Kum & Go appeals denial of gas station at Sugar House Park just before deadline

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Representatives from the company that sought to build a gas station on private land next to Sugar House Park have appealed the city’s denial this afternoon.

The Planning Commission voted earlier this month against giving Kum & Go a conditional use permit to build a gas station at 2111 S. 1300 E. The company had until midnight tonight to ask the city’s Appeals Hearing Officer to reconsider the 9-1 vote.

According to planning director Nick Norris, the company submitted an appeal late this afternoon. No other information was immediately available.

The action comes despite local gas station company Maverik announcing on Friday it was buying Kum & Go in a major expansion.

In the appeal, Kum & Go disputed each of the city’s eight issues with the request. (See appeal document below.)

Maverik’s local ties — the private company’s headquarters is in the center of Downtown Salt Lake City — appeared to make it less likely for the companies to continue their push to build the gas station on land that is effectively the northwest corner of the park.

Had Kum & Go not filed an appeal by midnight tonight, Maverik would have had to start over on seeking permission to build on the site. Or it could have abandoned the effort altogether.

Instead, Kum & Go is trying to overturn the Planning Commission vote by appealing to the appeals hearing officer, who hears such appeals. (There are three appeals officers. One of them, Matt Wirthlin, works for the law firm representing Kum & Go.)

If that attempt is unsuccessful, it can take the matter to court.

The city is working to identify properties that are near rivers, streams, groundwater recharge areas and parks in an attempt to block gas stations being build in those areas in the future.

Developers previously took early steps to build housing on the Sugar House Park site but backed down under overwhelming opposition from the neighborhood.

Many said they preferred to see a cafe, restaurant, bar or other community gathering area on the property.

Those uses were unlikely, given the high price of the land. Gas stations, banks or drive-thrus remain the other likely use for the site.

Email Taylor Anderson

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that the appeal will be heard by one of Salt Lake City’s appeals hearing officers, not all three.

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.