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Failure To Meet Zoning Laws

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City governments are tasked with writing and enforcing zoning laws that define all aspects of private use of property within the city’s district. In order for businesses and other groups to build and use plots, or zones, of land that they own within the city’s district, they must get approval from various city government officials. Failure to meet zoning requirements for the specific use proposed, as interpreted by certain officials, results in denial of the entity from using their land for that purpose. On March 22nd, I attended a meeting of the Salt Lake City Planning Commission (PC). The meeting concerned approving group’s proposed usage of property they own. Specifically, I will write about the Other Side Academy’s (OSA) proposal to build…show more content…
OSA speakers #1-5 bring up a number of points to try and convince the PC that their program is very helpful to people released from prison so that the PC will approve OSA’s request so that they can work on finding a way to fit the program in zoning laws. The OSA model, no medical professionals and focusing on job-training in OSA run businesses, has been very successful in San Francisco. The state of California paid for it and purportedly saved CA 2 Billion dollars on re-incarceration costs, which waste money because many who go to prison go back multiple times, wasting tax payer money. Research has shown the OSA model is the best chance released inmates have of avoiding re-incarceration. They require no government funding because their businesses, primarily a moving company and a food truck, pay for 94% of operation costs and private donations make up the rest; also, they ask no tuition of their students. Their businesses are rated highly, and many students would have to resort to crime instead of going to the OSA. Anecdotes from graduates reemphasize the positive effect OSA has had on their lives, specifically about how they overcame heroin addiction. OSA cleaned up the neighborhood around the academy and helped turn homeless into productive members of society. The OSA is aligned with the Salt Lake City government’s current priorities concerning homeless: develop affordable housing,…show more content…
The meeting resolved the issue of theRuby’s proposal to build townhouses, but the status of the OSA’s expansion is still uncertain. They cleared the first hurdle by having the PC conditionally approve it, but they still need to appeal to the city council to change zoning laws. I learned how zoning laws impact every aspect of use of private property. This includes the proposed usage of each building and the impact all structures have on the flow of foot and car traffic. I also learned all about the good OSA are doing in trying to solve the problems of re-incarceration, homelessness, and drug addiction. I do not feel the meeting should be conducted in a significantly different way. Having STAFF present the proposal from a neutral perspective sets the facts down, so that the representatives of the program can address the concerns of STAFF while also telling the PC their vision and positive impacts of their program is a good order of
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