Salt Lake City

COUNCIL: February 16 Council Meeting Recap

At today’s Council Meetings:

  • The Council awarded $7.1 million in federal CARES Act grants to community partners and City departments that will provide services directly for housing programs, food stability, and other types of pandemic assistance.
  • The Mayor reported to Council an additional $6 million in Federal Treasury funding will be available soon for pandemic-related rental and utility assistance in Salt Lake City.
  • The Council adopted a joint ceremonial resolution with the Mayor declaring March 1st as COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day in Salt Lake City.

Council Work Session items
The Council received:

  • an informational update from the Mayor’s Administration relating to the local emergencies including COVID-19: 
    • the Mayor reports that 36% of City employees have used some type of pandemic leave.
    • the Mayor reports the City has passed out nearly $200,000 in “Raise up SLC” debit cards ($500) for people who do not have access to federal stimulus money. More money is available and must be spent by June.
  • an informational update on relieving the condition of people experiencing homelessness. The Mayor reported the City and its partners assisted with an environmental cleanup of an encampment on 700 South. That encampment was re-established while partnering agencies work with the people camping there to connect with housing and other help.
  • an informational update on affordable housing measures, past and present:
    • the Mayor reported the City will be dispersing new funding for Housing Stability Assistance through the U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance program — $6,067,033 to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic (in addition to the CARES funding).
    • the Mayor reported that in 2016 through 2020, the City invested $64,188,972 in affordable housing, resulting in 2,539 housing units. This includes new or rehabbed projects receiving funding in various ways.
    • the Mayor reported that Housing Stability Assistance made available in 2020 by the City through various sources included $3,274,480 in rent assistance, and $250,000 in mortgage assistance.
  • an update on recent efforts on various projects related to racial equity and policing in the City. It included Council staff updates on the following:
    • the auditors who will review the police budget met with the Racial Equity in Policing (REP) Commission. This audit is a prequel to the Council’s zero-based budgeting exercise.
    • a financial profile of the Police Department put together by the auditors is nearing public release. The profile includes PD structure, revenue, expenditure, etc.
    • the REP Commission continues to meet regularly, usually weekly. The recent REP public listening session can be accessed here: More on the CommissionThe next full REP meeting is scheduled for Feb. 24.
  • An informational update from the Police Chief who gave a report on Field Training Officers, a 60-member training crew in PD that has doubled its employee diversity, at 13 officers, with the addition of the latest training class of officers for this position.

Other Agenda items
The Council was:

  • briefed about a proposal that would rezone properties at 706 to 740 West 900 South and 710 to 739 West Genesee Avenue, including portions of two alleys, from Light Manufacturing to Residential Mixed Use. The applicant intends to develop the remaining portion of the site with multi-family residential housing. The applicants spoke to Council about making part of the development townhomes and studio apartments. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. Tentative Council action is Tuesday, March 16.
  • Not briefed about the 2020 Salt Lake City Street Lighting Master Plan as scheduled. The item will be addressed at a future meeting. 
  • briefed about a proposal that would amend various sections of the Salt Lake City Code pertaining to off-street parking regulations, mobility and loading. The proposal would update parking requirements to better reflect demand and simplify parking regulations. The Council discussion on off-street parking included topics such as where, under what changes or developments, parking might increase or decrease in the City under this proposal. A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. Tentative Council action is Tuesday, April 6.
  • briefed about a proposal to allow off-site inspection of “modular” or “factory-built” structures. These types of homes (which are not mobile homes) may be used either as accessory dwelling units on existing residential properties or as stand-alone units on a larger site. Modular homes are built in factories and then delivered to the site for “installation,” which can result in lower costs per unit compared to traditional, on-site construction. The ordinance would provide a process for permitting, inspecting, and approving these buildings. Overall zoning standards/requirements would apply. Later, at the Council Formal Meeting, this ordinance was adopted.
  • briefed about an option to participate in the State-authorized Municipal Alternative Voting Method Pilot Program project, otherwise known as single-winner ranked-choice voting or instant runoff voting. Discussion included how the ranked-choice voting process works, how the elections would be conducted, three relevant bills in the Legislature’s 2021 General Session and public education efforts. Under ranked choice voting, voters rank the candidates in order of preference. It was noted April 14 is the deadline, under current law, for notifying the State the City plans to participate. The County’s Sherrie Swenson (County Clerk) reported they are hoping new equipment will be ready in time to facilitate this type of voting, as current equipment does not, and she is expecting to report back. The bills under consideration in the Utah Legislature may affect the process of how ranked-choice voting is conducted in the state.

Formal Meeting items

  • The Council adopted a joint ceremonial resolution with the Mayor declaring March 1st as COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day in Salt Lake City.
  • The Council held public hearings on eight grant applications, and a resolution for the Airport.
  • The Council held its regular open comment section, with several people who spoke on various topics, including the issue of people experiencing homelessness.
  • The Council passed three other items:
    • Ordinance: Building Inspections for Modular or Factory-Built Structures
    • Resolution: Awarding U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Grant Funds
    • Joint City Council- Mayor Resolution: Applauding the Work of the Salt Lake City Hostage Negotiation Team and Director Jessica Waters (announced at a previous meeting)


Council approved members for the:

  • Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board – Shelley Bodily
  • Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board – José Organista
  • (Reappointment) Transportation Advisory Board – Dave Alderman

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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