DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA Salt Lake City Battles Metastasizing Parking Lots: This Week in Bans. MORE INFERNAL PARKING LOTS, IN UTAH Fearing that their hometown is becoming a lake of asphalt, Salt Lake City councilors have outlawed the practice of knocking down buildings to create surface parking lots. Right now, Salt Lake has about 55 acres of blacktop carpeting the downtown area, a hefty 20 percent of its surface area. The new ordinance, which affects a central commercial district, is meant to prevent more gray slabs of blah from masquerading as urban blocks, kind of like this one: Councilman Stan Penfold said he hopes the regulation will prevent automotive blight from “sucking the life out of downtown,” reports the Salt Lake Tribune. However, developers are still allowed to construct more parking lots as long as they make them less visible – putting them 75 feet away from sidewalks, say, or tucking them behind buildings.