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COUNCIL: February 9, 2021 Meetings

At their February 9, 2021 meetings:

  • The Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Board was briefed on the next steps for the former Utah (Pantages) Theater property.
  • The City Council received an update on $7.1 million in federal grants for providing services directly to housing programs and assistance to help respond with the pandemic, provide emergency food supplies, plus assisting with an equitable vaccine rollout program.
  • City leaders noted with sadness the death of Gregory Mikolash, a Community & Neighborhoods employee.

Redevelopment Agency meeting items
The RDA Board:

  • confirmed the adoption of a resolution for an updated RDA Art Policy. The RDA’s original policy, adopted in 1990, authorized 1% of certain Agency construction project budgets for public art. The new art policy is a change to 1.5% and includes additional ongoing annual funding, RDA tools, and incentives to promote art.
  • confirmed approval of the RDA Housing Allocation Funds Policy, which was given preliminary approval in December 2020. The Housing Allocation Funds Policy establishes guidelines for allocating funding and directing resources to develop and preserve housing in the City.
  • was briefed about the proposed Housing Development Loan Program Policy. The draft Housing Development Loan Program Policy creates a program that would centralize the application, underwriting, and approval process to streamline access for developers.
  • received a follow-up briefing about the sale of RDA-owned property at 156 South Regent Street in the Block 70 Project Area. The 3,111 square-foot parcel is located underneath the Walker Center garage overhang. The sale is ongoing.
  • received an update about requirements to the sales pricing terms of RDA-owned property at 144 –158 South Main Street, the former Utah (Pantages) Theater. As part of the potential project, the Board requested any redevelopment include certain public benefits such as affordable housing, a mid-block walkway, and repurposing of some historic elements of the theater. Upon approval of the sales pricing terms to Hines Acquisitions and 160 Main LLC in December 2019, the Board also required green open space in addition to the mid-block walkway and historic documentation of the theater. The Board discussion included future use of parts of the former theater, use of the open space, and the timeline of the sale. More details on the potential design of a building at the location, and other topics, are expected at an upcoming meeting.
  • received an update on the Utah Theater historic documentation process. The public can see the Utah Pantages Theater Archive here.
  • received a written update about potential creation of the University of Utah Research Park Project Area.

Council Work Session items
The Council received:

  • an informational update on relieving the condition of people experiencing homelessness:
    • Mayor Erin Mendenhall reported an encampment called by some as “Camp Last Hope” was closed Feb. 4. The City and its partners worked with people camping there, including holding a Resource Fair for several days to help people connect with housing and other help.
    • The Mayor, in her update, also discussed the death of a person at an encampment that was thought to be on private land but later turned out to be in the public right of way. The City continues to work with the people involved with the encampment and nearby residents as the death is being investigated.
    • The Mayor mentioned her continued interest in “tiny homes.” She is hoping a pilot program might be up and running next winter.
  • an update on recent efforts on various projects related to racial equity and policing in the City. It included the Council staff who noted the Racial Equity in Policing (REP) Commission continues to meet weekly. More on the Commission
  • The Mayor’s staff also reported the windstorm of last fall included 265 lost trees in the City Cemetery, many of which were damaged or became entangled with monuments at the site. An archeologist’s assessment of the damage is complete, and cleanup and/or restoration is ongoing.
  • an update from the Police Chief on the City’s “Crime Control Plan”  which includes a Violent Crimes Task Force at work in SLC with several public safety partners. The Chief reported that in the first 30 days, 16 people have been arrested as part of the Task Force’s efforts. A public dashboard with the numbers and arrest is expected to go live next week.

Other Agenda items
The Council was:

  • briefed about proposed amendments to City code that would require permit holders to provide notice to property owners whose properties are adjacent to above-ground work that will be performed in the public way. The key changes would require evidence that notice was provided to all property owners whose properties are adjacent to the portion of the public way where the work is being performed, and notice that includes the name of the permit holder performing the construction, the purpose of the construction, and a contact phone number and email for the permit holder. Discussion among the Council included the frustration among residents about the current notification process, and what else might go in the ordinance. A straw poll of Council Members showed unanimous support for moving this proposal forward for future action, including putting into the ordinance the noticing of under-ground work.
  • briefed about a proposal to amend the current budget for the Library Fund. The proposed amendment includes funding to complete the Library’s Master Facilities Plan, a grant to increase digital access to underserved populations in the City, for earthquake repairs to the Main Library Branch, and Sprague Branch renovations, among other changes. A public hearing will be scheduled. 
  • updated on funding recommendations from resident advisory boards and the Mayor for a $7.1 million interlocal agreement between the City and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This agreement allocates and awards funding to those applicants. Community partners submitted applications for one-time pandemic response funding. The Council reviewed presented options for spending additional available funds (more than $900,000) for emergency food supplies and an equitable vaccine rollout program assisting with COVID vaccinations to people experiencing homelessness. Tentative Council action on this is Tuesday, February 16.

Note: a Formal Meeting was not held this day.

All agenda-related comments received through any source are shared with the Council and added to the Council public meeting record.

Visit the Council’s agenda page for meeting documents and video or view an archive of prior meeting recaps.

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