American Fork is a few significant steps closer to a cohesive design code for its transit-oriented development district that will surround the American Fork FrontRunner station.

The American Fork City Council has worked on this code over multiple council work sessions since placing a moratorium on new development in its transit-oriented development, or TOD, zone July 31. The three-month “temporary land use regulation” for the TOD area, situated around 200 South in American Fork, gave city planners time to create a vision of how the entire zone will look and feel.

“What I’ve done in these work sessions is to give you enough of a foundation, so when you see the code it will tie back to what we discussed,” said Mike Hathorne, owner of, at Tuesday night’s joint work session between council and Planning Commission members. is a community building and design planning consulting organization, and Hathorne has worked closely with the council and planners on the complete design.

During each session over the past two months, he and the council worked on different parts of the code, from street designs to transitions between the different districts within the TOD area.

Business, office, commercial and high-density housing will be situated nearest the American Fork FrontRunner. Planners envision a decrease in density and impact moving further from the station. The new design code will provide consistency across the entire development area, while also differentiating between districts within the zone.

The group discussed the final element of the code — open space design — during Tuesday’s meeting. Hathorne explained that the code will give future developers a “palette of open space templates” to choose from that will fit the overall TOD design. Those options, from pocket parks to walkways and wooded throughways, are designed to be actively used spaces, not just an expanse of untrodden-upon greenery.

“What actually gets delivered will be quality open space over quantity,” Hathorne said. “So you’re not getting a playground dumped near a retention ditch.”

Tuesday’s meeting was the final work session for this topic, and the Planning Commission will analyze, discuss and take possible action on approving the final draft of the full design code Wednesday. After the commission’s decision, it will move to the council, who will review it during their next work session, and potentially approve it at the council meeting Oct. 23.

Karissa Neely reports on Business and North County events, and can be reached at 801-344-2537 or Follow her on Twitter: @DHKarissaNeely

Karissa Neely reports on Business & Community events, and loves telling people’s stories.

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