I had a great chat with Nick about the rise in dense development in Murray. He let me know that it was frustrating for him, as a hard working person who earned a solid wage, to not be able to afford to buy a home in the town that he grew up in. He understood the challenges that dense development can present for traffic and crime, but thought that it was important to balance those concerns against the need to have more homes available to purchase.
What makes density and development such a difficult issue is this tension between desirable things- a safe community with quiet streets and a community people can afford to live in and that has enough economic activity to draw in interesting businesses and close access to employment. My conversation with Nick reminded me of my talk with Councilmember Diane Turner where we discussed the wisdom of the general plan. Targeting dense development where it makes sense (plenty of parking, major thoroughfares, and mass transit) is a good way to balance these competing principles. You get the rental and purchasing inventory you need to keep home prices reasonable and wind up with communities that are easier to focus your crime prevention resources on. That’s exactly what the general plan seeks to do.