Property owner pitches a new gas station for northwest corner of Sugar House Park

The owner of a commercial property on the northwest corner of Sugar House Park has a surprising idea for the parcel once home to a Sizzler restaurant: turn it into a gas station.

In a conditional use application filed with the city on Friday, the owner of the 0.8-acre property at 2111 S. 1300 E. would replace the vacant building with a Kum & Go filling station and convenience store.

That would leave two gas stations fronting each other on the south sides of the intersection between 2100 South and 1300 East, plus a fast food drive-through and a CVS pharmacy to the north. It would largely reflect the immediate area’s existence as a pair of car sewers on the east end of the Sugar House urban core.

But it would also lead to a gas station with six fuel pumps being built on a bluff overlooking one of the capital city’s premier parks.

“This 4,745± square foot building will incorporate Kum & Go’s newest store concept with a terrific product offering and fresh food choices such as made-to-order pizzas, sandwiches, wraps, and bakery items cooked on-site,” the business said in its application. 

A 0.8-acre piece of privately owned land on the northwest corner of Sugar House Park would be replaced by a gas station under a new conditional use proposal at 2111 S. 1300 E.

The neighborhood is no stranger to zoning that leaves the door open for car-centric land uses in what is otherwise becoming a people-focused part of town: much of the neighborhood’s zoning allows for parking lots and drive-throughs to be built without requiring special approval on most property in the immediate area.

It’s not uncommon for drivers to queue up in one of two eastbound lanes on 2100 South at a nearby fast food chicken restaurant on any given day but Sunday.

Gas stations are permitted uses in even the most dense districts of Sugar House. The parcel in question is zoned Community Business (CB), which happens to require conditional approval of a gas station.

There is a long list of uses that could have been built on the site without even requiring approval from the city, things like housing, restaurants, office space and mixed uses.

That would have given any tenant, customer, or other user of the space unobstructed views of the Wasatch Mountains across the 110-acre Sugar House Park.

CB zoning was created to encourage walkability while also allowing vehicular access.

“The design guidelines are intended to facilitate retail that is pedestrian in its orientation and scale,” the code says, “while also acknowledging the importance of transit and automobile access to the site.”

If the city were to deny the request, perhaps the property owner could consider any of the more than two-dozen uses that are allowed outright on CB zoning in Salt Lake City.

But then again, maybe it will push the city to look at updating its zoning. 

What else could have been proposed for this property?

  • Art studio or gallery
  • Theater 
  • Vet
  • Bed and breakfast
  • Medical clinic
  • Commercial food prep kitchen
  • Community garden
  • Daycare center (for children or adults)
  • Assisted living facility or group home
  • Multi-family residential
  • Boarding house
  • Bank (with or without drive-through)
  • Library
  • Museum
  • Office space
  • Open space
  • Parking lot
  • Church
  • Restaurant
  • Retail space

And that’s just the list of uses that don’t require permission.

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Posted by Taylor Anderson

Taylor Anderson grew up near Chicago and made his way West to study journalism at the University of Montana. He's been a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune, Bend Bulletin and Salt Lake Tribune. A move from Portland, Oregon, to Salt Lake City opened his eyes to the importance of good urban design for building strong neighborhoods. He lives on the border of the Liberty Wells and Ballpark neighborhoods.