How request for taller buildings in the Depot District could lead to a taller Downtown

in Government

Salt Lake City, prepare for a taller and broader Downtown.

The City Council appears to include enough members ready to rethink traditional zoning practices that set up a skyline that tapers out the farther buildings are from the Downtown core.

One application for permission to build higher than zoning allows in the city’s Gateway Mixed-Use zoning area in the Depot District has set off a discussion that could eventually lead to a wholesale change affecting the skyline for good.

“We need taller buildings in Salt Lake City,” planning division director Nick Norris said. “That’s just a fact with how limited land we have to provide all these great uses that we want. That has to happen. It is more complex than I think people think.”

Buildings in the GMU zone — roughly an area bounded by North Temple and 400 South, 400 West and I-15 — can be 75-90 feet tall or up to 120 feet with design review approval.

Lehi-based Stack Real Estate had asked the city to allow, in a portion of the zone, 190-foot buildings on corners without requiring design review for potential height impacts on the neighborhood. Buildings farther than 100 feet from corners could be up to 100 feet tall (or more, with design review approval).

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