RDA Board Meeting
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT LOAN PROGRAM FOLLOW-UP: This was a follow-up about the program we discussed in December and last month for emergency gap financing for housing projects. We reviewed some updates and changes which we discussed previously. Because of the unpredictability of the construction market, most projects seem to be requiring this kind of funding. We adopted these amendments unanimously.
HOUSING DEVELOPMENT FUNDING STRATEGY: This is the discussion about what types of goals we have for our housing funds for the upcoming year. Last year we discussed this during our annual budget but we indicated a desire to discuss it earlier in the year in order to inform what staff includes in their budget presentation. Staff brought us 4 primary priorities for the upcoming year which are: Affordable Homeownership, Family Sized Housing, Deeply Affordable Housing, and Missing Middle Housing. Of particular interest to me is that we are headed toward making either Deeply Affordable Housing or Family Sized housing a threshold to receive funding. I think those items are particularly important and particularly expensive for the private market to create without assistance. As a side note, last year we set environment and conservation as a threshold but that is not necessary this year because we have since set that in ordinance/policy.
RDA BUDGET AMENDMENT NO. 2: This is the 2nd budget amendment for the RDA in this fiscal year. This is a large ($13.7 M) budget amendment with over 50 items. Most are legally required to recognize actual property tax increment amounts. All preliminary numbers show that we have higher actual revenues than expected (except in the NW Quadrant). However, several items are discretionary including CBD Storefront Revitalization Pilot Program, Gallivan Center Repairs, Construction Cost Overrun Accounts, Central Station Development, Community and Cultural Initiative, North Temple Strategic Interventions, Regent Street Parking Structure, Dept Service, State Street Public Infrastructure, a State Street Commercial Loan Program, Ballpark Strategic Development, Property Acquisition, an ADU Assistance Program, and a few others.
REPORTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS: The 650 S. Trax Station should be open in April (a month later than expected). Cara Lindsley will be the new RDA Deputy Director.
Council Work Session Meeting
- COVID: We are still doing well. SLCo is in the Moderate Transmission category but statewide the trends are getting better. Just under 70% of kids in our County have been vaccinated. Citywide vaccination is just under 69%.
- COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Check out slc.gov/feedback/ for opportunities to give feedback on things the city is working on. The Thriving in Place (Gentrification Mitigation) survey is live and available for feedback. Other new items are related to transportation and include 1300 E. Reconstruction, Highland Drive Active Transportation, Foothill Drive Improvements, 200 South, 1100 East, and about 10 others. Sustainability has two items: Renewable Energy Low Income Plan, and Resident Food Equity Advisors.
- HOMELESSNESS: Focus is on the Jordan River for the next couple of weeks. There will be a resource fair at Day-Riverside Library on March 11th. The coalition is looking for a 200+ bed Medically Vulnerable Populations facility similar to the Ramada Inn. HB440 made a lot of changes to homeless services and we are still sorting through how it affects us.
STATE LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING: Today was a wrap-up briefing at the overall session. 513 bills were passed by the Legislature this year. Nearly 300 of those passed in the final week of the session. We tracked 392 total bills as a city lobbying team. SLC had an internal team of senior staff who met twice a week, late into the night, to sift through bills and ensure that we were responding to the ones which were critical to SLC. Moving forward the Governor is currently considering which bills he will sign, veto, or allow into law without his signature. Water and the Great Salt Lake became the major theme of this year’s session.
EQUITY UPDATE: We did not receive an update today.
SUSTAINABILITY UPDATES: We received an update on 3 items that our Sustainability Division is working on. One of the most significant things we are working on is the Community Renewable Energy Program. By 2030 we expect that residents in our city will be able to receive 100% renewable energy for their homes. There is a new governing body made up of representatives from different cities and towns and the county to develop and implement this program called the CREA (Community Renewable Energy Agency).
HOMELESS RESOURCE CENTER AND HOMELESS SHELTER TEXT AMENDMENTS: This is a proposal that was initiated by the Mayor to remove Homeless Resource Centers (HRCs) from our existing land use tables. This is not intended to be permanent. It is phase 1 of 3 steps. Steps 2 and 3 are to modify the conditional use standard for HRCs and to distinguish between temporary and permanent shelters. The mayor initiated a 180-day pending land use ordinance (moratorium) which expires early in April. We are considering making that longer until we have time to fulfill steps 2 and 3. Currently, the vast majority of where shelters are allowed is within Districts 4, 5, and a bit of 2. This is one of the biggest problems with our current ordinance. It only allows shelters in a very limited part of the city and that concentrates the impacts in only a few areas. Some of the options for step 2 include updating the conditional use, an overlay zone, and a floating zone. This was probably the most controversial item on our agenda today.
2021 ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT ANNUAL REPORT: This was an annual report about ADU activity in our city. District 5 has the vast majority of Conditional Use ADUs at 34 which is double the next most district (7). These are concentrated near Liberty Park. The Planning Commission has initiated a proposal that would do 3 things: make ADUs permitted throughout the city rather than conditional, clarify our codes, and make us in line with State Code. I am encouraged that we will be revisiting this ordinance because there are many pieces of the code that should be amended to better serve our needs. The discussion on this was broad and touched on Short Term Rentals, Alleyways, Housing, etc.