A Station Area Plan (SAP) is intended to promote shared objectives such as housing availability and affordability, access to opportunities, sustainable environmental conditions, and transportation choices and connections. As a result of the 2022 state Legislative session, HB462 (titled Housing Affordability Amendments) passed and was signed into law requiring a city that has a fixed-guideway public transit station (rail or BRT), the city must develop a Station Area Plan for that station and update its general plan and zoning to implement the Station Area Plan.
HB462 also requires that Station Area Plans promote the following principles:
- Increases the availability and affordability of housing, including moderate income housing.
- Promotes sustainable environmental conditions.
- Enhances access to opportunities.
- Increases transportation choices and connections.
Station Area Plans support many of the goals of the Wasatch Choice Vision. The principles listed above pair with the key strategies of the Vision while complimenting its benefits. In particular, Station Area Plans uplift our choices to quality transportation, affordable housing, access to economic opportunities, and more. They ensure that we have a plan as we continue to look ahead to address tomorrow’s growth while preserving today’s quality of life.
Pursuant to HB462, Metropolitan Planning Organizations are responsible for certifying Station Area Plans. A form is under development for communities to use to submit Station Area Plans and relevant resolutions to the Wasatch Front Regional Council for review and certification. The form will be located here once available.
The Wasatch Front Regional Council can provide technical assistance to help communities implement in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the Utah Transit Authority, and the Mountainlands Association of Governments.
The first application deadline for these funds will be July 15th, 2022. When the application eligibility criteria are made available, they will be located here.
If you have any questions, please contact Megan Townsend, email@example.com.
The map’s accompanying graphic illustrates that a majority of SAP planning efforts around existing transit stations coincide with Wasatch Choice centers and employment areas designated by local government. SAPs are a very important catalyst toward realizing the Wasatch Choice Vision and its quality of life benefits. View the interactive SAP map (with station buffers).
Access to opportunities, also referred to as accessibility or ATO, is a way to measure how well people can connect to basic needs and amenities including jobs, schools, grocery and other retail, parks, community centers, recreation, and entertainment. Station Area Plans leverage land-use solutions that improve Access to Opportunities, including:
- Growth centers near high-capacity transportation,
- Higher densities,
- Intermixing homes and jobs, and
- Street design that encourages local investment along the street.
Every four years, WFRC adopts an updated Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) – the long-range plan for roadway, transit, and active transportation projects over the next 20-30 years. This critical work is done in close collaboration with our transportation agency and local government partners. The RTP creates a framework for understanding and responding to future uncertainties and external forces that have the potential to alter our transportation, land use, and economic systems.
Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zones are a development tool that helps address Utah’s housing crisis by facilitating mixed-use, multi-family and affordable housing development within a 1/3-mile radius of fixed commuter rail stations (FrontRunner). Amongst the many benefits, HTRZ’s promote higher public transit use, increase housing choice and affordability, and increases access to employment and education opportunities.
Community Development Areas are public financing tools. They temporarily use the increase in tax revenue spurred by land reinvestment in order to pay for things like infrastructure improvements. By doing so they further encourage land reinvestment.
The link above opens to the Economic Development tab of the Wasatch Choice interactive map where CDA boundaries are one of the layers that are shown. Turn off the other layers to view just the CDA zones. The CDA boundaries are also an optional layer that can be turned on in the HTRZ map described above. The most recent CDA layer (2021) is found within the statewide Tax Entities dataset, downloadable from UGRC.
The Generalized Future Land Use (GFLU) layer compiles and standardizes city and unincorporated area general plans into a region-wide GIS layer of allowable land uses and residential and commercial development intensity limits. This layer guides and constrain future real estate development activity simulated with REMM.