In an ongoing process, the residents and businesses of the 21st and 21st area of Sugar House are working to develop a master plan for the area. Two hundred residents attended two recent open houses to voice their opinions. Their biggest concerns were building heights and pedestrian safety.
A lot of people don’t want apartment development. Susan Koelliker, one of the trustees on the Sugar House Community Council said, “Those are things we are going to look at.”
Most were fearful of a repeat of what is happening in Sugar House.
Thomas Fox Properties is the company pushing for the zoning change. They own some of the abandoned places in the area. The new zoning would call for additional height and density. Other issues that need addressing are the cleanup of underground pollutants from an old dry cleaner and gas station.
Sheila O’Driscoll, a community council member for 20 years, was instrumental in getting the word out about the public meetings. “I delivered 1,000 fliers,” she said. “I got wind of this and started calling people. A building the size of Westminster on the Draw, on that corner, would not fit.”
She added, “I’ve had five kids who went to Dilworth Elementary, and soon my grandkids will be going there. Traffic is a big deal.”
Residents, by-and-large, don’t want to see the Sugar House core business district replicated in the 21st and 21st district. At the master plan open house, some spoke about keeping the area more in line with the development at 9th and 9th.
Residents and city planners are trying to strike a balance. Citizens want to see change and improvement, but most people want buildings to remain at two stories or less.
The majority of those in attendance want to see area roads remain at four lanes, and many expressed concern about proposed apartment construction.
City planners listened and told attendees that they are working on a master draft plan. It will be finished and presented to the public by late summer. We spoke to two crossing guards to get their opinions:
“They want to plow everything over, building high-rise apartments and completely mess up this neighborhood. I don’t want that here, it will certainly be less safe for kids.” Said John Asson, the crossing guard stationed at the 2100 South intersection.
“This intersection is already unsafe, people aren’t paying attention, they are texting and talking on the phone while driving. I’m trying to help kids cross the street. I’m afraid if they build anything tall, it won’t be safe for kids and families,” said Sue Priestly who has been a crossing guard for the past two years.