At today’s meetings, the Council:
- Received an update from the Mayor about the declared local emergencies (related to COVID-19, the March earthquake, and recent protests) and homeless services for the winter months. The Mayor shared a pre-recorded video to explain preparations for the combination of winter and COVID-19 safety. Called the “Citywide COVID-19 Winter Plan,” it focuses on health, education and child care, economic support, housing stability and homeless services, and City operations and services. Many aspects of this plan are addressed in Budget Amendment No. 2 which is currently before the Council. This includes contributions to local organizations for health outreach and assistance, increase to YouthCity programs for families that need additional child care and school support, increasing public Wi-Fi access, micro-loans and bilingual City services for businesses, assistance for mortgage and rental payments, and services and response for people experiencing homelessness. For more information, watch the video here.
The Mayor also elaborated about an increase of services for people experiencing homelessness, such as outreach and cleaning in the areas around Taufer Park, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Downtown, North Temple, Ballpark Area, Granary District (900 South/400 West), and other areas as necessary. A later phase would schedule necessary services from other providers and place them geographically to be available to homeless encampment areas with the goal of reducing the number of encampments.
- Received a follow-up briefing and accepted public comment about funding proposal in Budget Amendment No. 2 for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The proposed amendment includes infrastructure for publicly-accessible internet access, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for personnel costs related to pandemic response, expansion of the City’s Youth and Family program to help with childcare and education, and funding for housing assistance, among other items. As part of the briefing, the Administration explained more about a funding request to expand the YouthCity school services. This funding would expand the summer program to make it available during the school year, as well as provide child care and education support to families while school is not meeting in-person. Council Members were supportive of the ways to address impacts to families during the pandemic. The Council closed the public hearing and approved the CARES act funding, as requested by the Administration, and will consider remaining items in the funding proposal in the coming weeks.
- Received a briefing about proposed text amendments to the RMF-30 zoning district. The changes aim to remove zoning barriers to multi-family housing developments in RMF-30 zoned areas of the City. The proposed changes would increase density and provide additional multi-family residential options, establish design standards for new buildings and remove some development barriers. Planning Division staff also reviewed some of the community concerns that have been raised about how this would affect single-family properties and affordability. The Council set the public hearing dates of Tuesday, October 6, 2020 and Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7 p.m. to accept public comment on this item.
- Held a follow-up briefing for a rezone petition at 402 and 416 East 900 South, commonly known as Southeast Market. If approved, the request would rezone the two properties to a single Community Business (CB) zone. Currently, the two parcels are “split zoned” and the applicant would like one zone for consistency. Future development is likely, however a potential design and building layout has not been submitted to the City yet. Council Members heard some neighborhood concerns about setbacks and possible uses in the CB zone. A summary of the current property and proposal is available here. The Council set the public hearing dates of Tuesday, October 6, 2020 and Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7 p.m. to accept public comment on this rezone petition.
- Received a briefing about the Salt Lake County sales tax funding for transportation projects. This is the second year this dedicated sales tax has been available to the City for transportation projects, which could be spent on various transportation projects such as roadways, transit enhancements, and maintenance or upkeep. The quarter-cent tax is equivalent to $0.01 on every four dollars spent in the County. The funding collected is shared between Utah Transit Authority (UTA), cities in Salt Lake County, and remaining funds go to the County. The Council discussed the process for identifying and choosing projects and how the funding will be considered in future years. Current projects include “multi-modal” connection projects along 900 South, 400 South, 1000 West, and other street or alleyway maintenance.
- Received an update on the draft Cemetery Master Plan. The master plan has been in the works since 2009 and outlines preservation and management of the cemetery where 124,000 people have been laid to rest. The list of needed projects includes over $30 million throughout the 120-acre open space area located in the Avenues. The Council will set public hearings in the coming weeks to accept public comment on the draft master plan. Once approved, more work can be done with a newly forming group named “Friends of the City Cemetery” to pursue fundraising opportunities for project priorities.
- Heard from approximately 25 individuals during the General Comment period. Among the topics addressed, many shared objections to the charging decisions related to recent protests in the City, and related State laws.
All agenda-related comments received through any source are shared with the Council and added to the Council public meeting record.