Salt Lake City, UT, City Code

Updated September 2021

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Table of Contents

Accessory Dwelling Units

The city's zoning code permits one internal, attached, or detached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) by right on any lot that contains a single-family dwelling (§21A.40.200). Use-specific standards address purpose, methods of creation, density, ownership, owner occupancy, number of residents, home occupations, parking, additional standards for internal and attached ADUs, additional standards for detached ADUs, registration, abandonment, and reporting.

Active Transportation

The city’s zoning code establishes pedestrian-oriented standards for its mixed-use districts (§21A.24.164, §21A.24.168), its Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) district (§21A.26.078), and its small neighborhood business district and downtown district (§21A.26.025, §21A.30.030). Each of the districts sets similar standards for transparency and other ground floor elements, but the TOD standards go furthest in illustrating the desired forms of the pedestrian-oriented districts.

Affordable Housing Programs

The city’s codified ordinances outline a comprehensive affordable housing strategy. §2.58.010 requires that city officials consider city-owned real property for its potential to provide affordable housing before disposition and Chapter 2.80 describes the city’s housing trust fund and its advisory board. Chapter 18.97 contains policies related to mitigating residential housing loss, listing methods that petitioners can use to comply with the regulation. Height bonuses for affordable housing projects are shown in Table 21A.27.040.C and in §21A.31.010(N) and reduced parking requirements are shared in Table 21A.44.030. The city’s accessory dwelling units policies are contained in §21A.40.200.

Food Systems | food trucks

The city’s zoning code defines mobile businesses, mobile food courts, mobile food trailer, and mobile food truck (§21A.62.040) and provides standards addressing location, parking, signage, and operations for mobile food units on public and private property (§21A.36.160) and standards addressing location, parking, and operations for mobile food courts (§21A.36.161).

Group Housing

The city's zoning code defines "dwelling, group home (small)" and "dwelling, group home (large)" (§21A.62.040). Small group homes house two to six handicapped residents, and large group homes house seven or more.

Small group homes are permitted by right in all residential, mixed use, and commercial districts; large group homes are conditional uses in multifamily residential and mixed use districts and permitted by right in certain commercial districts (§21A.33.020, §21A.33.030).

The code establishes parking requirements of 2 spaces per home plus 1 space per 2 support staff (§21A.44.030).

Home Occupations

The city's zoning code permits home occupations by right subject to use-specific standards (§21A.36.030). Home occupations must comply with appearance, occupancy, parking, accessory structure, storage, delivery, nuisance, client visitation, signage, and on-site sales standards. The city permits home occupations in all residential districts and within all legal conforming residences in nonresidential districts (§§21A.33.020 et seq.). The purpose statement for these provisions recognizes that home occupations promote local and sustainable economic growth and development (§21A.36.030.A).

Residential Infill development

The city’s zoning code includes a mapped overlay to promote context-sensitive residential infill in an established neighborhood (§21A.34.120). The Yalecrest Compatible Infill overlay district encourages new construction and property additions or alterations that follow the existing character and scale of the existing neighborhood. The overlay district offers flexibility and allows for greater density, while assuring compatible infill through the regulation of height, front yards, accessory structures, and garages. 

Rethinking Off-Street Parking Requirements

The city’s zoning code includes multiple types of policy-driven off-street parking requirements. It exempts all uses in multiple zoning districts from off-street minimum parking requirements (§21A.44.030.G.2). It establishes parking maximums for all uses in multiple zoning districts (§21A.44.030.H). And it authorizes parking reductions for affordable and elderly housing, shared parking facilities (based on the mix of uses),  on-street parking, valet parking, transit proximity, pedestrian-friendly development, and transportation demand management programs (§21A.44.040).

Solar Energy

The city's subdivision regulations provide a definition for "solar oriented lot" (§20.08.020) and include a solar- oriented requirement for single-family residential developments of more than 25 lots (§20.12.020.H): at least half of lots less than 15,000 SF in size must conform to the definition of solar-oriented lot and street patterns should have an east-west orientation, though modifications due to unusual site conditions may be made.

The city's zoning code permits solar arrays in the Form-Based Urban Neighborhood 2 Subdistrict (Table 21A.33.080), certain commercial and manufacturing districts (§21A.33.030; §21A.33.040), the Gateway district (§21A.33.060), and a number of special purpose districts (§21A.33.070).

The zoning code presents qualifying provisions for a solar array that address setbacks, height, abandonment, and other elements (§21A.36.230). Property owners may negotiate solar easements with adjacent owners.

The code also presents accessory use standards for small solar energy collection systems that address setbacks, location, height, coverage, and easements (§21A.40.190). In the historic preservation overlay district, a Certificate of Appropriateness must be obtained. Systems must be installed in the least visible and obtrusive way with the least impact to historic character; the code lists possible site locations in the preferred order of priority.

The zoning code defines "solar array" and "solar energy collection system, small" (§21A.62.040).

Transit-Oriented Development

The city’s zoning code includes a mapped transit-oriented development (TOD) district for light rail station areas (§21A.26.078). The TSA Transit Station Area district defines four types of station areas: Urban Center Station (TSA-UC); Urban Neighborhood Station (TSA-UN); Mixed Use Employment Center Station (TSA-MUEC); and Special Purpose Station (TSA-SP).

District standards address the project review process, project development score, development standards, design standards, multiple buildings on a single parcel, parking, conflicting regulations, and developments over five acres.

Urban Agriculture

The city’s zoning code addresses urban agriculture. Community gardens are conditional uses in foothills and single-family residential districts and are permitted uses in all other residential and nonresidential districts except M-2 and some special-purpose districts; urban farms are permitted in all districts except small neighborhood business districts, downtown districts, and some special-purpose districts; and seasonal farm stands are permitted in mixed use districts and the other districts where urban farms are permitted (Table 21A.33.020, Table 21A.33.030, Table 21A.33.035, Table 21A.33.040, Table 21A.33.050, Table 21A.33.070).

The code provides standards for urban farms that address accessory buildings, riparian corridors, storage, disposal, large vehicles, hours of operation, irrigation systems, delivery and pickup, parking, on-site sales and events, fencing, business licensing, and demolition of single-family homes (§21A.36.200). The same issues are addressed in standards for community gardens (§21A.36.210). The code also provides standards for seasonal farm stands that address duration, right-of-way, third-party locations, parking, setback, size, food preparation prohibitions, signs, sales, animals, garbage, and storage (§21A.36.220).

The code defines the terms community garden, seasonal farm stand, urban agriculture and urban farm (§21A.62.040).

Urban Livestock

The city code's Animals title was amended in 2009 to address keeping livestock and poultry (Chapter 8.08). Livestock are restricted to agricultural districts, but chickens may be kept in residential zoning districts with an annual permit (§8.08.010). Up to 15 chickens are permitted on lots with single-family, two-family, or multifamily dwellings. Roosters are prohibited. Standards address enclosures, coop design, size, and location, and sanitation (§8.08.065). Poultry coops and runs must be cleaned according to schedule (§8.08.070).

A city website summarizes information on keeping backyard chickens and applying for a permit.

Salt Lake City, UT

2010 Population: 186,440

2010 Population Density: 1,677.98/square mile