Salt Lake City Council recognizes World AIDS Day; votes to adopt Northpoint area plan and to upzone parcels on West Temple | News | Salt Lake City Weekly

Salt Lake City Council recognizes World AIDS Day; votes to adopt Northpoint area plan and to upzone parcels on West Temple 

Washington Square Dispatch

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The Salt Lake City Council met on the evening of Nov. 14 to recognize World AIDS Day, to rezone areas of West Temple, to adopt the Northpoint Small Area Plan and to conduct a public hearing on community development needs.

World AIDS Day
The Council voted to adopt a joint ceremonial resolution with Mayor Erin Mendenhall naming Dec. 1, 2023 as World AIDS Day.

“Salt Lake City has joined other cities around the world in an effort to increase awareness, reduce stigma, provide education about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate compassion for those affected by HIV,” Councilmember Ana Valdemoros read from the resolution.

The resolution concludes with a statement saying that Salt Lake City urges the Food and Drug Administration to rescind its recommendations that members of the LGBTQ community be turned away from blood donation centers, since all blood donations are tested for HIV.

Jason Wheeler, executive director at Assist Community Design Center, spoke on behalf of UAF Legacy Health, formerly known as the Utah AIDS Foundation. UAF Legacy Health is working on “providing healthcare for individuals who are in this kind of a situation and to provide loving and caring and nonjudgmental healthcare to all individuals,” Wheeler said.

West Temple Rezone
The Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance that rezones properties located at 1720 S. West Temple and 1734 S. West Temple, moving the classification of those parcels from Single Family Residential to Residential Mixed Use. The ordinance will also change the Central Community Master Plan’s future land use designations from Low-Density Residential to Medium-Density Residential. Councilmember Chris Wharton voted against the decision.

Development plans for the property have not been submitted to the Council, but “draft scenarios provided by the consultant on this plan suggest two- to four-story buildings may be proposed for public input” said a Nov. 7 staff report on the project.

Later, during the public comment portion of the meeting, Ballpark Community Council chairwoman Amy Hawkins noted that a letter written by the community council regarding the rezone had not been included in the meeting packet for the Council’s Nov. 7 meeting, when a public hearing on the rezone proposal was held.

“This is just really disappointing,” Hawkins said. “Why do we bother participating in the public process if it doesn’t make it into the actual documentation?” Meeting materials for every City Council meeting are available online. Meeting packets, agendas and supporting documents can be accessed through the Council’s Agenda Portal, which can be found on the Sale Lake City Government’s website.

Northpoint Small Area Plan
The Council voted unanimously to adopt the Northpoint Small Area Plan. This plan is designed to help guide future growth in the area between the Salt Lake City International Airport and the northern Salt Lake City boundary line.

The Council adopted the plan with two provisions. One provision requests that the city administration draft new zoning regulations that will implement the goals of the Northpoint Small Area Plan. The second was that the administration continue the city’s effort to “complete the annexation process for unincorporated properties in the area generally identified by the Northpoint Small Area Plan,” as stated by the motion sheet for the proposal.

Community Development
The Council held its annual public hearing on general community development needs, a requirement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides millions of dollars in funding for a variety of grant programs. The annual hearing is intended to assist HUD in prioritizing grant awards among competing needs.

Several Sudanese immigrants spoke about the lack of affordable housing in Salt Lake City. Ahmed Isaak said he’s watched members of the refugee community become homeless because they couldn’t find affordable housing. Isaak said he has trouble paying his rent himself.

“Every year I hear the same story, same thing,” Isaak said. “It seems like great things are going on, but it’s not.”

Yacoab Arbah described how families with as many as seven children are living in two-bedroom homes because they can’t find units large enough to support their family at an affordable rental rate.

At the end of the hearing, Councilmember Alejandro Puy directed those who spoke about having difficulties paying rent to the Salt Lake Housing Authority. The remaining funds the city had from rental assistance programs were recently allocated to the Housing Authority, Puy said, so there might be funds left to help those who need it.

Councilmember Sara Young also took a moment to thank those who spoke about their experiences with housing in Salt Lake.

“It really does make a difference in terms of helping to make sure that we’re not just looking at it through the system but through the individual lives of Salt Lake residents,” Young said.

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