Local businesses and residents are pushing back on a new development in the 9th and 9th neighborhood they say will make parking increasingly difficult.
Members of the Salt Lake City council say they had good intentions when they voted in 2013 to pass an ordinance that allows developers to skimp on parking. They envisioned neighborhoods of cyclists and public transit devotees who don’t own a car. What they got was a group of irritated business owners and residents who say a new development in place of the empty Mutual Beauty Supply store on 9th and 9th will make parking nearly impossible.
Salt Lake City Councilor Erin Mendenhall says the decision which was made prior to her tenure on the council, was premature.
“I want transit oriented development,” Mendenhall says. “I want to not need to own a car. But it’s really a stretch for us to become a city that doesn’t need a car. We’re not there yet by and large.
Tessa Arneson owns 9th and 9th Pilates. She has signed on to an appeal the community council has filed to stop the project. Arneson says the community council might take the case to district court if the appeal is denied.
“We are not opposed to having multi-use and high density residential on this block,” Arneson says. “It’s not the added people. It is really a lot more about the parking issue.”
The ordinance allows residential developers to drop parking to one stall per two units.
The planning commission is reviewing the rule, which Mendenhall says she would like to change.