Salt Lake City


Planning Division | (801) 535-7700 |

Improving Results for Planned Developments: what applicants need to know about the new standards

The Salt Lake City Council recently adopted changes to the Planned Development regulations. These changes apply to all new Planned Development applications. If you are considering applying for Planned Development approval for your next project, here is what you need to know.

What is a Planned Development?

A Planned Development is a planning approval process that allows the Planning Commission to modify zoning standards so that the neighborhood gets a better project than what would be allowed under strict zoning regulations. The process is not intended to be a means to simply skirt the rules. A successful Planned Development does the following:

  • Implements the city’s vision for future growth;
  • encourages efficient use of land and resources;
  • promotes greater efficiency in public and utility services;
  • encourages innovative planning and development; and
  • reinforces the character of the surrounding neighborhood.

Zenith 1: A planned development that created five lots for five single family detached dwellings with reduced required rear yard setbacks, an increase of the permitted projection of awnings in required yards, and four of the dwellings do not have frontage on a public street. Project was approved by the Planning Commission in 2016.

Meeting the Objectives

There are a number of objectives that the city seeks to achieve through the Planned Development process. These include:

  • Open Space and Natural Lands: Preserving, protecting or creating open space and natural lands.
  • Historic Preservation
  • Housing: Providing affordable housing or types of housing that helps achieve the city’s housing goals and policies
  • Mobility: Enhancing accessibility and mobility
  • Sustainability: Creation of a project that achieves exceptional performance with regards to resource consumption and impact on natural systems
  • Master Plan Implementation: A project that helps implement portions of an adopted master plan in instances where the master plan provides specific guidance on the character of the immediate vicinity of the proposal.

An application must include evidence showing that the project meets at least one of the objectives. Applicants are advised to provide written narratives, diagrams, photographs, renderings, and other information with their application demonstrating compliance with the relevant objective(s). The zoning ordinance includes strategies for each objective that are intended to determine if an objective has been accomplished through a specific proposal.

Meeting the Standards of Review

The Planned Development ordinance states specific standards that the Planning Commission must use to evaluate a Planned Development application. The Planning Commission must find that the Planned Development:

  • Meets the Planned Development purpose statement and at least one of the listed objectives;
  • Is generally consistent with city master plans;
  • Is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood;
  • Preserves and provides appropriate landscaping;
  • Promotes city mobility goals;
  • Preserves natural and built features that significantly contribute to the surrounding character; and
  • Does not have a detrimental effect on city utilities.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide written and graphic evidence demonstrating compliance with the standards. An application is considered incomplete without such evidence. Only complete applications will be reviewed and processed by staff.


If you have questions about the changes to the ordinance, give us a call or schedule a presubmittal meeting. (801) 535-7700


Share "Improving Results for Planned Developments: what applicants need to know about the new standards" to your social network: