An amendment seen by city officials as vital to the redevelopment of downtown Salt Lake City will appear on Wednesday's special legislative session agenda, an official told the Salt Lake Redevelopment Agency Thursday.
The amendment will permit the city to form a parking authority to assist developers in building parking complexes by paying for building bonds with revenues from parking fees.The Economic Development Interim Committee unanimously passed the amendment from committee this week, Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Michael Chitwood said Thursday. The amendment will first be considered in the House while the Senate wrestles with the thrift settlement.
Currently the Municipal Improvement District Act allows cities to retire building bonds with funds generated only by taxing businesses benefiting a project. The amendment would permit the city to use parking revenue to retire the bonds, thus relieving businesses from their tax burden.
"It looks like we've got a good piece of legislation," Chitwood said, noting that House and Senate leadership welcomed the bill to the special session docket.
Three downtown developments in various proposal stages, including a Block 57 office tower and another office building on the site of the old Centre Theatre at Third South and State streets, would require covered parking space.
The third parking structure is proposed for the block bordered by Third South, Fourth South, State and Main streets and would serve as parking space for several underutilized office buildings in the area.
Chitwood told RDA members he was pleased to see the amendment appear on Wednesday's agenda because developers hope to begin work on the projects as early as next spring.
Chitwood touted the parking authority as "a mechanism to support new development without taxing city residents." If parking revenues were not sufficient to repay bonds, the improvement act would still permit the city to rely on businesses benefiting from the parking project to pay off the bond, Chitwood said.
Besides the thrift and parking authority items, the Legislature will consider a moratorium on hazardous waste material permits until state citing criteria can be established.