Salt Lake City bans new drive-thrus in busy part of Sugar House

Sep 6, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Oct 23, 2023, 12:31 pm

Image of a fast food employee handing a customer their meal. This week, Salt Lake City officials vo...

A Jack in the Box employee leans out the window to assist a customer with her order at the new Jack in the Box in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City Council voted Tuesday to ban new drive-thrus in the Sugar House Business District. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Adding new drive-thru services will no longer be permitted in a growing piece of Sugar House under a zoning ordinance amendment Salt Lake City leaders approved Tuesday night.

The Salt Lake City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that prohibits new drive-thru facilities from being built within the neighborhood’s business district, a section between 2100 South and I-80, from about 900 East to 1300 East.

All businesses with existing drive-thru options in the district will remain grandfathered in on the old rule and continue to operate their drive-thru service as they are now, according to the city.

The vote followed some consideration to possibly alter the language to allow for financial institutions and pharmacies to be excluded from the ban, following feedback from a public hearing on the issue last month.

The council could have voted to approve a second option that only allowed financial institutions, retail goods and retail services to build new drive-thrus; they opted instead for a broader ban.

This map shows where the Sugar House Business District is located and businesses that currently have drive-thru service within it. Existing drive-thrus will not be altered by the Salt Lake City’s zoning amendment banning new drive-thru service options in the area. (Photo: Salt Lake City Corporation)

Moments before the vote, Salt Lake City Council Vice Chairwoman Victoria Petro explained that some public comments helped sway the decision.

“If you have a car, driving outside the bounds of the business district is not difficult for you,” she said. “We’ve already seen that businesses pivot well during pandemics and crises, and we can pivot. But for normal operating sanity, we need to save (Sugar House residents) from any further drive-thrus.”

The Salt Lake City Planning Commission initiated the amendment last year and voted 10-1 in April, giving a favorable recommendation after meetings and other outreach with residents and businesses in the affected Sugar House boundaries and the neighborhood council.

Please see Carter Williams’ complete story at

Other writing from Carter Williams


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Salt Lake City bans new drive-thrus in busy part of Sugar House