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Draper bans DI at choice retail site

Published March 8, 2006 2:25 am

Thrift store: The Council decrees the charity-based facility must be relegated to a zone several blocks away
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

DRAPER - It looks like Deseret Industries is going to have to shop around for another potential location in Draper.

That's because the City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night for an ordinance barring large secondhand stores from Draper's burgeoning commercial core and relegating them instead to two zones blocks away from the mushrooming suburb's 12300 South gateway.



While the hotly debated measure - one council member accused three colleagues of huddling in an illegal "closed-door" meeting - deals with secondhand stores in general, the statute clearly was aimed at the potential home of the LDS Church-owned thrift store.

"We're not talking about a pawnshop," said Councilman Paul Edwards, who voted against the measure. "This ordinance is trying to limit one specific entity."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hasn't submitted a plan for a Draper store. It became clear months ago, however, that the church was shopping for a site and apparently settled on a 5-acre parcel near 12300 South and 300 East.

In a previous meeting, officials representing DI said a location near other retailers on 12300 South would make their store work. And even after the City Council vote Tuesday, the church isn't turning its back on the prospect of coming to Draper.

"We just need to take a look at what the language [of the ordinance] is and see if we can be a service to this community," said Curtis Ravsten, director of DIs. "We hope to be able to work with the city."

Deseret Industries is an institution in Utah, known for selling secondhand clothes and goods donated from throughout the state.

New stores, however, offer more social services, with the church setting up employment offices along with its family services in the same facility.

In initial public hearings, a City Council member said Draper residents don't need a DI. Another argued that the store - with donors dropping goods off and the church trucking much of it away for humanitarian work around the globe - wasn't just another retailer.

Councilman Bill Colbert, who voted for the ordinance, said he was frustrated because the dispute seemed to divide Draper into "haves and have-nots."

Colbert argues that the ordinance still allows DI officials to request a zone change near the commercial corridor. All Colbert wants, he said, is for the store to move "one block off" 12300 South.

"You don't see [DIs] at The Gateway," Colbert said. "You don't see it in downtown revitalization in Provo."

For his part, Draper Mayor Darrell Smith - who doesn't vote on the City Council and cannot veto the ordinance - said the prospect of zoning DI out of the commercial heart was a bad idea.

"This is a decision that is not for the good of the whole community," Smith said.

But the most outspoken opponent of the ordinance was Councilman Pete Larkin.

"You want to push them to the outskirts," he said. "It's a lousy ordinance that we'll have to redo."

jsantini@sltrib.com

 

 

 

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