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The City Journals

Medical Services Added to Historic Building Use

Jun 09, 2016 09:09AM ● By Kelly Cannon

Historic buildings can now be used for medical services after a vote from the city council.—Draper City

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

The Draper City Council approved a change to the municipal code that would allow historic buildings to be used for medical services. The unanimous decision was reached during the council’s April 19 meeting.

Before the change, historic buildings could only be used for eight types of businesses: bed and breakfast inns, cultural services, a general office, personal care services, personal instruction services, reception center, a general restaurant or an antique store. These businesses are only allowed with a conditional use permit.

“We feel that allowing medical use to be a candidate for use in a historic building provides more opportunities for historic buildings to be redeveloped,” said Dennis Workman, a planner for the city. “We feel it is a good change to the code.”

The request for the change came from a specific historic building whose owner wished to turn it into a medical office. Workman explained in addition to that specific building, there are 18 other historic buildings that the change could potentially impact. Workman also explained the definition of medical services.

“Medical services is an establishment that provides therapeutic, preventative or corrective personal treatment services on an out-patient basis by physicians, dentists and other practitioners of the medical or healing arts, as well as the medical testing and analysis services,” Workman said.

The Draper Planning Commission voted four to one in recommendation for the change. Workman said the one dissenting vote felt the medical services use could be a little too intense for a residential area. He then explained that’s where the conditional-use permit comes into play. Before a permit is granted, the planning commission would examine how intense the impact would be on the surrounding community.

Councilmember William Rappleye had a question about conditional-use permits, whether businesses can be screened out. Workman explained businesses can’t be screened out per se but conditions can be required by the planning commission.

It was also explained that use of a historic building requires the owners not to change or alter the façade of the building and requirements must be met to keep the historic features of the building.

During the public comment, resident Vincent Simmons asked for the support of the council for the change to allow medical services in historic buildings. Simmons explained he bought a Victorian home in 1979 and restored the home.

“After hundreds of thousands of hours, to me, it’s a jewel in the community,” Simmons said.

After the death of his wife, he remarried and he and his current wife wish to move.

“Opening this zoning will help bring in more people from medical professionals. We’ve had a lot of requests and a lot of people looking at it for the last three months,” Simmons said. “They would need this zoning.”

Councilmember Alan Summerhays complimented the staff on adding the change to the allowed uses for historical buildings.