Sugar House Master Plan
October 29th, 2009
Big things are in store for the Sugar House disctrict of Salt Lake City
In our last issue, Utah Stories spoke to city councilman Soren Simonsen about the importance of thoughtful community design that adheres to a master plan. Following that article, several Sugar House merchants asked us for more information about the Sugar House Master Plan. Below is an overview of the plan. More information can be found online at the city's website: http://www.slcgov.com/CED/planning/pages/MpInput.htm.
The Plan's Purpose:
The Sugar House Master Plan was conceived in order to guide the future development of Sugar House as a community for citizens, merchants, developers, property owners, and the various departments of the city. The master plan should be consulted when considering zoning changes, subdivisions, annexations, conditional users, and other land use matters.
The plan is intended to help investors and project developers with an interest in the area to better understand the desires of the Sugar House community. Acknowledging and adhering to the desires of the community will lead to increased identity and name recognition for Sugar House and should market the area in a way that will attract investors.
Additionally, it is hoped that by having a master plan in place, the fallout of changes in members of the Sugar House Community Council, Salt Lake Planning Commission, and the Salt Lake City Council every few years, will be mitigated.
Scope and General Goals:
The current community plan updates the existing Sugar House Community Master Plan that was adopted in 1985. This original document is incorporated into the Sugar House Business District Master Plan that was adopted in 1995, and provides:
- Policies to help protect the stable, well-kept residential neighborhoods in Sugar House;
- Programs that support neighborhoods with infrastructure, parks, trails, convenient commercial services, and hosing improvements to sustain the quality of life in the neighborhoods;
- A reiteration of a direction for the Sugar House Business District that promotes a vibrant character compatible with the historical character of the area, and directs new development to create the synergy necessary to support a light rail station, encouraging "pedestrian-first" development;
- A renewed commitment to a mixed land use strategy in the Business District through incentives for residential development;
- Policies that support the maintenance and enhancement of recreational and natural resources such as parks, open space and trails;
- An integrated program for mobility throughout the community with a commitment toward optimizing the pedestrian experience and alternatives to automobile travel, particularly in the Sugar House Business District, which is a necessary element of a viable commercial center;
- Policies that support the preservation of neighborhood character as well as historic and natural resources; and
- Implementation strategies for accomplishing the goals and policies of this master plan.
The Planning Process:
The first Sugar House Master Plan was dated 1943. The first step in the current planning process was to update the Sugar House Research Report. Planning Division Staff first started updating the research report in 1996. Both the community master plan and the research report provide basic information that is used to analyze the master plan, and evaluate its implementation.
Before this plan was brought before decision-making bodies, Sugar House residents, business and property owners, and agency officials participated in public meetings to identify important issues, decide what to retain from the 1985 plan, and formulate policies for the new plan.
The next step was to establish an advisory committee, whose purpose was to draft policies and represent as many diverse community interests as possible -- from citizens to developers. The advisory process involved close examination of the 1985 community plan, the 1995 business district plan and other relevant documents. Once the advisory committee approved a draft, the master plan was distributed for public input.
The final plan includes a detailed table of actions with timeframes for implementation and guidelines for everything from signage and landscaping to bicycle/pedestrian systems and traffic dampening strategies.
Read the introduction to the October issue of Utah Stories: Angels and Demons -- the demons that are protecting us and the angels who will kill you.
Read articles from our previous issue:
Rage Against Bad Food and TV: Meet Amy Thompson, the Progressive Pioneer