Manti sets up conditional
use review in many parts
of proposed ordinance
By Suzanne Dean
MANTI—The Manti City Council tightened up a proposed new residential zoning ordinance as it reviewed the seven-page draft section by section at a work meeting Nov. 4.
Kent Barton, city manager, said most of the concerns expressed at a public hearing in September were about potential multi-story apartment complexes, a type of development that is not permitted right now but could be under the proposed new ordinance.
“People didn’t want to see large multi-family apartment complexes without controls,” Barton said.
The thrust of most of the changes the council made at the work meeting was not rejecting different potential housing types, such as apartments or townhomes, but requiring “conditional use permits” for projects with five or more units.
That means that even if a site is zoned for the use a developer is proposing, the developer can’t build the housing until the planning commission and city council review the his or her plans in depth.
The developer will have to present a site plan and possibly architectural drawings. And the planning commission or city council can set down “conditions,” such as on-site parking , landscaping and maintenance requirements.
“The goal is that housing requiring a conditional use permit not have a negative impact in the zone where it is allowed,” Barton said.
The proposed new ordinance is part of an effort to implement goals set down in a general plan approved in 2016. Last February, the city council approved new zoning on Manti’s historic Main Street. Then the council moved on to the new residential zoning, which aims to preserving residential areas as they now stand and accommodate residential growth.
Presently, most of the city aside from Main Street is zoned R-1, a classification designed mainly for single-family homes on relatively large lots.
At the work meeting, the council approved a change permitting duplexes in the R-1 zone, but with a conditional use permit.
Another big change in R-1 is a provision permitting “accessory dwelling units.” That provision has the potential of having the biggest immediate change in the city.
Under the accessory dwelling section of the new ordinance, an owner who lives on a property would be permitted to convert existing living space within his or her home into a separate apartment; build an addition onto the home containing an apartment; convert a barn or other accessory building already on the lot to a dwelling unit; or build a new, detached cottage on the property.
Moving beyond R-1, the proposed ordinance would establish two new zones, R-2 and R-3.
The R-2 zone, described in the ordinance as a “medium- to low -density zone” would permit single family homes like in R-1, but would allow smaller home lots than R-1. The zone would also permit duplexes and town homes.
R-3, characterized as a “multi-family and medium-density zone,” would permit “stacked” (multi-story) apartment housing, townhomes, twin homes and duplexes, along with single-family homes on even smaller lots than in R-1 and R-2.
The maximum density for multi-family housing in the zone would be 12 units per acre, which translates to one unit per 3,600 square feet. That is just a little less dense that some multi-family areas of Salt Lake City, where zoning permits 14 units per acre.
Barton emphasized that while the ordinance defines what is permitted in R-2 and R-3, no land has been zoned for those classifications. But the designations could be applied to vacant land coming on line for development.
During the work meeting, the city council also enhanced controls related to accessory dwelling units. A owner would have to get a permit from the city office before creating such a unit. Only one accessory unit could be created per lot. And the accessory unit could not be split off and sold separately from the main unit.
The owner would have to remain on site, living in either the main or accessory unit. It would not be legal for both units to be rented out. (Provision is made for an owner who leaves for military service or goes to a nursing home.)
There would have to be adequate off-street parking for both the main and accessory unit. And it would not be possible to set up separate city utilities for each unit—the two units would have to share the same utility service.
The new zoning ordinance is on the agenda at a city council meeting tonight (Wednesday). But Barton said, “I don’t think the mayor will call for a vote (to adopt the ordinance) until he feels the council has come to substantial agreement.
Barton said he didn’t think the council was at that point yet.