Should new drive-thru businesses be banned in Sugar House?

Jul 19, 2023, 7:00 PM


A customer views a digital menu at the drive-thru outside a McDonald's Corp. restaurant in Peru, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Photo credit: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg via Getty Images.

SALT LAKE CITY — Cars and trucks waiting in the drive-thru line for popular restaurants in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City are blocking or slowing drivers on the roads leading to the eateries. 

So should new drive-thrus be banned at businesses in Sugar House? That is what the Salt Lake City Council is now contemplating.

The Salt Lake City Planning Commission approved the measure on a 10-1 vote in April, according to KSL.com. A public hearing on the proposed ban is scheduled for Aug. 8 before a possible vote on Aug. 15. 

 The proposal would apply to businesses in the area bounded by 2100 South and 1100 East/Highland Drive to 1300 East and Interstate 80. All existing drive-thru businesses would be grandfathered into the current law.

Legal questions

The proposed ban raises some legal issues, so KSL legal analyst Greg Skordas joins Dave & Dujanovic to address some of them.

Dave asked if an owner of a business with a drive-thru in Sugar House sells the business, is the buyer allowed to continue the use of the drive-thru or not?

“I guess the lawyer in me would say for the buyer: ‘Yes, I bought the restaurant, and I bought the drive-thru, and city policy or not, that was part of what was already grandfathered in.

” . . . There are some parts of the valley where we really are trying to make things much more pedestrian, and Sugar House would be a perfect place to do that,” Skordas said. “And of course, a way to accommodate that is to eliminate drive-thrus or at least make sure there are no more drive-thrus.”

Skordas mentioned the Americans with Disabilities Act and whether banning drive-thrus would constitute a violation of the ADA

Under the ADA, people with disabilities are allowed equal access to public accommodations and commercial facilities like restaurants, according to Disability Rights TN.

“That’s a whole other legal problem that the city may be creating for some of these businesses. But you may have to make your business accessible to people that can’t utilize your front door the way you and I do,” he said.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Should new drive-thru businesses be banned in Sugar House?