Landowner Q & A

Utah Land

What are the financial impacts that urban developments have on surrounding landowners?


A common concern many landowners have when they hear a piece of property near them is being designed for an urban development is that it will negatively impact their property, change the way they use their property or affect the ability to sell their property now or in the future. We have asked Brooke Glaittli, a land specialist with the Utah Land Group and Keller Williams to shed some light on these concerns.

Q. What is considered an urban development?

A. In a broad sense any urban, suburban or village development, or even a single building, that blends a combination of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, or industrial uses, where those functions are physically and functionally integrated, and that provides pedestrian connections. Over the last decade urban developments have become more and more popular in Utah as our population increases and developable ground decreases.

Q. What other cities in Utah have urban developments?

A. The one that usually comes to everyone’s mind first is Daybreak, in a lot of ways Daybreak has been a leader in urban housing developments in Utah. Daybreak has shaped much of the southwest end of Salt Lake Valley and will continue to grow. Daybreak has received national recognition for its land use and design.

We have seen several new developments unfold along the Wasatch Front; Station Park in Farmington, Traverse Mountain in Lehi, The District in South Jordan, Bingham Junction in Midvale, Kay’s Crossing in Layton and At Geneva, the old Geneva site in Vineyard.

Q. What effects do urban developments have on surrounding landowners?

A. We have seen property values in areas surrounding urban mixed-use developments increase. For example, landowners in South Jordan that surround The District have seen land values increase, the demand from developers and builders increase and the overall ability to sell property in the area increase dramatically. The ability to feasibly develop also tends to increase when larger scale projects are built.

Q. Do urban developments effect the ability for surrounding landowners to sell?

A. There are a lot of factors that come into play. One being, is there a demand in the community for additional housing or commercial uses in addition to what is being approved? If there is, landowners that have considered selling may want to discuss their options with an experienced professional. I often speak to landowners that don’t want to sell immediately, but want to get a game plan together to sell when the time is right financially and emotionally, that may be 2, 5 or 10 years down the road.

Q. Do they changed the dynamic of the community?

A. I have seen new developments breathe life into areas that have been neglected. Nationally urban developments have left a positive impact on landowners and residents.

Q. What do cities take into consideration when reviewing urban developments?

A. Each city has their own criteria when approving developments. The common concerns I have heard is how the potential development will affect the current and future residents, will it increase tax revenue and how will it make their city a better place to live, work and do business.

Q. What impacts do urban developments have on traffic?

A. The concept behind urban development is to decrease traffic while promoting a sense of community. The American Planning Associations says this regarding urban and mixed use developments:

“Mixed use zoning sets standards for the blending of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and where appropriate, industrial uses. Mixed use zoning is generally closely linked to increased density, which allows for more compact development. Higher densities increase land-use efficiency and housing variety while reducing energy consumption and transportation costs. The mixed use buildings that result can help strengthen or establish neighborhood character and encourage walking and bicycling.”

Q. Are urban developments a trend that will go away?

A. In a study that Utah Landowners published in September, Denser development boosts transit ridership, it discussed the growing demands that Millennial’s are putting on future land use.

“Denser, mixed-use places are what most Americans want today and will demand tomorrow,” Christopher Leinberger, chairman of George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, said about key results in the new study that surveyed 12,000 people.”

The desire to leave less of a carbon footprint, reduce commute times and live/work within a close proximity has become a trend that we will likely see more of. Utah has unique geographical barriers that reduce the ability to spread out, because of that we will continue to see infill urban developments take place throughout the Wasatch Front to support the demands our growing population is requiring.

Q. Will the development be a benefit to my community?

A. Yes, over and over again we see the community and surrounding communities benefit from urban developments in a variety of ways like new schools, shopping centers, parks, sports facilities, trails, entertainment venues and restaurants.

Q. Are there any new developments to look forward to?

A. Yes, several. A few that come to mind and that have been in the public’s eye are; Bangerter Station in West Jordan, Cottonwood, the site of the old Cottonwood Mall in Holladay, University Place in Orem, Clearfield Station in Clearfield and East Village in Sandy.

We hope that the information we have discussed in this month’s Landowner Q&A answers any questions you have regarding urban developments and the financial impacts they have on surrounding landowners.

If you have additional questions feel free to contact us by email at or Brooke Glaittli with the Utah Land Group by email at or by phone at 801-871-5946.