CONSUMER

Redwood Drive-In Swap Meet vendors hope to stop potential rezoning of land

Jun 5, 2024, 3:25 PM | Updated: 3:46 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY — Dozens of local vendors spent their Tuesday afternoon in the Redwood Drive-In Theater Swap Meet parking lot, getting signatures in hopes of swaying the West Valley City Council to deny an application to rezone the land for residential use.

The 26-acre land, which is privately owned, is zoned for commercial use, but the owner wants to sell it. Edge Homes reportedly wants to buy it if they can get approval to rezone it.

West Valley City said Edge Homes has approached them with a tentative plan to build 308 units, including condos, townhomes, and single-family homes.

One of the venders at the Redwood Drive In and Swap Meet.

One of the vendors at the Redwood Drive-In and Swap Meet. (Courtesy Cristian Gutierrez)

For the last seven years, Cristian Guiterrez has spent every weekend at the swap meet. He said it’s the way he makes his living.

“A lot of people support themselves from this,” Guiterrez said. “So if they lose this, they’ll basically lose everything.”

He said that loss would include the community feeling there. Beto Conejo is an artist and vendor, who also worries about losing the community event.

“On a Saturday or Sunday, you don’t just come here to buy things. You come to see friends,” Conejo said. “On top of the community component, it’s one of the most dynamic micro-economies that Utah has to offer.”

However, West Valley City leaders said the city isn’t totally responsible for what happens next on this land.

City officials said it could be developed into homes and apartments if it is rezoned, but they also don’t own the land, which means the current owner could develop it into commercial real estate at any time.

Vendors protesting the proposed selling of the land and rezoning for condos, townhomes, and homes.

Vendors protesting the proposed selling of the land and rezoning for condos, townhomes, and homes on the current site of the Redwood Drive-In Theaters and Swap Meet. (Jack Grim, KSL TV)

So, what happens next?

Edge Homes has submitted an application that will go up for review at a public hearing on June 12 at the West Valley City Council Chambers at 4 p.m. The planning committee will review the plans and give the City Council a recommendation. That process generally takes weeks.

Guiterrez and Conejo said they don’t want to block a potential sale as long as the new buyers keep the swap meet and drive in the way they are.

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Redwood Drive-In Swap Meet vendors hope to stop potential rezoning of land