Readers' forum: Salt Lake City zoning

Published: Sunday, March 27 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Some years ago, neighborhood home owners worked with Mayor Ted Wilson to return our communities zoning laws back to single family residential. Deteriorating homes and low property values allowed developers to target our vintage communities, dividing existing homes into duplexes and shoehorning apartments into small lots.

Mayor Wilson believed that this downward trend was unacceptable and that the preservation of single family homes and strong neighborhood communities was in the vital interest of Salt Lake City. As result of this zoning change, our quaint and quiet neighborhoods have flourished. New families have moved in and pride in ownership has soared.

Mayor Ralph Becker intends to change our current residential zoning laws in his "Vision for a Green City." He believes that by urbanizing our single family neighborhoods the city will become more efficient. Mayor Becker wants Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, to be built on existing single family lots. In effect, he is encouraging our homes to once again be divided.

The plan to allow ADUs in residentially zoned communities directly threatens the integrity of single family home neighborhoods. The justifications for this plan are vague and assurances to protect the integrity of existing neighborhoods are virtually nonexistent. Despite growing opposition by residential communities, the Mayor is attempting to implement his plan more aggressively than any other city that has experimented with ADUs to date.

Get informed by attending your local planning meeting.

Ruthann Povinelli

Salt Lake City

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