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S.L. PLANNERS SAY ZONING ORDINANCE NEEDS TO BE REVISED, STREAMLINED

SHARE S.L. PLANNERS SAY ZONING ORDINANCE NEEDS TO BE REVISED, STREAMLINED

Salt Lake City officials want to rewrite the city's 10-year-old zoning ordinance - dubbed outdated and cumbersome - that regulates architectural, landscaping and development standards.

Planning officials expect the effort to take two years and cost $250,000 before a new streamlined ordinance, sought by community groups such as the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team, can be developed.City Planning Director Allen Johnson said a new zoning ordinance could serve as a "state-of-the-art" tool for managing growth and a promoter of economic development, and it could result in a savings to the public.

The current ordinance is in serious need of revision, Johnson said in a recent letter to Michael Chitwood, executive director of the city's Redevelopment Agency.

"Changes in Salt Lake City's master plans, changes in tax laws and changing conditions, such as development patterns and methods . . . dictate that a different and more responsive approach be taken," Johnson wrote.

Planners hope to blend the current ordinance with a "performance zoning" element that would "provide(s) flexibility without arbitrariness by establishing objectively determinable criteria that measure a development's various impacts on the neighborhood," Johnson wrote.

A new ordinance would permit review of conditional use permits as a means of assuring a development complies with city master plans and would clarify appeal procedures, he said.

"Developers and the business community will appreciate the flexibility afforded growth and development . . . Community councils and citizens will appreciate the simplicity of having to deal with only one set of standards," Johnson wrote in the letter.

The project is estimated to cost $250,000, and city officials would like to have that cost borne by several entities.

The city, the Central Business Improvement District, the RDA and the Community Development and Block Grant program would be expected to contribute $62,500 each over the two-year program, according to Johnson.