Dance club

The West Side Indoor Soccer and Events Center will feature a long-running dance club and bar leaving Sugar House

In Utah, the state legislature has drafted a series of restrictions on the location of bars and clubs, apparently reflecting concerns that alcohol sold in businesses near parks, public facilities, churches or schools harm children.

The only public comment received by the Salt Lake City Planning Division on the conditional use permit requested by the Riverbend Sports and Events Complex Bar at 1075-85 Winding River Cove in Salt Lake City concerned children’s proximity to the alcohol.

It’s probably fair to say that such anti-mixed-use sentiment has stymied the growth of many businesses and neighborhoods in Salt Lake City.

How much value, walkability, and tax revenue have been stifled by state restrictions on liquor service in and around city parks? Or because there is a church or school within 200 meters of a proposed food and beverage establishment?

The project – sports grounds, event center, bar + disco… in a light industrial area

The Riverbend complex is located in an area of ​​the city that is open to mixed use, zoned M-1 light manufacturing. Yet parking rules and other requirements dictate a pattern of suburban development in “light industrial” zoned areas, which is clearly reflected in the area around Riverbend.

Images courtesy of SLC Planning Division, Google Earth and SLC RDA.

The M-1 zoning allows (among many other uses) recreational facilities, sports fields, offices, commercial spaces and bars.

All of these uses will be incorporated by the next iteration of the Riverbend Sports + Events Complex, at 1075-85 Winding River Cove west of Salt Lake City.

Located in a suburban-style office park between Redwood Road and the Ring Road Around Town (I-215) – and bordered to the west by the Jordan River’s sister canal, the Excess Canal – it is included in the larger The agency’s recent City Zone redevelopment project, ARC 9-Line.

In an arrangement that will delight adult footballers who like to have a beer after the game, Riverbend will welcome a bar tenant into its new building. To be sandwiched between its two existing warehouse-like structures, the Riverbend Bar conditional use permit was approved by the Planning Commission on May 26.

What’s coming? Club Karamba, a Latin dance club that has set the tone for downtown Sugar House nightlife for two decades at 1051 East 2100 South.

Images courtesy of Google Earth, Dixon Architecture, Planning, Interiors and SLC Planning.

In response to the only public comment on the project, noting the incompatibility of children and a bar, Keven Rowe, representing the owner, explained to Building Salt Lake that the bar area will be separate from the rest of the new building, with its own entrance.

“The owner plans to design two different experiences: playing football and going to the bar. If you just want the football experience, there’s no reason you have to experience the bar. If you want to play football and then have a drink with your buddies, this is absolutely something you can do.

Rowe, a lawyer with Jones Waldo, told the Planning Commission that adding event and bar space to the complex will improve the viability of both businesses.

“This allows Club Karamba to have better access to parking – at the moment Sugar House has a real parking problem and it’s also a bit removed from its main clientele.”

The context

The area west of Redwood Road has been zoned by the city for light industrial use, accompanied by minimum lot sizes, yard sizes, setbacks and parking requirements that reinforce a self-dominated development pattern .

In its proposed revisions to the parking ordinance, the Planning Division proposes that 80% (BSL estimate) of the city remain so.

The city’s redevelopment agency has included the Riverbend area in its new project area, the 9-Line CRA.

The GDR has modest projections for its 20-year tax revenue collection along Line 9, which is officially passed by the city council this summer.

According to a recent staff report, over the 20-year lifespan of the Community Reinvestment Zone, the RDA expects only $24 million (rounded) in revenue from the growth of tax increases. The following square footage is projected:

• 490,000 sf of industrial space

• 450,000 square feet of commercial square feet

• 115,000 square feet of office space

• 260 accommodations

The parking

The Riverbend Sports Complex currently offers 160 parking spaces spread over two surface lots.

The city’s requirements for the new iteration of the facility are 275 parking spaces. By paving a large parcel to the northwest of its current buildings, Riverbend will add an additional 212 spaces, for a total of 372.

Since the facility is likely over-parked, one wonders if the new surface ground could be redeveloped in the future. Much depends on whether this parking is required by city code.

Riverbend site plan including parking; The map in the new parking ordinance, which appears to put 80% of the city into self-reliant development. Images courtesy of SLC Planning.

Under current and projected city parking ordinance requirements, the rules for using the project – recreation facility, office, bar, sports fields – will largely remain the same.

Which means the new ordinance will still require 115 of the 212 new places being built to remain.

Is this the future of the West Side?

The RDA’s projected figures for housing are infinitesimal – 260 units for the entire 738-acre 9-Line project area.

The city seems content to drive more of the same suburban-style development through the new parking ordinance, the RDA 9-Line CRA project area, and the 2014 Westside Masterplan.

The tentative tone of change in general is set in the first point of the master plan vision: the west side will be “a seamless pattern of stable residential neighborhoods”. Does this mean that 89% of the area’s residential zoning will remain single-family, a figure cited in the plan?

This, despite multiple crises recognized by city leaders, including air quality and housing supply + valley affordability.

As the Riverbend project shows, various commercial uses will develop almost anywhere they are permitted. Why not in – not near – neighborhoods on the west side?

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