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Holladay OKs new zoning category

Holladay (Salt Lake Tribune) » This bedroom community is making room for neighborhood cafes and shops.

Residents near Highland Drive and Spring Lane soon could be strolling to a corner restaurant to dine on Spanish tapas. On Thursday, the Holladay City Council created a new zoning category -- neighborhood commercial -- and granted it to Café Madrid.

The restaurant plans to move from 2080 E. 3900 South to 5244 S. Highland Drive, which had been zoned for homes.

The city plans to use the new designation on a case-by-case basis. The zoning encourages neighborhood businesses to face the street, hug the sidewalks and include other design features that appeal to pedestrians. Buildings can be as high as two stories.

"It's got to be neighborhood friendly," Councilman Barry Topham said.

Councilman Lynn Pace was the lone member to vote against the zoning change, citing a "philosophical" opposition to switching residential properties to commercial uses and other concerns with the decision.

"It is not wrong. It is simply troublesome when we try to do policy and land-use planning ... with one particular property in mind," Pace said. "It tends to be the cart driving the horse."

Mayor Dennis Webb said the city had made some "commitments" to the owner of Café Madrid.

"We need to move forward," he said.

Holladay also is considering updating its existing commercial zones to allow greater density and encourage mixed-use projects, such as a four-story building with ground-level retail and condos above. The council will continue to discuss those changes.

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