Politics & Government
Revised Thanksgiving Station concept gets positive recommendation
The Lehi City Planning Commission reviewed a revisedThanksgiving Station concept, the expansion of Lehi Bakery on Main Street and several other items at their regular meeting on Thursday, March 10.
The first concept for Thanksgiving Station, a 77.8-acre mixed-use development at Ashton Blvd and Executive Parkway, came before the Planning Commission in November 2021 and included just under 5,400 residential units. Commissioners gave a positive recommendation to City Council for that plan with a vote of 5-2 and the Lehi City Council unanimously denied the proposal on Dec.14, 2021.
“Are the TOD requirements being met? No. Go back to the beginning. Is there sufficient infrastructure capacity? Staff is telling me no. Go back to the beginning. Is there a funding mechanism in place? No. Is there a plan in place with UTA for transit options? No. We need to step back. This isn’t sufficiently baked and ready for concept plan to go in. This isn’t something I’m trying to shut down, but these are big concerns that haven’t been addressed yet. I think the conversation should be continued,” said Councilwoman Paige Albrecht at the Dec.14 meeting.
Gardner Company’s John Bankhead presented the new Thanksgiving Station concept to the Planning Commission on March 10, 2022.
“We’re keeping the functionality and goals, just with less residential units,” said Bankhead. “Electric Park and Farm Country are staying put. We’ve been meeting with UTA at least weekly, and they are an applicant on this plan. We’re incorporating our development with theirs.”
Thanksgiving Station now includes 2,000 residential units, none of which are on the west side of the property.
“Putting high-density housing there really discourages others to come in and use it as their point of entry to the transportation system,” said Commissioner Brent Everett. “I used to commute from there and there’s no way I’d go there now. We’re solving one problem for that specific location, but we’re really not solving or encouraging mass transit for the rest of us who live outside that area.”
“UTA has hired a consultant and they’re putting a lot of thought into how to get people here without having to use a car. It’s very pedestrian-focused,” Bankhead replied.
“We need solid commitments from UTA and the legislature to make sure they keep this a priority,” said new Commissioner Scott Carlson.
“We’re doing everything we can – Draper is screaming for $200 million for The Point, but we’re confident we can make a good argument for Lehi development,” answered Bankhead. “There are a lot of competing interests and I know they’re trying to balance all of it.”
“We don’t care who else is asking for money. We are a major flux point for the state. There’s a reason Lehi’s turning into the big development it is. It’s literally impossible to preserve it as a small town because of the geography. The legislature needs to understand that,” said Commissioner Greg Jackson.
“I’m encouraged by a lot of the things you’re saying, but I would say politely, not good enough. Senator Anderegg came here and spoke to us and frankly I wasn’t impressed,” Jackson continued.
Commissioner Nielsen asked Bankhead to explain the land and density in the new plan with 2,000 units compared to the old one with 5,400.
“The density around the TOD is largely unchanged, it’s still 100-units per acre to get the energy, vibrancy and retail we need. We’ve taken out the units at Electric Park and Farm Country that would have been similar density and removed significant density in the south parcel,” Bankhead replied.
“We need to state specifically that there will be no manufacturing or industrial allowed in the designated heavy commercial area. That’s what is scaring a lot of the neighbors – we need to be super explicit on that point,” said Commissioner Heather Newall. Bankhead agreed but mentioned they’d like to keep the warehouse option.
During the public hearing for Thanksgiving Station, resident Rudebaugh Forsham said, “It feels like those of us who live in this area are not represented on the Planning Commission or City Council. The Planning Commission has been condescending to us in the past – we’re told we don’t know what we’re talking about. We continue to get burned by developers over and over. To say something is only concept is a slap in the face. There’s no stopping it once a concept is approved.”
Other residents expressed concerns about traffic and the possibility of heavy commercial property in their backyards.
“The only way to reduce traffic is to put more uses close to where people live,” said Lehi City Engineer Ross Dinsdale.
“Not every family wants to live in this type of housing, but in order to preserve housing with more land around it and open space, we have to have places like this,” added John Bankhead.
The Planning Commission voted 5-2 to give the Thanksgiving Station a positive recommendation to City Council. Commissioners Everett and Eyre voted no.
Gavin Thomas presented a site plan for the Lehi Bakery expansion to the Planning Commission on March 10. The plan includes adding a second floor and building on the parking lot west of the current bakery. The ground floor will have offices on either side of the bakery and the entire second floor will be usedfor the bakery as well.
A few commissioners expressed concern about removing the parking lot on the west, leaving only on-street parking and the Legacy Center overflow parking lot.
“This will improve Main Street immensely,” said Commissioner Nielsen. “We’re trying to encourage foot traffic – it’s a good thing.”
The Planning Commission gave unanimous final approval to the Lehi Bakery site plan.
The following items were also approved or given positive recommendations at the March 10 Planning Commission meeting:- Kevin Jeffery’s request for a 2-lot subdivision with an existing home at 689 West 1200 North.- Conner Atkin’s Tagg-N-Go car wash site plan at 2100 North 3500 West.- Marion Surgical Center’s request for a sign upgrade at 310 North 850 East.- Eric Malmberg’s VASA Center Pointe site plan at 1628 East Center Pointe Drive.- Edge Homes preliminary subdivision review of a 75-lot residential development at 3600 West 1100 North.