Gateway Hopes for Zoning Change at Public Hearing

Gateway Hopes for Zoning Change at Public Hearing

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Richard Piatt ReportingThe owners of The Gateway want department stores to round out the development. But they have to get permission from the city first, and they're planning to ask for it tonight at a public hearing of the Planning Commission.

The zoning change is a first step to getting Nordstrom to move to the Gateway. The Boyer Company says there is more at stake than Nordstrom's future, but they know getting what they want is going to be tough.

Large stores were not part of the plan when Gateway was built. But now the developer wants to put Nordstrom in a large space north of the development. And there is talk of Target opening there too, another large store that isn't allowed under current zoning guidelines.

Boyer Company is asking Salt Lake City's Planning Commission to change those zoning requirements. There are a lot of people applying the brakes to the proposal, most notably Mayor Rocky Anderson.

Rocky Anderson, Salt Lake City Mayor: “We should do everything possible to keep Nordstrom on Main Street. If there is no option, then absolutely, we should do whatever needed to keep Nordstrom in our city."

The Mayor and most members of the city council want to see what Crossroads Mall could be, now that it's owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Even though Nordstrom keeps saying it wants to move, city planners and officials are reluctant to give the go-ahead, even amid threats the store could leave town.

Chamber of Commerce Lane Beatty puts it this way: “Decisions should be made for what's best for the city now and in the future. I think overall the message again and again is, this decision has to be made on business principals, and then you have to let it fall where it's going to fall."

Boyer company officials--Gateway's owners--are well aware they're going to have to fight to get the zoning changed. A final outcome could eventually involve a compromise, not the current 'either-or' proposal.

Boyer Company officials will be presenting their side of the issue at a Planning commission meeting tonight at 6:45 at the city and county building. Then the planning commission makes a recommendation to the city council, which is expected to rule on the proposal sometime in October.

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