can build. The Housing Opportunities Analysis and a market study provided an understanding of the possibilities. They are also fiscally responsible (we used Envision Tomorrow Plus to test this), providing a sound path forward for municipal governments concerned about keeping taxes in check.
The community’s Meadowbrook Station Vision explores two phases of development. The first phase focuses on a Station Community immediately surrounding the Meadowbrook light rail station. The community imagines a vibrant neighborhood, where everyone can not only walk to the train in less than 10 minutes, but also where residents of all income levels have access to a small market and other services, nearby parks, and an elementary school. It also becomes a center for higher education and further employment opportunities, as the community college that is already there expands and more people are drawn to a new place in the heart of our valley.
The second phase, focuses on what happens when two successful station area communities, Meadowbrook Station and Fireclay Station to the south, begin to grow together. The corridor between them transforms into a promenade lined with homes and businesses. Wide tree-lined sidewalks and bike lanes link the two stations, the parks, the schools, and even provide access to Big Cottonwood Creek, which links residents to the nearby Jordan River Parkway.
Using the Envisioning Centers scenario process and tools included in the Wasatch Choice for 2040 toolbox, this community has explored a future for itself. Now the city of South Salt Lake and Salt Lake County are employing implementation tools from the Wasatch Choice for 2040 toolbox—the Form-Based Code Template and Implementing Centers checklists—to create policy that removes barriers and encourages the kind of growth that this community envisions.
As policy updates are happening and barriers to development are removed, there are already tremendous things happening on the ground—134 mixed income apartments were planned in the Meadowbrook area with units to serve low income groups including refugees, disabled persons, and at risk youth, and these units are getting built.
Housing Analysis Sample Maps
While 8 Section 8 Vouchers are being used in and around the Meadowbrook Demonstration Site, only about half of them are within a ½ mile of a transit stop.