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Heber approves zoning changes for heart of downtown

Heber City's C-3 zone sits at the heart of Main Street. City leaders hope to make it more business- and visitor-friendly.
Heber City's C-3 zone sits at the heart of Main Street. City leaders hope to make it more business- and visitor-friendly.

The Heber City Council approved changes to the downtown core they hope will make it more business- and visitor-friendly.

The C-3 zone is small but impactful: it stretches from 300 North to 300 South Main Street, and from 100 East to 100 West. City leaders want it to be the center of downtown. But changes have been a long time coming, according to Councilmember Mike Johnston.

“I think we could debate this ad nauseam for months,” he said. “I’m reticent to just keep trying to perfect it because I don’t know if we’re going to ever do that…. So I’m willing to move forward and adopt this tonight.”

Last week, March 19, the council adopted changes that include new uses, such as arts spaces and hotels; establishing building and design standards; capping building heights to three stories or, in some cases, four; and reducing parking requirements. Chain businesses – which Heber defines as businesses with more than 20 locations – will also be prohibited.

City leaders also loosened parking requirements. New businesses will no longer have to provide on-site parking, and existing ones won’t need to add parking if they expand.

Heber leaders say they want this change to incentivize more investment in Main Street. Still, they acknowledge the city needs more parking, as community members have brought up throughout the C-3 rezoning process.

Councilmember Yvonne Barney said she wants to ensure people have access to parking when they visit Heber.

“Especially those who have businesses in town, they cannot be having this concern about where their patrons will park,” she said.

The city plans to add dozens of surface parking spaces downtown in the coming years, with the possibility of building a garage if demand continues to grow.

Councilmembers voted unanimously to approve the updates to the C-3 zone, while acknowledging they will continue to tweak the zone requirements. More information about the changes can be found on Heber City’s website.

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