Seasons at Library Square’s next phase fails to impress Planning Commission

Rendering of both phases of the Seasons at Library Square.  Photo by Isaac Riddle.
Rendering of both phases of the Seasons at Library Square.

The developers of Seasons at Library Square unsuccessfully argued before the Planning Commission Wednesday for approval to zoning variances that would allow construction of a nearly identical second phase adjacent to the first phase that is currently under construction at the southeast corner of 500 South and 300 East.

The proposed next phase would be built as an expansion of the current structure.  The expansion would be the same height as the original and have the same front setback.  The second phase would include 56 units compared to the 119 units of the first phase.

The site for the expansion currently houses a small office building surrounded by surface parking.

Developers had the burden of proof as the site for the second phase is zoned differently than the first phase.  The first phase is is zoned as residential mixed-use (R-MU) which allows for denser development with increased height and reduced setback requirements.  The second phase is zoned residential/office (RO).  Under RO zoning, the proposed site for the expansion can be built up to 60 feet, have a minimum front yard setback of 25 feet, a minimum rear yard setback of 30 feet and the building can not exceed 60 percent of the lot.

The project’s developers sought to eliminate the front yard setback so that the second phase has the same zero setback (be built up to the sidewalk) as the first and exceed the 60 percent lot coverage requirement to maximize available space.

Lack of landscaping resulting from the reduced or eliminated setbacks and a lack of architectural diversity in the design appeared to be the primary reason that the application was denied by the planning commission.   The lots have yet to be consolidated which is needed if the expansion is to be physically connected to first phase.

The developers can still proceed with the second phase of the Seasons at Library Square development, but the expansion will need to built under RO zoning requirements.

 

 

 

Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.