After more wrangling, the Salt Lake City Council is close to finalizing its wrecking-ball regulations that will restrict developers from demolishing first without having filed a full building-permit application. Developers who own decrepit buildings will also have to keep them from blighting or pay the consequences.
Salt Lake City Weekly recently reported on the Salt Lake City Council’s ordinance to keep developers from demolishing buildings without proper construction commitments and also to hold developers accountable for vacant buildings they own and allow to decay. Since then, the council has come closer to finalizing the ordinance, which they may pass at the next council meeting after a public hearing. The ordinance would require boarded-up buildings to be maintained to landscaping standards, adjacent walks shoveled during the wintertime and facades of buildings repaired and painted. Otherwise, the city can fine property owners $170 and hire outside contractors to maintain the buildings and have negligent property owners foot the bill.
One concern CW reported on was fronted by developers and the Downtown Alliance, who said restricting demolitions until developers have building permits in place for the projects they intend to build on site can harm projects that might require buying up multiple small properties to develop into a large project, like a hotel. But now, the proposal allows an exception for developers gathering multiple properties as long as they conform to the area’s Master Plan.
District 4 councilman Luke Garrott says that the council, in a variety of straw votes, was largely supportive of the measure and is optimistic about its passage, although he believes there was some reluctance from the Salt Lake City Mayor’s part on the enforcement mechanism of making sure vacant properties don’t become eyesores.
“There seems to be resistance on behalf of the mayor’s administration to be doing inspections every year for boarded-up buildings,” Garrott says “And that resistance needs to be overcome.”
The ordinance will be considered at the next council meeting, and the public is invited to speak up on the issue. Check it out, at the Salt Lake City and County Building, 451 S. State, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.