It is still early in the year, but a theme is beginning to emerge in Salt Lake City. Several projects have proven that an initial rejection by the Planning Commission and Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) is not a death knell for development.
Garbett Homes went before the HLC four times before getting approval of the Hardison Apartments, a proposed residential development on South Temple. In each visit to the HLC, the developers presented updated designs based on feedback from previous meetings. After three attempts, Garbett presented a project that the commission felt was appropriate for the neighborhood.
Developers of Townes at Seventh Street, a proposed townhome project on the 300 South block of 700 East, have also found that a denial is not the end of a project. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the seven-unit, residential condominium project and front and rear yard setbacks in its April 13 meeting, two months after the commission had previously denied the project and the requested setbacks.
“What you have before you now… is a much enhanced orientation to the street,” said Cindy Cromer to the planning commission.
Cromer is a resident of the neighborhood for the proposed project and had previously expressed concerns about the project’s street engagement and original design that she felt didn’t fit the neighborhood.
The proposed development is zoned RMF-45 (Residential Multi-family) which allows for building heights up to 45 feet and requires a 25 foot, front yard setback and a rear yard setback of 30 feet. In the original design the developers requested front and rear yard setbacks of 12.5 feet.
Commissioners and planning staff were concerned about the street engagement and requested setbacks in the original design. The original proposal included seven, three-story townhomes. Planning staff suggested that six units would be more appropriate and wouldn’t need the reduced setbacks. The developers argued that the seven units were needed to make the project financially feasible.
To accommodate the commission’s concerns, the developers relocated the seventh unit to the top floor of the project instead of the original design’s seven ground floor units in a row. The relocation of the seventh unit resulted in the project going from three to four floors and the rear yard setback increasing to 26 feet, while the front yard setback will remain at 12.5 feet.
The unit’s will be for-sale units and will occupy what is currently two parcels, one of which is vacant and one that has a single family home that will be demolished to make way for the development.
The updated designed was approved with several conditions including: the retention of existing trees in the park strip and revised plans for a detached garage reserved for the top floor unit.
“This is a beautiful project, thank you for revising it,” said commission member Jaime Bowen.