2023 Year in Review
It’s the beginning of a new year, which provides an opportunity to reflect on the preceding twelve months and the things that we’ve accomplished. As I look back, I am proud of the work that we have done and I look forward to the impact that this year’s actions will have on residents in the coming years. Each division within the Department of Community and Neighborhoods (CAN) has been busy, accomplishing meaningful work that enhances our community and brings additional services and resources to our residents.
There were a few department-wide efforts that we are especially proud of. These include
- Adoption of Housing SLC, the City’s new five-year housing plan. This plan takes a broad and bold approach to addressing concerns that we’ve heard from our community.
- Adoption of Thriving in Place, the City’s first anti-displacement plan. This plan is the result of a community-driven process to mitigate the impacts that development is having on our communities.
- Rezone and site planning of Fleet Block. The Fleet Block has been vacant for years, and the City is taking steps to revive the block’s useful life.
- Initiation of the redevelopment process for the former Public Safety Building. As with the Fleet Block, the process for reinvigorating the former Public Safety Building is underway.
- Commencement of site work for The Other Side Village. This project will provide a tiny home village for formerly homeless individuals and has faced multiple development barriers, including site contamination, but the remediation work is underway.
- Oversight of site preparation of the Microshelter Community. The Microshelter Community took a major effort in a short amount of time to get off the ground. This site is the first of its kind in Utah.
- Began the process of reallocating over $20 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development dormant program income and drafted new program policies. These funds are being used for a range of activities that will directly benefit the city’s residents, including rental assistance, affordable housing development, the rehabilitation of buildings for local businesses, and west side infrastructure improvements.
- Hosted quarterly Development Advisory Forums. These forums allow the development community and City staff to learn from each other and work to improve processes.
In addition to the Department-wide accomplishments, each division and working group within CAN had significant accomplishments this year. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Issued building permits with a construction valuation of $2.2 billion. While not a record, we continue to facilitate significant development throughout the city.
- Building Inspections staff conducted 58,000 total inspections and received 29 International Code Council professional certifications.
- Civil Enforcement team completed 24,581 inspections leading to 5,635 enforcement cases, helping keep the city safe, clean, and enjoyable for all.
- Fix the Bricks completed 64 seismic retrofit projects, with 24 projects under construction, and 37 projects in the pipeline.
- Improved and increased homeless services through the following efforts:
- Launched the Rapid Intervention Team to better address encampment impacts within the community and to connect unsheltered individuals with resources,
- Expanded Downtown Ambassadors program, which is a community-based public safety resource, to additional neighborhoods,
- Increased number of Homeless Resource Fairs and participation of community partners to better connect unsheltered individuals with resources and services,
- Increased number of Kayak and Bike Courts held to provide access for unsheltered individuals to legal resources, and
- Reduced response times to SLC Mobile requests from 50 days (July 2022) to four days (March 2023) for case closures.
- Adoption of Affordable Housing Incentives, which allows for increased development capacity throughout the city in exchange for dedicating housing units as affordable.
- Adoption of Subdivision Code, bringing the City’s code in compliance with changes to state code.
- Transmittal to City Council of Community Benefits Ordinance, which emerged from Thriving in Place and will allow the City to get public benefits from developments that seek rezones or map amendments.
- Transmittal to City Council of daycare text amendments to remove zoning barriers and make it easier to open a daycare.
- Adoption of Northpoint Small Area Plan, which sets goals and standards for the Northpoint area.
Real Estate Services
- Rewrote citywide encroachment policy, currently in draft version, which governs the private use of the public right-of-way.
- Executed leases for two new Police facilities, a North Temple substation and a Downtown Police Precinct.
- Reactivated café space in City County Building through two 8-week trial periods that included multiple pop-up vendors.
- In partnership with Engineering, delivered a wide variety of projects that improve safety and comfort for walking, biking, and transit, including:
- Bike, pedestrian, and transit enhancements on 900 South, 300 Westa, phase one of 1100 East, and 200 South,
- First Livable Streets traffic calming projects completed,
- Dozens of targeted safety projects, and
- 300 North pedestrian bridge.
Youth and Family
- Received $2.6 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grants for services and programs targeting Rose Park and Fairpark neighborhoods.
- One of 26 cities to receive My Brother’s Keeper recognition as an official member of the national organization. More than 145 cities applied, many of which have been in the queue for over a decade.
It is hard to see how we will top 2023, but as we move into a new year, we will make every effort to do more to make Salt Lake City an amazing place to live for everyone. Much of what we will be working on is the implementation of plans and ordinances adopted this year. The strategies and action items in Housing SLC and Thriving in Place, in particular, have the potential to be transformative, bringing greater housing stability, equity, and protections, services, and resources to residents.
We look forward to what is to come!
Happy New Year!
Director, Department of Community and Neighborhoods