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In the summer of 2020, while thinking about the future, prime corner A number of properties overlooking Sugar House Park, the neighborhood’s hundreds of residents, were given a series of possible scenarios.
They might want a pretty cafe, bar, or restaurant at the corner of 2111S, 1300E, with the Wasatch Mountains visible across the park. But with 0.8 acres of land on the market for $7.2 million, that’s not what they get.
“Drive-thru, gas station, bank. You’re going to get one of those three things,” says Dustin Holt. Development company dbUrban, I remember saying that at the time. “This price point, this corner, this location, traffic is important. If it’s not multifamily, these he’s going to get one out of three.”
Holt has spoken with city officials, neighborhood community council representatives, and residents about what he and his equity partners would like to build if they could get a rezone or special exception to pencil the project. was
He suggested several things that might work for his group, such as rezoning the site and building slightly taller buildings to free up space for a better entrance on the northwest side of the park. I came up with a concept.
He said he had discussions with park officials to exchange land by allowing the northwest corner of Sugar House Park to be the entrance to the park and housing on the east side near Highland High. said.
In response to these early discussions, the community council received hundreds of comments against it, according to Sugar House land use expert Judy Short. That’s a record that surpasses comments received when Walmart was built nearly a decade ago.
“380 comments is certainly a record … 380 tells me that people really care about what happens,” Short said Wednesday. “Many people filled out my form and I sent another email asking what could be done to prevent this.”
Faced with widespread criticism, Holt withdrew its redevelopment attempt. His prophecies from 2020 were soon fulfilled.
“Another Poor Gas Station”
The builders are planning to build a gas station and convenience store on the site, rather than just a cafe and bar with a cafe at the bottom. Building Salt Lake was first reported.
Again, residents don’t like this option.
However, they may not have effective means to stop this development.
Kum & Go officials have developed and amended site plans for long-term leases on the property. The original owner, Paula Romney Farr, agreed to the franchise’s request to build a gas station in the park.
A Kum & Go representative has applied for a conditional license. This means that you are likely to filter out unexpected requirements that you do not meet.
As Holt previously pointed out, gas stations are permitted in a zonal community business (CB) if the owner obtains a conditional use permit.
The process is relatively streamlined. So while complaints about the project are still piling up online, company representatives are working through a process that could lead to a second gas station on the four corners of the intersection overlooking Sugar House Park.
City officials are still reviewing the proposals to see if there are any adverse effects that cannot be mitigated, according to planning director Nick Norris.
City departments “continue to evaluate the latest and updated plans to determine whether they can mitigate adverse impacts,” Norris said. A conditional use can only be denied if there is a reasonably foreseeable detrimental effect.”
A source familiar with the site’s sale attempt admitted that the gas station probably isn’t the best place to look over the gems of the area’s park system.
“It is important that you, your readers, everyone understand that [this] “I think if the city and the community were a little more open to ideas, we would ultimately end up with a better product and better development.”
“We missed an opportunity to do great things there,” they added.
[Images]: An early concept rendering of a private property in the northwest corner of Sugar House Park. (The facade material would have been different.) The developers tried different concepts to make the project work before facing resistance and giving up.
Under existing community business (CB) zoning on private lots adjacent to Sugar House Park, multifamily housing is fully permitted (or in all cases does not require special approval from the City). ) in a relatively short list of building types. meet the conditions).
However, given the layout and slope of the lot, Holt said an exception, or a basic permit to bypass part of the code regulating buildings in the city’s CB zone, is required.
“There were two or three feet and some minor exceptions. But we’re going to need them to be able to do what we thought was right,” Holt said. “It wasn’t quite right because we still had to request some special exceptions.”
It was a 30-foot tall, three-story building with shops on the first floor. But given that special exception procedures are likely to be an uphill battle with the public, Holt and his team came up with another idea for the site.
One idea was to rezoning the property to extend the Sugar House business district zoning east across 1300 East. (It now ends on the west side of the street.) He would have agreed to a planned development not to exceed seven stories, he said.
Instead, the site plan called for opening a park-like space at the north end of the site, he said.
“When I go to a big city, the front door is on the corner of the park,” Holt said. “This is an example of a park without a front entrance on a true corner.”
He offered extra height in exchange.
“Underground parking ground floor. Two-story above-ground parking that surrounded a two-story townhome. Retail on the south side,” he said of the revised plan. Look, then five stories of stairs and stairs.”
Given the circumstances of the state, he was thinking of a cafe. despicable law Being around alcohol discourages bars and restaurants that serve liquor adjacent to the park.
When that thought ran into opposition, another thought was born.
“This was something few people knew we were working on,” Holt said. “I was actually talking to the park authorities…about getting the land area of the land area.”
Mr. Holt would have given the park 0.8 acres in exchange for an equal-sized lot at 1700 East, he said.
Officials, including Farr, became uncomfortable with the idea of spot zoning portions of county parks, and eventually all involved walked away.
It is not clear if any party ever considered paying the $7 million to buy the property and donate the land to the park, or absorb the losses and build something on it. There are no known offers to use the space as a civic area.
About a year later, the Kum & Go proposal and objections came out.
Common themes among opponents of the housing proposal included a general displeasure with more housing in the heart of Salt Lake City, especially Sugar House. Others said private land should be absorbed or transferred to the park. And, as common to those who oppose nearly any change in the city, there are concerns about transportation.
People still come and go. But instead of driving home through the walkable parts of the city, residents will drive for fossil fuels and snacks.
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