Neighborhoods remain major focal point of Logan City

Neighborhoods were a major focal point of Tuesday’s Logan City Council meeting: how to be aware of over occupancy, how to revitalize, and how to attract young families to established neighborhoods, among others.

Council members are interested in knowing if there really is an occupancy problem in the city. For that reason, the administration has decided to find out if that problem is “for real.”

Mayor Craig Petersen told the council Tuesday that a “quick look” showed that over the last three years there have been 67 “over-occupancy complaints.”

“Of those, about 50 we determined that there actually was over occupancy,” Petersen explained. “I guess one could argue that the problem isn’t as serious as we thought or we don’t have a mechanism of identifying the extent of the problem. At any rate, it at least gives us some data points to start with.”

The mayor says a full report will be presented at the next council meeting.

Logan City was also asked to once again participate in a Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation project.

Logan Economic Development Director Kirk Jensen, acting as part of the Logan Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday, told city council members the project is known as the “Welcome Home–Own in Logan.”

He said the corporation has asked for $120,000 and the money would go for down payments, closing costs and some administrative expenses for low to moderate income homeowners.

Jensen said the program does benefit Logan City.

“It encourages households to purchase homes that could convert into rental properties, otherwise,” Jensen said. “Since the program’s inception, which was in 2003, Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation reports that 84% of those 195 households that participated in the program are still in their home.

“From that standpoint it does tend to stabilize the neighborhoods.”

The council will make a formal decision at the next meeting.

For some time now, members of the council have been discussing neighborhoods and their desire to have strong, healthy and attractive neighborhoods throughout the city. On Tuesday, a major step was taken towards achieving that goal.

It was decided that a task force be formed and councilmember Tom Jensen was asked to be chairman.

Jensen was studying neighborhoods before he was elected to the council last fall and he told his colleagues, “our neighborhoods are our homes. We live there. It’s really who we are as a city.”

Jensen said there is one important question that has to be answered.

“What is the interest level of families in investing in residential properties to live here?” he asked. “They are not going to buy a home if they don’t feel they are going to have appreciation. If more families are interested in buying, fixing up, moving in and occupying, we’re healthy.”

Jensen used his own neighborhood as an example of how it should be working.

“I just noticed in my particular neighborhood that we’re just amazed at the number of new young families that are moving in,” he said. “And it’s an older neighborhood. My conclusion is that it’s a healthy neighborhood.”

Jensen said among the critical questions that will need to be answered are: what strategies would be useful for each neighborhood condition; what are the costs to implement different strategies; and, what levels of funding are we willing and able to support?

Additionally, Jensen proposed re-examining how Logan City neighborhoods are defined and the councils that represent them.

“Wilson, for example, goes all the way from Herm’s Inn down to Riverwoods,” he continued. “People at Herm’s Inn do not have any comprehension of what’s happening in Riverwoods, and vice versa. Same thing is true for Woodruff and others.

“I think neighborhoods need to be sub-units that are identifying issues that are pertaining to that particular neighborhood. I could give five or six examples of that but I think we all understand.”

The council agreed that they will continue to discuss neighborhoods over the next couple of council meetings.

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