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Neighbors push back on plan to tear down old homes for townhomes in central Salt Lake City

Courtesy Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY – A group of houses have stood on the corner of 200 South and Lincoln Street in Salt Lake City for decades. Now, a plan to tear them down and replace them with 16 new townhomes is drawing criticism from neighbors.

Many of those neighbors voiced their concerns during an open house held by the Salt Lake City Planning Commission Monday night.

The owners of the homes are asking the Planning Commission to rezone the area from an R-2, or Single and Two-Family Residential, to RMF-35, meaning a Moderate Density Multi-Family Residential.

However, neighbor Cindy Cromer says many of the people who currently live in those houses, which have been partitioned into nine units, are low income.

“We can’t afford as a city to displace people who live in affordable housing and not provide for them. There’s no place for these people to go,” Cromer says.

Monica Hilding lives behind the houses that may be torn down and thinks the property owners let them slide into disrepair.

“What this rezone would do, would increase the value of the property underneath these structures. It rewards bad behavior on the part of landlords who don’t maintain their properties,” Hilding says.

But representatives from the developer were on hand to answer questions and painted a different picture.

They said the current homes could not withstand a remodel, while the 16 townhomes will be built green and fit into the neighborhood without impacting traffic.