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South Salt Lake • After more than 40 years in West Valley City, Ken and Harla Macqueen have moved The Carpet Barn here, saying they couldn't afford to keep their business at its old location on Redwood Road.

Their store — which sells indoor and outdoor carpets, discontinued styles, slight irregulars, remnants and vinyl flooring — opened at 3663 S. Main St. about 10 days ago.

"I'd rather be back on my old property but it just didn't work," Ken Macqueen said Thursday, Sept. 29.

The Macqueens have been battling West Valley over the city's "streetscaping" ordinances that require businesses on major streets to spruce up the surrounding area as a way to improve the look and boost economic development. The beautification mandates for Redwood Road include the addition of a 20-foot wide landscaped buffer back from the street; a 10-foot-wide paved "urban trail" for pedestrians and bicyclists; a sprinkler irrigation system; and street lamps.

The ordinances apply to all new construction on vacant land and to buildings that undergo more than $50,000 of remodeling. The Carpet Barn property was exempt at first because it predated the Redwood Road ordinances, implemented in 1999. But after a fire on Dec. 31, 2009, destroyed the business, the property fell under the ordinances.

The Macqeens moved to a rented location at 3001 W. Parkway Blvd. in West Valley City and began plans to rebuild on Redwood Road. However, they discovered they were underinsured and would have to pay some of the costs, which they estimated being anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000.

After they failed to get their property exempted with the argument that the streetscape requirements are an unconstitutional taking of property, the Macqueens began scouring the Salt Lake area for a new location. Finding a commercial building that was both big enough and for sale, rather than for rent, made the search difficult.

"I would spend all afternoon driving around the valley looking," Ken Macqueen said.

He finally found the 21,000-square-foot building that had housed Galaxie Lighting. Harla Macqueen said the new building, with its spacious warehouse and big sign out front, is a good location and that South Salt Lake has been welcoming.

"That's the beauty of an existing building," she said. "Even the sign is grandfathered in."

The Redwood Road property has remained vacant and the Macqueens are now selling it.

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC —

Carpet Barn

The Carpet Barn has moved from West Valley City, where it opened its doors in 1969. The business is now at 3663 S. Main St., South Salt Lake. More information is available at