August 09, 2022

Tiny-home village needs city approval

Birds-eye view rendering of concept
Birds-eye view rendering of concept|||| Birds-eye view rendering of concept|||| ||||
By Sheena Wolfe

A story on a tiny-home community of approximately 40 acres in Salt Lake City, printed in the West View’s spring 2022 issue, incorrectly stated that construction on the project would begin this spring.

The developers had set the spring ground-breaking timeline, but the project has not yet been given SLC Council approval needed because the selected property is owned by the city and a zoning change is necessary for residential construction to take place.

The Other Side Village proposed zoning change was approved by the SLC Planning Commission last fall. Since that time Samuel Grenny, who runs village communications, said his group has been meeting with city staff to compile an operations and metric agreement “that will hold us accountable for the success of the project.”

Although groundbreaking won’t begin until the city gives its approval, the first phase of the proposed village – located at 1850 W. Indiana Avenue, just west of Redwood Road – is expected to comprise 50 homes, said Grenny, noting that the Other Side Village leaders are asking for a property donation from the city and that construction will be paid for using private donations.

The tiny-home village project got underway last April when Mayor Mendenhall asked The Other Side Academy to investigate a tiny-home village because the city is experiencing a shortage of beds to keep people off the streets. The Other Side Academy was chosen because of its proven track record of dealing successfully with marginal populations.

When completed, the Other Side Village is expected to contain 440 single homes – between 250 and 400 square feet each – in a gated community with furnished living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom with shower. Rent is expected to be between $200-$400 per month, said Grenny, noting that in addition to the homes, plans call for a park, performing arts center, amphitheater, grocery store, coffee shop, barbershop and hair salon, community garden, dog park, Airbnb for visiting relatives, neighborhood gathering spots, mental and physical health facilities, and family services.

According to the village’s zoning amendment the housing will be arranged in neighborhoods of approximately 25-35 homes, with amenities and green spaces to include a small pavilion, laundry and a multipurpose room for social gatherings.

Opponents of the project have stated in various public meetings that the city should look at other areas of the city, as the Westside already hosts a disproportionate share of overnight shelters and services.

Proponents have said that the commercial development associated with the project will be a welcome inclusion to the neighborhood.

The developers have outlined various procedures and policies (to be part of the city agreement) that they expect will mitigate any potential neighborhood issues that may arise from a concentrated homeless population.

Grenny expects the village proposal to come before the city council this summer or fall. If approved, he said construction on the village would begin as soon as weather permitted.

For more information on the village project go to https://theothersidevillage.com.

Published in Spring 2022