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Eastside May Get Affordable Housing Zones

Several new zoning initiatives, which could have far-reaching impact on Salt Lake's single-family neighborhoods on the Eastside, will be debated this year by the Salt Lake City Council. Most notable is the Affordable Housing Overlay AHO, which will pave the way for "inclusionary zoning" -- a new buzzword in urban planning circles -- that aims to replace single family homes with higher density structures -- courtyard apartments, triplexes and fourplexes, row homes in back yards. townhouses, etc. (first photo below) Every neighborhood in Salt Lake City would be subject to the new regulations. Accompanying the change would be revisions in the city's per unit parking space requirements, from two to one. On January 8, 2021, the Planning Commission approved lower parking requirements and sent the proposal to the City Council.

During 2020, KEEP Yalecrest has had several discussions with District 6 Councilman Dan Dugan about the AHO initiative, while also monitoring City Council meetings. With the City Council already approving major revisions to the city's demolition regulations in 2020, the city is poised to make significant changes to the look and feel of Utah's capitol city.

Another major initiative under City Council consideration are modifications to the RMF-30 and RMF-35 zoning regulations. Once again, the proposed changes would erase density limitations and lot dimensions, allowing tiny homes, row houses, apartments and cottages. Currently single family homes in RMF-30 zones require 3,000 square feet of space. That would shrink to 1,500. About 40% of single family homes in Salt Lake's RMF-30 zones would become eligible for high density development. A 192-bedroom "boarding house" on Bueno Avenue near 700 East and 100 South (see second photo below) has already been proposed by developers. Seven existing single family homes would be demolished for the project. Most RMF-30 zones are located in the Downtown, Central City, East Central, and Liberty Wells sectors, although a few can also be found in District 6 -- above and below Foothill Boulevard.

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