Developers reduce size of proposed 900 East residential project
Developers of a project deemed “too large for the neighborhood” by the Salt Lake City Planning Commission, are hoping for a better reception from the Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) when they go before the commission sometime early next year with a scaled-down design for a multifamily development near South Temple on 900 East.
The developers, Baron Equities, want to build a three-story, 39-unit residential building at 35 S. 900 East. As proposed the project will include 54 surface parking stalls that will be located behind the building. The units will be a mix of one and two-bedroom units.
A portion of the project area falls within the Historic Preservation Overlay zoning district for the South Temple Historic District. The developers will need a new construction approval from the Historic Landmark Commission and are requesting a special exception to increase the building’s height and reduce the front yard setback.
The developers originally proposed a five-story residential building with 104 units. Representatives from Baron Equities went before the planning commission in June for a zoning amendment request but faced opposition from neighbors and the East Central Community Council. The developers wanted to rezone the property from its current RMF-35 and RMF-30 (residential multifamily) zoning to RMF-75, which would have allowed them to build up to 75 feet, or seven stories. The planning commission agreed with the resident’s concerns over the project’s height and voted to forward a negative recommendation to City Council on the proposed zoning amendment.
Representing the developers, Reals Estate broker Dustin Holt argued to the planning commission that the extra building height was necessary to appeal to a certain customer and allow for structured parking and elevator access. Holt argued that the five floors made the project cost effective and because of the site area’s steep grade.
With the new design, the developers removed plans for structure parking opting instead for surface parking tucked behind the building. According to planning documents, the developers have tried to break up the scale of the project by designing the building to resemble townhomes and breaking up the building into three sections by varying the materials and architectural details.
Each of the ground floor units facing 900 East will have a recessed porch entry and their own pedestrian walkway connecting the units to the main sidewalk.
The developers participated in a workshop with the HLC during the commission’s November meeting and will return sometime early next year for a public hearing. The project is in the RMF-35 zone, which allows for building heights up to 35 feet. The bulk of the building will top out at 34 feet, but the developers are requesting a height increase of 4 feet for the building’s stairwell, which the developers have designed to be a prominent design feature. The developers are also requesting a front yard setback of 9 feet instead of the required 20 feet required under the current zoning.
The project will replace two medical buildings on 1.36 acres, o.62 of which fall within the historic district. The previous proposal called for the demolition of the medical building and two single-family homes. The two homes are longer included in the project area.