Salt Lake City planners recommend changes in how single-family neighborhoods get zoned

May 10, 2024, 3:00 PM

a neighborhood in murray -- Salt Lake City Planning Division recommends zoning changes for single-f...

Homes in Murray on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024. (Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY– A new report from the Salt Lake City Planning Division recommends zoning changes for single-family neighborhoods to help address the city’s housing supply crunch. Any changes could affect residential areas from Sugar House to Rose Park.

Here are some of the main suggestions from the report:

  • Reducing the minimum size of single-family housing zones. R-1, or single-family housing zones, would have a baseline of 5,000 square feet instead of 7,000 or 12,000. That could potentially allow owners of 5,011 lots to subdivide their property and build a new housing unit on top.
  • Allowing single-family attached housing units. These could look like duplexes, townhomes, or detached cottages. Attached single-family units would help create what the report called “missing middle housing.” That refers to the above examples of buildings between the size of a detached single-family home and a mid-rise apartment building.
  • Consolidating all single-family rules into one chapter. This would simplify zoning laws, but “will not help address housing issues or needs.”
  • Keeping the three types of single-family housing zones. This would maintain the status quo.

Other recommendations include eliminating the minimum lot size entirely and lowering the required “setback,” or distance between the street and a home.

Predicted responses to recommended zoning changes in Salt Lake

The report predicted blowback from certain homeowners if the Salt Lake City Council were to choose either of the first two options.

Related: “Priced out and Fed Up”: survey finds issues with housing affordability

It said this resistance could be especially intense in neighborhoods set aside for 7,000 to 12,000-square-foot lots. However, many of these owners are already noncompliant with city law and have houses built on parcels smaller than the required minimum. This change would make many noncompliant lots legal.

The Planning Division said the path of the attached single-family housing unit “will generate a high level of opposition.” However, it also said the plan would probably result in new home construction.

Neighborhoods that could feel the effects

According to a zoning map of Salt Lake City, some neighborhoods with R-1 zoning for 7,000 or 12,000-square-foot lots include Bonneville Hills and the East Bench.

Highland Park and Sugar House fall into the R-1/7,000 category. So do Rose Park and Glendale.

Most historic neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, the Avenues, and Central City would be exempt from any changes because of their special status. Only the Yalecrest neighborhood would still be affected.

The need for new housing

FJ Management CEO Crystal Maggelet told the Deseret News last fall that since 2011, Utah has lost 41% of its affordable housing. Maggelet told Deseret that is almost two times the loss experienced in California and New York.

According to Zillow.com, the average price of a home in the Salt Lake City area is just over $551,000.

Related: Unwelcome Home: Exploring the challenges of buying a home in Utah

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Housing + Homelessness

Governor Spencer Cox poses with first lady Abby Cox, former child Natalie Clark, and Utah Foster Ca...

Eric Cabrera

Gov. Cox, Utah Foster Care calls on Utah to step up and become foster parents

Utah is facing its lowest number of foster families in 25 years. So Gov. Cox issued a call to action.

19 hours ago

housing unit growth in Utah...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah leads nation in housing unit growth, so why did privately owned units drop?

Housing unit growth is Utah is the highest in the United States, however private home ownership has plummeted.

6 days ago

FILE: Crossroads Urban Center is pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Advocates f...

Ashley Fredde, KSL.com

Advocates urge officials to include affordable housing in new sports and entertainment district

Crossroads Urban Center wants Salt Lake officials to mandate deeply affordable housing in a new sports and entertainment district.

8 days ago

A "For sale" sign in front of a home in North Salt Lake. Home listings for sale went up 23% in Apri...

Tammy Kikuchi

Home listings for sale in Utah went up almost 23% in April

Deanna Devey with the Utah Association of Realtors shared insights of new listings for homes, the total supply of homes and the number of closed sales all increased in April.

12 days ago

Utah wants homes to go to owners not renters. Grey homes are pictured in Lehi, Utah....

Eric Cabrera

U.S. Census Bureau ranks Utah number 1 in housing growth for third year in a row

Census data ranks Utah at the top for housing growth three years in a row. Utah's housing units have increased by 2.5%.

13 days ago

A neighborhood under construction in North Salt Lake....

Adam Small

“Priced out and Fed Up”: survey finds issues with housing affordability

This year's Utah Priorities Project report shows that, for the first time for the project, the cost of living is Utahns' number one concern.

29 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Salt Lake City planners recommend changes in how single-family neighborhoods get zoned