The Salt Lake City Council has just two meetings left this year, and with next week’s finale featuring traditional ceremonial send-offs for departing council members, most of the heavy lifting is on Tuesday’s agenda.
Items up for action include approving new police hires, reviewing and possibly adopting affordable-housing plans and programs, enacting new regulations for accessory dwellings, and finalizing zoning changes in the city’s so-called Northwest Quadrant to convert properties from agricultural to light industrial use.
Along with reviewing the latest revisions to a proposed citywide transit plan, the actions represent priorities the council set forth at the beginning of the year on housing, economic development and public services.
“There are some pretty big issues that we hope to resolve tomorrow,” council Chairman Stan Penfold, who leaves office next month, said Monday. “It’s kind of concluding a lot of work through the year, certainly a lot of work since July1, after we finished the budget. I feet pretty good about it.”
Police hires • The council is expected to OK the hiring of 50 new officers, bringing the authorized force to just over 500. Funding exists for this year’s cost of new hires but council members said last week they expect a tax increase next year to fund the positions going forward.
Affordable housing • The council has been reviewing two plans to encourage and provide more affordable housing. One calls for incentives to support new construction of more than 850 affordable homes on a half dozen city-owned sites and through partnerships with developers. A second relies less on new construction and more on existing programs to help house those who earn approximately half the area median income and below.
The two plans are not mutually exclusive, and council members might choose to combine elements of each in a final program to be approved by year’s end, possibly Tuesday.
Accessory dwellings • A plan to ease rules for where in the city smaller homes can be built on existing single-family home sites, with carve-outs for some east-side neighborhoods that don’t want them, is likely to be approved.
Northwest Quadrant • The council is expected to adopt additional zoning changes to permit light manufacturing in areas west of the international airport previously zoned for agriculture. The changes are within the scope of a master plan to promote economic development in that section of the city while preserving environmentally sensitive areas.