City’s ‘primary gateway’ readied for revampApr 12, 2021 09:50AM ● By Zak Sonntag
An artistic rendering gives a potential look of a realized Crossroads. (Courtesy City of Holladay)
By Zak Sonntag | [email protected]
After a years-long effort, in March Holladay City leaders approved the Holladay Crossroads Zone, setting the stage for an overdue revamp of the city’s symbolic “gateway” and one of its most economically vital hubs, encompassing an area from the junction at Van Winkle Expressway and Vine Street down Highland Drive toward Interstate 215.
The move closes the curtain on the outmoded C2 zone, a legacy of the “wild west zoning” practices of Salt Lake County that often resulted in eclectic and poorly forethought arrangements, including Maggie’s Tavern, whose outdoor patio and lubricated clientele did not win friends with the abutting residential neighborhood and created constant headaches for municipal officers who fielded multitudinous complaints.
The new zone encourages more functionally relevant and aesthetically cohesive projects for the area moving forward, according to the Holladay City Council, who applauded the final passage with a sense of exhausted relief, like runners crossing a finish line.
“It has been a real goal of the council for a number of years, and this is a milestone. Long term this will be an asset to the city,” Mayor Robert Dahle said.
Considered the city’s “primary gateway,” staff and leaders anticipate the Crossroads Zone to be a vibrant compilation of mixed-use and attractive areas, with weighty emphasis placed on the facilitation of greater bike and pedestrian access.
“Future development in this area must not only provide economic benefits…but contribute to the City’s overall desirability and quality of life,” according to the Crossroads vision statement in Chapter 13 of the General Plan. “The purpose of the HCR Zone is to create a pattern for new development that is appropriately oriented and situated toward public rights of way, provides an opportunity for increased human interaction and protects and increases the economic vitality of the city.”
The zone’s attention to detail is the reflection of years of work and input, beginning at least as early as the 2017 Small Area Master Plan, recommended by planning commission and approved by the city council. The SAMP identified the area’s critical role as a transportation hub whose C2 zone was deemed too dated and cumbersome to accommodate the areas dynamic needs. Since 2017, the city chipped away at draft proposals, which were massaged and tweaked along the way in response to public feedback gathered in emails and comments offered during public open houses.
The final product is a zone whose detailed requirements can feel granular and will make it difficult for would-be developers to be chintzy on aesthetic components or functional components, emphasizing that the area embody “aesthetically attractive” and “easily accessible” design, which the city hopes will encourage businesses and developers to work together for projects like underground parking.
When fully realized, the Crossroads area may be reminiscent of the Holladay Village, which has won design awards and achieved broad popularity amongst residents. The new zone’s ability to mimic the success of the Village, however, will not be immediately evident as new development will unfold piecemeal over time.
“I believe this is a win-win for all stakeholders involved. I believe it improves life for the residents and puts in place some protections that were not there in the legacy zoning. And it opens the doors for landowners to do things in the future that will benefit their business and the whole city. It’s something to be proud of,” said Councilmember Dan Gibbons, who represents District 5 where the zone is located.