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SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall presents plan for the future of Ballpark neighborhood

A photo of Erin Mendenhall and Carlton Christensen talking.
Ivana Martinez
Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Carlton Christensen talk at the Ballpark press conference about the future plans for the neighborhood.

Salt Lake City officials gathered at Smith's Ballpark Monday afternoon to talk about the draft plan for the Ballpark neighborhood that’s located just south of downtown.

The plan was based on discussions city leaders had with stakeholders in the community dating back to December 2020.

The neighborhood plan has six areas of focus, one that includes creating and applying a specific transit supportive zone and reconfiguring the Ballpark Trax station to improve access.

Carlton Christensen, board chair for the Utah Transit Authority, said the goal will be to evaluate the transportation network and determine development patterns in the station.

He said they’ll identify ways of introducing transit oriented development in the neighborhood while also continuing to provide their track connections.

Christensen said this will be made possible by expanding residential housing, sidewalks, trails and community facilities.

“UTA planners and real estate experts are working with Salt Lake City consultants and their staff to develop a four-phase plan that we hope over the next two to five years creates a timeline of improvements that can be made in this neighborhood,” Christensen said.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said there’s significant growth occurring in the area with new housing developments but there isn’t infrastructure to support it.

A photo of the proposed area.
Ivana Martinez
Mayor Mendenhall said one of the areas of focus will be the creation of the transit supportive zone in a location that's identified as the "heart of the neighborhood."

The Ballpark plan aims to address that by improving pedestrian safety on 1300 South, create more greenspaces to balance on-going growth in the area, invest in community amenities and repurpose parking lots and underutilized properties to add activity to the neighborhood.

“I want to ensure that the growth and the development poised to happen here is well thought out,” she said. “That it's implemented in a way that maximizes the benefits to this community while maintaining the rich character and the history of this neighborhood we all love.”

Mendenhall said the Ballpark area significantly lacks community spaces and as a part of the plan they hope to add a public library.

“Libraries are the heartbeats of communities,” shel said. “They're powerful places that bring together our community members. They bring a sense of place just by their own being located in a neighborhood. There are opportunities for people to use the internet to do schooling, to apply for jobs [and] to have community council meetings. There's so many ways to connect. I think this is a long overdue need for the Ballpark area.”

The plan is set to go before the planning commission then to the city council where they’ll consider whether to adopt the plan. The public will then be able to provide their feedback during a 45-day period which is expected to open soon.

Ivana is a general assignment reporter
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