Public Utilities Riparian History

Salt Lake City Public Utilities
Riparian Corridor Stream Study
History of Project

Riparian Corridor Overlay (RCO) Stream Study

History of Project

The Riparian Corridor Ordinance was passed on July 22, 2008.  In conjunction with the ordinance, City Council allocated funding for an intensive scientific study to be conducted on the inner-city stream corridors of City, Red Butte, Emigration and Parleys Creeks.  At that time it was also decided that Salt Lake City Public Utilities (SLCDPU) would manage the stream study and facilitate transparency in all study processes with the public and a sub-committee group.

Mayor Becker endorsed the study by saying the following:   “Our goal is that this study will use a collaborative approach to information exchange, joint information gathering, consultation, and consensus in a way that will promote legitimacy and transparency, encourage creative problem‐solving, and support a timely implementation.” 

In July of 2008 a sub-committee of representatives from the Salt Lake City Public Utilities Advisory Committee, relevant public agencies, local advocacy groups and homeowners was formed to provide input to SLCDPU on every component of the study at quarterly meetings and through correspondence.

To begin the process of selecting the most qualified and economical firm to conduct the study, SLCDPU, along with the stream study sub-committee, designed the parameters of the stream study and published a scope-of-work in conjunction with a ‘request for proposal’ document in late July.

In September of 2008, Bio-West, Inc., a highly qualified and local environmental consulting firm based in Logan, UT, was selected to complete the scientific study and manage public outreach for the project over a 2 year period.

▪ For more information about Bio-West, Inc. please visit their website,

The study addresses the ecological, hydrological and infrastructure components within 100 feet of each side of the relevant inner city riparian corridors on private and public land.  This study is separate from the research done in conjunction with the Salt Lake County Water Quality Stewardship Plan (WaQSP), but does use valuable information from that study.  For information about the WaQSP, please visit the Salt Lake County website.

In September of 2008 Bio-West began the stream study on Red Butte and Emigration Creeks and wrapped up the field work for the 2008 field season in November.  All photographs and data will be posted on the riparian corridor stream study website and continuously updated as data is collected.

Meetings requesting input from the public will be conducted as a series of 4 meetings for each creek.  The meeting cycles will commence for each creek simultaneously with the start of the stream study for that creek.  These meetings are a key way for interested parties to express their concerns, bring recommendations to the table and provide valuable information to the City and the research team.  All meeting materials, minutes and presentations for these public meetings, as well as sub-committee meetings is available on the stream study website. 

Stream Study Timelines:

Riparian Corridor Ordinnance Timeline

July 17, 2007:  SLC Council passes six-month
temporary zoning regulation restricting
new construction or reconstruction within
corridor areas.
August – December 2007:  SLC Planning
Division develops proposed RCO ordinance
and collects comments from property
owners and general public.
September – November 2007:  SLC
Planning staff holds open house to hear
public comment and conducts Planning
Commission briefings and hearings.
January 8, 2008:  SLC Council holds
public hearing to receive property owner
and general public comments on the RCO
ordinance. Draft ordinance is revised.
January 15, 2008:  SLC Council adopts
RCO ordinance and Legislative Intents, and
leaves hearing open for 180 days to consider
February 2008:  SLC Council retains
services of consultants with experience in
land use, riparian corridor regulations and
public involvement.
March and April 2008:  Consultants
hold small focus group meetings with
stakeholders to hear concerns and discuss
possible refinements to the RCO ordinance.
Late April and May 2008:  Consultants
attend community council meetings to
provide process updates, gather additional
input, and consider issues.
Late May 2008:  Consultants make available
for public review and comment a ‘diagnosis’
document providing recommendations for
refining the RCO ordinance.
June 10, 2008:  Consultants brief
SLC Council regarding results of the
ordinance refinement process including
June 23, 2008:  Refined RCO ordinance
made available for public review and
July 1, 2008:  SLC Council holds final public
hearing to receive public comment on
proposed refined ordinance.
July 8, 2008:  SLC Council formally
considers refined RCO ordinance.
July 22, 2008:  SLC Council passes RCO