In one of the most significant actions taken in its 75-year history, the South Salt Lake City Council passed a new zoning ordinance to spur significant redevelopment by creating a new downtown district.
The master plan and zoning ordinance was the result of a $94,000 grant awarded by Salt Lake County, in partnership with the Wasatch Front Regional Council through the Transportation and Land Use Connection program.
The project funded by the grant has helped the city prepare for downtown development of over 2,500 housing units and over 3 million square feet of retail, office, and commercial space. It emphasizes the creation of high-wage jobs, housing, and an exciting mix of restaurants, arts venues, parks and plazas. The project is based on strong community support that includes local entrepreneurs, property and business owners associated with the city’s new “Downtown Exchange.”
Served by all three TRAX lines and the S-Line, South Salt Lake has arguably the best transit access in the entire Wasatch Front region. This transit access, coupled with access to two major interstates, a regional trail network, and excellent local street connectivity, provides a critical transportation network that will support a vibrant downtown.
“Like many communities, we sometimes feel like we are reacting to development proposals instead of getting out in front of them, said South Salt Lake City Mayor Cherie Wood. “The TLC program was a game-changer in creating our downtown and will steer how we grow for decades to come.”
The project has direct benefits for the city and the entire region. The downtown development accommodates significant population and job growth, with the potential to generate up to 20,000 new jobs. Residents and workers can take transit, bike, and/or walk to work, shopping and entertainment. The city’s approach to creating the downtown district will improve air quality and focus growth in a way that reduces the need for new road and utility infrastructure. Above all, it creates a walkable, urban neighborhood that so many residents and businesses desire.
“The future we choose will help prepare for a Wasatch Front population that is expected to double by 2050,” said Mayor Ben McAdams. “We see a great opportunity in downtown South Salt Lake to expand their local jobs market and economic potential. With support from the County, this locally-driven project will help to foster a high quality of life for city residents and for the entire region.”
Launched two years ago as a joint partnership between Salt Lake County and WFRC, the TLC program’s main objective is to provide resources to local communities for planning, implementation, and visioning efforts that proactively address anticipated growth. The program encourages grant recipients to use the key growth concepts from the shared Wasatch Choice Vision. The Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Transit Authority also contribute resources to the program. UTA contributed resources to studying the station area in this neighborhood to maximize the opportunity for transit-oriented development and increased ridership.
The TLC grant resulted in a downtown master plan, form-based code zoning, and a station area plan. For more information about the South Salt Lake project, click here. For more information about the TLC program and projects, visit wfrc.org/tlc.