A public hearing is set to decide the fate of the Three Creeks Confluence project.
The hearing will be on February 6th at 7PM in Room 315 of the City & County Building (451 S State Street). Click here to review the agenda. Salt Lake City Council is considering comments from the public about the proposed closure of 1300 South west of 900 West. The property is currently owned by Salt Lake City. Although, encroachments from surrounding property owners have taken over the right-of-way. This critical piece of the Three Creeks Confluence project area is where the proposed daylighting of Red Butte, Emigration, and Parley’s Creeks will take place.
Salt Lake City Planning Commission sent a favorable recommendation to close the right-of-way to City Council in Fall 2015. Following an April 2016 City Council meeting, Councilmembers wanted to further assess the impacts of the project on the adjacent V & L Auto. The business owner claims that the closure of the 1300 South right-of-way will not allow him to maneuver vehicles into his storage yard. There is approximately 16.5 feet between the project area and his storage yard, enough to fit his 12-foot tow truck. A sharp turn would make towing challenging, but not altogether impossible.
Salt Lake City staff have come up with the following options for City Council consideration:
Lease a 17.5 by 112-foot portion, to V & L Auto, along the southern boundary of the 1300 South right- of-way. This would extend to the back of V & L Auto and maintain a secondary entrance from 1300 South. This proposed driveway meets Rocky Mountain Power’s minimum 7.5-foot setback from an existing power pole. This option is recommended by Salt Lake City staff.
Option A would significantly impact the design of the Three Creeks Confluence project. It would eliminate the planned southern pedestrian access in the park. Additionally, it may affect the ability to remove the culverts - containing Red Butte, Emigration, and Parley’s Creeks - beneath the right-of-way. As a result, daylighting would not be feasible.
Lease a 10 x 112-foot portion, to V & L Auto, along the southern boundary of the 1300 South right- of-way. As with Option A, this would extend to the back of V & L Auto and maintain a secondary entrance from 1300 South. An existing power pole would need to be relocated to meet Rocky Mountain Power’s 7.5-foot setback. This option is estimated at approximately $250,000.
Option B would moderately impact the design of the Three Creeks Confluence project. It would modify the planned southern pedestrian access in the park. The culvert, containing the creeks, could likely be removed. However, costs to relocate the pole are prohibitive within the current project budget.
No additional property would be leased to V & L Auto.
Option C would not impact the Three Creeks Confluence project design.
Upon completion of the Seven Canyons Trust’s 100 Years of Daylighting, the Three Creeks Confluence vision was presented to former Salt Lake City District Two Councilmember Kyle LaMalfa in 2014. Just four years later, this project has transformed from concept to reality with widespread community support, $1.2 million secured, and an Achievement Award from the Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association. With implementation of this collaborative vision, citizens will see the project’s benefit in improving water quality, enhancing access to nature, elevating economic conditions, and increasing quality of life.
The Seven Canyons Trust urges Salt Lake City Council to support adoption of Option C, which will not impact the design and effectiveness of the Three Creeks Confluence. Options A and B sacrifice the functionality of the original goals of the project by threatening the success of daylighting Red Butte, Emigration, and Parley’s Creeks. The right-of-way property should be utilized for public benefit, containing the newly restored creek channel, north and south-side trail connections, and access to the natural beauty of the Jordan River corridor.
Furthermore, Options A and B are not support by the Westside Master Plan, which was formally-adopted by City Council in 2014. This vision states, “Salt Lake City should acquire property on 900 West near 1300 South for the purpose of creating a new access point for the Jordan River.” In fact, the Trust urges City Council to further study comprehensive, robust strategies in the acquisition or swap of the 1310 S 900 W property.
With no buffer between the business and Jordan River (and future project site), precipitation events carry heavy metals, oils, and other automobile detritus directly into the river and downstream ecosystems. It is time to make collaborative efforts to convert this blighted area into one that improves the long-term health of the highly-diverse, underserved west-side neighborhoods of Salt Lake City. Let’s find a win-win for this sensitive riparian ecosystem, the Salt Lake Valley’s hydrology, the business owner (who has quite obviously outgrown his location), and the livability of Utah’s capital city.
The Seven Canyons Trust urges the Council to think holistically about this project, continue its enlightened approach, and become a champion once more. Click here to find your Salt Lake City Council Representative.
Draft Letter of Support
Dear Councilmember, I urge you to support Option C in the proposed closure of the 1300 South right-of-way west of 900 West. Option C, which affords no additional space to the adjacent business owner, is supported by the Westside Master Plan, adopted by City Council in 2014. This vision states, “Salt Lake City should acquire property on 900 West near 1300 South for the purpose of creating a new access point for the Jordan River.” This option should be followed up with comprehensive, robust acquisition or property swap strategies, resulting in a win-win for the local hydrology, economy, and livability of Utah’s capital city. Thank you for considering my comments.
About the Three Creeks Confluence
The Three Creeks Confluence is the underground convergence of three of Salt Lake City’s urban creeks – Red Butte, Emigration, and Parley's Creeks – and the Jordan River. This project began as the first phase and centerpiece of the award-winning visioning document, 100 Years of Daylighting. The Seven Canyons Trust has successfully partnered with Salt Lake City and the Jordan River Commission to bring this award-winning project from a concept to a reality to uncover this 200-foot stretch of creek.