400 South Corridor

400 South Corridor

Written by East Central

Topics: Completed

On September 18, 2012, the City Council adopted the 400 South Corridor plan. Here is an overview of this policy change.

 

The Planning Division is considering making master plan, zoning and historic district boundary changes to properties near the 400 University TRAX line. The areas where the changes are to occur are located near the Library, Trolley and 900 East stations. The proposal includes new zoning designations for the area which are designed to encourage transit oriented or mixed use development around the TRAX stations.

Timeline:

The Planning Division is anticipating Planning Commission public hearings on the project to starting in April. Once the Planning Commission makes a recommendation in April or May, the project will be forwarded to the City Council. The City Council will make the final decision on the proposal.


Background:

In the fall of 2010, the Community & Economic Development Department was awarded a matching grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to undertake a rezoning process for a portion of the University TRAX line. The amount of the grant from HUD was $22,620 with a commitment from the city to provide an additional $10,000 in the form of staff resources for the project.

Starting in March of 2011, Planning Division staff began working on a master plan amendment and rezoning project for the University TRAX line. Three stations were identified to be included as part of the rezoning process. Those stations are: Library, Trolley and 900 East. The goal of the proposed project is to create station area plans and zoning regulations for the three stops that:

a. Provide more transportation choices.

b. Promote equitable, affordable housing.

c. Enhance economic competiveness.

d. Support existing communities.

e. Coordinate policies and leverage investments.

f. Value communities and neighborhoods.

In addition to the above, this project assists in the implementation of the Wasatch Choices 2040 Plan, which is a regional plan created by residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to manage future growth in the region by focusing it on certain nodes, particularly those where transit facilities already are in place. Further, Planning Division staff felt that this area needed to be studied for a potential change at the current zoning because despite the current zoning of TC-75, very little private investment has been made in the area since the TC-75 zoning was created in 2005.

Proposed Central Community Master Plan Changes: Click Here for Draft of the proposed changes to Central Community Master Plan

The proposed changes to the Central Community Master Plan as part of this project can be found within both the ‘Transit Oriented Development (TOD)’ and the ‘Central Community Master Plan Committee Goals and Recommendations’ sections of the plan.

The existing Central Community Master Plan was adopted in 2005. Some of the policies within the TOD section were written in anticipation of the North Temple TRAX line and the expansion to the airport. Staff has updated this section to reflect the current development and conditions along the North Temple TRAX line and also added a section specific to the 400 South Livable Communities project.

In addition to updating the TOD section, some new goals and recommendations that are specific to the 400 South Livable Communities project have been included. The new ones are categorized by each of the three station areas. Some of the goals and recommendations are the same for each of the stations areas and some are unique to each area. It has been organized in this manner for each of implementation by the Planning staff and so that the public can easily see what policies are applicable to area that they are interested in.

Proposed Zoning Changes:

There are two types of zoning changes proposed as part of this project. One is to modify the regulations in the Transit Station Area (TSA) zoning district and the other is to make zoning map amendments in order to implement this project.

Changes to the TSA zoning district as a result of this project are minimal. The TSA zoning district was adopted in 2010 as a result of the work done on the North Temple TRAX line project and the rezoning process that was part of that project. A series of different types of station areas were created and zoning regulations were put in place for each of those station areas in the North Temple area. The 400 South project and station area plans are being modeled after the existing categories and zoning regulations that are currently in place for the North Temple area. This is being done so that there is consistency between the regulations that are in place for the transit corridors throughout the city. If approved, this will be the second area in the City subject to the TSA regulations.

A few of the current standards need to be clarified now that staff has had the opportunity to review projects based on those standards. Standards that are specific to the 400 South corridor will be added.

In addition to changing some of the standards in the TSA zoning district, staff is also proposing to make some modifications to the Residential Mixed Use (RMU) zoning districts. The two districts proposed to be modified are RMU-35 and RMU-45. A summary of the proposed changes are as follows:

  • Increase maximum allowable height five feet in both zones. Traditionally, mixed-use buildings are designed with a distinct base, which is taller and designed to accommodate commercial or office uses, a middle which is generally residential in nature, and a top, which is also residential but designed with architecturally appealing features such as parapets and cornices. In order to ensure proper scale between the first floor and the upper floors, staff is proposing that the first floor ceiling height of a mixed use building be at least 14 feet. This will ensure that retail/commercial space on the first floor is properly designed to accommodate uses that serve the community.
  • Elimination of minimum lot area requirement for multi-family dwellings. This provision will promote the development of smaller lots that may accommodate appropriately scaled development but do not meet the minimum lot size requirements.
  • Elimination of qualifying provisions for multi-family units as it relates to density calculations, (i.e., 9,000 square feet of lot area for first three units and 1,000 square feet for each additional unit). Development constraints would be primarily based on the petitioner’s ability to meet maximum height limits, setbacks, and parking.
  • Creation of building design standards. These standards are based on the Small Neighborhood Business standards created by the Planning Commission last August. Their purpose is to promote human scaled massing, varied articulation and traditional façade design.
  • Creation of site specific standards for 500 South corridor between State Street and 700 East. These standards are intended to maintain the existing pedestrian/low impact design of the street while allowing the increased density that would come with the RMU zones.

In addition to text changes noted above, this project is also a zoning map amendment to change some of the zoning designations within the 400 South corridor.



Modification of the Central City Historic District Boundaries:

As part of this master plan amendment and rezoning process, staff is recommending that the boundaries of the Central City Historic District be modified. An analysis has been completed that shows within the blocks on the north and south side of 400 South between 500 East and 700 East, there are few historic resources remaining and therefore the Historic Overlay may not be the most appropriate tool to regulate new development on these blocks. The entire two blocks bounded by 400 and 500 South between 500 and 700 East are proposed to be removed. The two blocks between 300 and 400 South and 500 and 700 East will be partially removed, because the majority of the properties do not have any historic character. We have found that there are historic resources along the 300 South frontage that would be better served remaining in the historic district.

The three potential historic resources that staff found when doing a field inspection are listed below. They are all in the same block in close proximity of each other.

444 South 700 East – Every Blooming Thing flower shop

470 South 700 East – Fendall’s/Pacesetters

637 East 500 South – Bridal shop

The 600 East landscaped median are an important element of the historic district and need to be preserved. Policies will be included within the Central Community Master Plan that preserve these medians in their current state and minimize future impacts from development. This means that breaks in the median to accommodate turn around areas for vehicular traffic will be discouraged. We will also include policies that the sidewalks and other areas of the public right-of-way remain in the historic district so that the City can main design control of features (streetlights, seating, etc.) that is located within the right-of-way.

Additional Details:

More information and summaries of the public process can be viewed on the project page at 400 South Livable Communities.

Contact information:

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Maryann Pickering at (801) 535-6173 or 400South@slcgov.com. Written comments can be submitted via email or mailed to:

Salt Lake City Planning Division 451 South State StreetRm 406 PO Box145480 Salt Lake City,UT84114-5480

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