The Salt Lake City Council signed on to a number of recommendations for the revitalization of the city's downtown that were made by the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team.
During a recent council session the council sorted through 32 of the more than 80 recommendations by R/UDAT, a group of urban planners that studied the Salt Lake downtown in June."The council wanted to look in general at the R/UDAT recommendations and findings and determine which issues they needed more information on," said Council Community Relations Coordinator Cindy Gust-Jenson.
No specific commitments were made on the issues, Gust-Jenson said, but the council did express general support for several issues.
Among the recommendations included in a staff report and looked upon favorably was one to "re-establish the north/south axis along Main and State streets as the guiding element for downtown development."
R/UDAT suggested in the 66-page report it produced following the four-day study that the two streets, once prominent retail avenues, again become the center of commercial activity in the downtown.
The council also agreed to support "consolidating judicial activities, including Supreme Court, law library, Juvenile Court and district courts, in a judicial complex."
City Development Services Director Craig Peterson called that recommendation "one of the most exciting concepts of R/UDAT." R/UDAT recommended the complex be located in the southern end of the downtown to serve as an anchor.
Peterson told the council the city is actively lobbying the state to build an office building for the Department of Economic Security downtown. Some officials would like to see a government complex built in the southern downtown area.
The council also favored formation of a municipal parking authority, which the Legislature approved during the recent special session after it passed an amendment to the Municipal Improvement District Act.
The amendment allows the city to pay off bonds to build parking structures with parking-fee revenue. The authority is seen by the city as a tool to help developers build projects in the ailing downtown.
The city voted against only one of the 32 recommendations, opposing a city commitment to develop a visitor center at the north end of the Salt Palace complex in downtown Salt Lake.