The city’s proposed changes to the RMF-30 district are the first step that Salt Lake City needs to take to cultivate a more affordable housing market as well as diversify the housing types that meet the needs of diverse households.
The positive changes being proposed would:
- Allow the construction of compatible multi-family building types including cottage developments sideways row houses, and tiny houses without special approval.
- Reduce the minimum lot area requirements per unit.
- Remove minimum lot width requirements.
- Allow more than one building on a lot without public street frontage.
- Grant a unit bonus for the retention of an existing structure on a lot.
Zoning reforms will not result in Utah’s residential neighborhoods being knocked down and replaced with townhomes overnight, as some opponents of zoning reform have declared. Zoning reform in Salt Lake City can result in gradual, incremental change.
Salt Lake City already has duplexes, triplexes, cottage courts, and townhomes in many of its most sought-after neighborhoods - from East Liberty Park to Liberty Wells to the Avenues. These building types are already part of the character of these neighborhoods, but they’re heavily restricted now. Diverse housing types like these are part of what makes these neighborhoods special, as their gentle density supports small businesses, civic institutions, and a sense of community identity. Facilitating the construction of these housing types by reforming RFM-30 zoning will help our neighborhoods evolve into more inclusive and thriving communities.
By approving the proposed changes to the RMF-30 district, the Salt Lake City Council can address a critical piece of Salt Lake City’s housing needs by making it easier to build attainable missing-middle housing.