Salt Lake City


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Design Review Standards Clarification of Applicability

Zoning Text Amendment

Design Review Standards Clarification of Applicability

Petition Number: PLNPCM2021-00487

Zoning District: Citywide, affects all applications for Design Review 

Code Section: 21A.59 “Design Review”

Brief Project Description: The purpose of proposed changes to the design review ordinance is to clarify which standards of review apply to different design review applications. Some modifications require a review only of the relevant design review standards related to the request, while some require review of all the design review standards. This amendment will make the language in the ordinance clear so that applications are processed in a uniform manner. The design standards themselves are not proposed to be modified with this amendment.

The purpose of the amendment is to clarify the following:

  • All design standards would apply to applications for modification to a development standard, such as building height, total size, lot size.
  • Only directly related standards would apply to applications for a modification to a design standard in Chapter 21A.37 of the zoning code.
  • Only the directly related standards would apply to applications for a modification of a building setback.

Project Location

This proposal will apply citywide and impacts all applications for design review.

Proposed Draft Text

The proposal is to amend the text of 21A.59.050. The proposed amendments are shown below. Underlined text is new; text with strikethrough is proposed to be deleted. All other text is existing with no proposed change.


The standards in this section apply to all applications for design review as follows:

For applications seeking modification of base zoning applicable design standards of 21A.37 or the underlying zoning district, applicants shall demonstrate how the applicant’s proposal complies with the standards for design review that are directly applicable to the design standard(s) that is proposed to be modified and the purpose of the specific design standard as defined in 21A.37 that is requested to be modified.

For applications that are required to go through the design review process for any other purposes other than a modification to a base zoning standard, the applicant shall demonstrate how the proposed project complies with each standard for design review. If an application complies with a standard in the base zoning district or with an applicable requirement in chapter 21A.37 of this title and that standard is directly related to a standard found in this section, the Planning Commission shall find that application complies with the specific standard for design review found in this section. An applicant may propose an alternative to a standard for design review provided the proposal is consistent with the intent of the standard for design review.

Review Criteria

The City’s Planning Staff will consider adopted policies and regulations and provide a recommendation to the Planning Commission. The below are criteria used to analyze a proposed zoning text amendment: 

  1. Whether a proposed text amendment is consistent with the purposes, goals, objectives, and policies of the City as stated through its various adopted planning documents; 
  2. Whether a proposed text amendment furthers the specific purpose statements of the zoning ordinance; 
  3. Whether a proposed text amendment is consistent with the purposes and provisions of any applicable overlay zoning districts which may impose additional standards; and 
  4. The extent to which a proposed text amendment implements best current, professional practices of urban planning and design. 

Additional Information

Next Steps

  • The Planning Division is in the process of obtaining public comment on this proposal to help identify concerns and issues from the public. 
  • After the 45 day early engagement process, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and make a recommendation to the City Council.
  • The City Council will hold a public hearing and will make a final decision on the zoning text amendment application. The City Council public hearing will be scheduled at a future date. 
  • June 28, 2021: start of public comment period
  • August 12, 2021: end of public comment period

Public Comments and Questions

The public comment period has closed. For additional information on this project please contact the staff planner.

Michael McNamee // // 801-535-7226

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