SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – An appeal to build a gas station on the corner near Sugar House Park has been submitted after the original application was denied earlier this month.

The plan was to build a Kum & Go gas station on the corner of 2100 South and 1300 East. Currently, the corner that used to serve as a location for Sizzler sits abandoned. An application to turn it into a gas station was submitted in January 2022.

Over the next year, plans were altered and revised and new applications were submitted. The plans were formally denied on April 12, 2023, and on Monday, an appeal of that decision was submitted.

The appeal, submitted on behalf of Kum & Go and Galloway US, the architecture and civil engineering company behind the project, said the decision was “illegal, arbitrary and capricious.” The Salt Lake City Planning Commission‘s decision was based on several considerations, including environmental concerns and traffic concerns.

The Planning Commission said the gas station would increase the risk of contamination of harmful characters to the nearby Sugar House Pond and Parley’s Creek. They also were concerned the plans wouldn’t mitigate traffic congestion enough and could actually harm the flow of traffic due to high volume of use and fuel truck routes needed.

The appeal says the decision was made with a lack of substantial evidence. Kum & Go and Galloway US said the Planning Commission’s decision was based on speculation and no evidence was submitted to support their claims. The appellant also says they were held to a higher standard than what was allowed.

“Conditional use applications need not address speculative impacts, and they need not eliminate reasonably anticipated impacts,” the appeal states. “They need only ‘mitigate’ – i.e., lessen the severity of – reasonably anticipated detrimental effects.”

Throughout the appeal, Galloway US and Kum & Go argue against the Planning Commission’s claims.

They say that the alleged possibility of contaminants affecting Parley’s Creek is a “conclusion rather than evidence,” based on comments made by a staff member of the Public Utilities Department. They also say that due to Utah’s low humidity and stronger wind, gasoline molecules would disperse and evaporate more quickly, meaning little-to-no impact on air quality in the area.

Kum & Go also said a Traffic Impact Study was conducted, analyzing existing and future intersections. The study reportedly showed the gas station would have little impact on the existing intersection and may even improve traffic congestion. The Planning Commission refuted the study, saying it was done while the corner was unutilized, but the appeal said that was actually ideal. In the appellant’s argument, a gas station is not a destination spot and would actually be less impactful on traffic than a sit-down restaurant or chain with a drive-thru.

Before the initial denial, public outcry against the gas station had been overwhelming. The Sugar House Community Council said 98% of hundreds surveyed were against a gas station being built on the corner.

Now that the appeal has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the Attorney’s Office to determine if it has standing. It will then be taken to an Appeal Hearing, typically held on the third Thursday of the month. A decision will be made within 21 days after the hearing.