Council approves zoning change for aquarium expansion
An aerial map showing the planned expansion of the Living Planet Aquarium. The city council approved rezoning the area to a commercial special district. (Draper City)
The Draper City Council approved both a zoning change and a change to a text amendment related to the expansion of the Living Planet Aquarium. The four-to-one vote took place during the April 18 council meeting with Councilwoman Marsha Vawdrey voting against.
Draper City Planner Dennis Workman explained to the council the Living Planet Aquarium was requesting 9.09 acres to rezone from CBP, a business/manufacturing park, to CSD-LPA, a commercial special district.
“This narrows the number of uses that can go in there quite a bit,” Workman said. “The CBP allows a lot more uses than the CSD-LPA.”
Workman also said the aquarium was requesting a change to a text amendment.
“This text amendment, we’re looking at a significant change that the applicant has made per his request,” Workman said. “This is the basic summary of the text amendment. It increases the maximum building/structure height from 100 feet to 175 feet. It makes allowances for a future structure to be located on the south parcel that will serve as a pavilion. It clarifies that the Rocky Mountain Power corridor is exempt from the requirement to install trees.”
During the April 11 city council meeting, Living Planet Aquarium included a change to the rules about signage in their requested text amendment change. However, those changes to signage were removed for the April 18 meeting due to concern expressed from the city council.
“The signage will be what it always was as it was adopted many years ago. That’s the signage they will be allowed unless they come back and want to change it somehow. But right now, there is no request for additional signage,” Workman said. “Power signs are allowed. There is one already there as we all know. The signs can be 40 feet tall and 200 square feet per sign face. That’s what they’ll be allowed from here on out unless they decide to change it.”
Councilman William Rappleye thanked Brent Anderson with the Living Planet Aquarium and his team for working through the parts of the text amendment changes that the council was concerned about.
“I understand he went back after talking with us at the last meeting and did some reconsideration of the plan and realized that what they really need to do is get the rest of the plan in place before they could really think about signage changes,” Rappleye said. “I appreciate that understanding and being so quick on that.”
Councilwoman Michele Weeks also thanked Workman for working hard so the council could vote on the changes at the April 18 meeting.
During the Feb. 21 Draper City Council meeting, the council unanimously voted to waive all zoning fees associated with the expansion of the Living Planet Aquarium.
“I do believe that we’re a strong partner with the aquarium. I believe it does bring a lot of recognition to Draper City. I think it’s hard to prove out how many dollars have come to the community after the fact. But they do have a great map to show where the visitors come from and it’s quite a wide range across the United States,” Rappleye said during the Feb. 21 meeting. “I think that does help recruit businesses into our city. They’ve proven they’re a good corporate neighbor.”