Real Life at Daybreak

May 30, 2007

Jason Hardy
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Kathryn Webb has lived at Daybreak for one year with her husband and two daughters. She commutes daily to her business in downtown Salt Lake City, the coffee house Nostalgia. We invited her to tell us about living at Daybreak.

How did you learn about Daybreak? What were your first impressions?

We were looking for a house but couldn't find one we could afford in an area where we would like to raise our young children, like the Avenues or the east side. We were living in West Jordan at the time. My husband popped in at Daybreak one day to look at it and really liked it; it had the smaller yards that we were looking for. After a lot of conversation, I agreed to look.

We liked the feel of the neighborhood and all the open space. I also liked the community center attached to the elementary school. So, even though you don't personally have a lot of space, there is plenty of space available to you, and for your children to play.

It's also a walking community, so my children don't have to cross any busy streets to get to school and it is safe.

A lot missing in modern living is a sense of community; Daybreak is bringing that back. There are lots of children's activities, adult activities, so that you can have that sense of community and get to know your neighbors. Kathryn Webb has lived at Daybreak for one year with her husband and two daughters. She commutes daily to her business in downtown Salt Lake City, the coffee house Nostalgia. We invited her to tell us about living at Daybreak.

How did you learn about Daybreak? What were your first impressions?

We were looking for a house but couldn't find one we could afford in an area where we would like to raise our young children, like the Avenues or the east side. We were living in West Jordan at the time. My husband popped in at Daybreak one day to look at it and really liked it; it had the smaller yards that we were looking for. After a lot of conversation, I agreed to look.

We liked the feel of the neighborhood and all the open space. I also liked the community center attached to the elementary school. So, even though you don't personally have a lot of space, there is plenty of space available to you, and for your children to play.

It's also a walking community, so my children don't have to cross any busy streets to get to school and it is safe.

A lot missing in modern living is a sense of community; Daybreak is bringing that back. There are lots of children's activities, adult activities, so that you can have that sense of community and get to know your neighbors.

When considering Daybreak, what were the drawbacks?

The biggest drawback is the commute. Not really any other drawbacks for me – well, the newness. Some people don't have their yards in, there are no big trees, it's not yet established.

Being there around a year, has it met your expectations? Have there been surprises?

It has definitely met my expectations. One disappointment, they just opened Oquirrh Lake for fishing. I know some neighbors are complaining as well about all the people fishing all hours of day and night, rain or shine. Before they opened it for fishing, you could go up there and walk around with your family. You can still do that, but there are now a lot of cars parked around there. Also I am disappointed that they didn't prepare for the number of children entering elementary school. My daughter is in the largest class she has ever been in. They already have portable classrooms and the community is still growing.

Can you give us a sense of the community, who lives there?

There is a lot of diversity at Daybreak, which I really, really like. Mostly, it's either the really young-I'm 29 and I'm on the upper end of the spectrum as far as the young people go-and then we also have a lot of older people in their 50s and 60s, retiring. They wanted a smaller yard and a sense of community, both the young families and older residents.

How environmentally friendly does it seem to you?

Daybreak is pretty environmentally friendly, especially compared to the neighborhoods out in that way. There are more people on smaller properties. There are even some houses with shared front yard with their neighbors, which cuts down on water usage.

They encourage drought-tolerant flowers. Open space is plentiful and is not full grass-it is filled with bushes and shrubs that are native to Utah. I think they're watering them last year and maybe this year, but once they're established they won't need to be watered.

All the houses have double-paned windows. I can keep my air-conditioning turned off all day long and when I get home it's still not hot. They have done a good job with that.

Will residents support local businesses if they are included in retail development?

A lot of the people out there would want to support local business. They have a website for people who live in the community where residents blog, and several people are asking for the growth of small businesses to buy fresh bread and stuff like that.

How are you assessing transportation options on the west bench?

We don't have many efficient east-west options. There is the 2100 South freeway, but you still have to take Bangerter to 2100 South-that's still 60 blocks of stop-and-go traffic each way. I know people who actually drive north on Bangerter to the intersection of I-15, and then go north to downtown. We need more east-west options.

Once the light rail is built, will you ride it?

Absolutely! I would ride it. With my business, there are times I have to run errands, so I couldn't ride every day. But going downtown to see a play or movie, absolutely. I figure that with gas prices how they are, I spend about $6 every day commuting.
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