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The community wants to preserve the beloved drive-in theater and swap meet once more



West Valley City, Utah – The Redwood Drive-In Movie Theatre and Swap Meet are being rezoned, but West Valley City residents are fighting against it.

“This is my source of income. This is how I support my family,” said Blanca Trejo, a swap meet vendor who sells tumblers and hats.

Residents of West Valley City are mobilizing in only 48 hours after learning that this land may be rezoned and altered to preserve a location that has held immense personal significance for them over many years.

On Tuesday, a group of people congregated at the location, displaying signs and gathering signatures to request that the city reject the zoning change at the Redwood Drive-In Theatre.

“I grew up selling here with my mom, over 20 years ago,” said Jessica Ibarra. Generations of her family have been selling items there.

Every weekend, the Redwood Drive-In Theatre hosts a swap meet where hundreds of sellers, including Ibarra’s family, set up shop.

“Over 5,000 people unite here every weekend to purchase second-hand items, low-price items, so for the community around here, it’s going to be a sad story because they count on us to get their products, produce,” said Trejo.

The developer, Edge Homes, has petitioned West Valley City to change the land’s use from commercial to residential.

“There’s no help in you bringing this apartment here, there’s no help in building more buildings that our local community cannot afford,” said Cristian Gutierrez, a swap meet vendor working to organize the community effort.

A petition with more than 1,000 signatures claims that the drive-in cinema is a special location that should remain open and that the swap meet is essential.

“One of the few that are still open, so it’s nostalgic. It’s something that if we lose, we are never going to get back,” added Gutierrez.

The West Valley City Planning Commission will review this application and suggest a course of action to the entire council.

“We consider every zone change request on a case-by-case basis, so we look at facts of the situation, what’s around the property, taking public input into consideration,” said Steve Pastorik, the community development director for West Valley City. “The city council does not take these decisions lightly. They want to hear from the community, but in the end, they have to vote on what they feel like is the best decision for the city overall.”

A different developer attempted to rezon the land three years prior. The developer eventually withdrew the application in the hopes of trying again after people voiced their concerns.


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