Evidence of historic preservation benefits in Utah coming soon

We’ve read numerous studies and even listened to Donovan Rypkema’s lectures so we’re thrilled a Utah-specific study is being done to show the economic benefits of historic preservation. The Utah Heritage Foundation commissioned the study, due in June.  Read more here: Study to analyze economic impacts of historic preservation _ The Salt Lake Tribune

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New CCD and LHD designation processes approved

A brand new tool for Salt Lakers to use in conserving certain characteristics of their neighborhoods was approved by the Salt Lake City Council Oct. 23. Character conservation districts are different from local historic districts in that the property owners determine what character defining features of the area and buildings are to be retained.  For more information on how to begin that process in your neighborhood,  read the Character Conservation Districts fact sheet.

The new Local Historic District designation process begins with 15% of residents on a street or block, or a subdivision or neighborhood, complete a petition to begin the City process. After outreach and education, homeowners in the area are mailed a ballot. More than 50% should approve the designation as a guideline for the City Council to vote on. A simple majority of the Council will be needed to pass the LHD zoning overlay. If the vote doesn’t show 50% + 1 in favor, then a super major of the Council will be required to approved the designation.

Read  Salt Lake City creates historic district process | The Salt Lake Tribune.

And even more importantly, the City has finally approved it’s Community Preservation Program. This has been in the works for years, with citizen input and tweaks by various consultants, planning staff, and council members. Read the adopted plan here.

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Utah Preservation Conference

The Utah Heritage Foundation puts on an outstanding historic preservation conference every year and this year’s installment begins Thursday, May 3. Register here.

In conjunction, the 41st annual historic homes tour takes place on South Temple this year. Use the same link above to reserve your tickets for Saturday, May 5.

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Include preservation in the East Bench Master Plan

Salt Lake City has been working to update the East Bench Master Plan.  Take a look at input so far, from various groups living and working on the East Bench.  It has a very small section on preservation and we’d like to see a more of an emphasis on historic preservation included in the final guiding document.  Go here before May 11 to review and provide your input.

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City considers shrinking a historic district

As part of the 400 South and University Boulevard Livable Communities Project, Salt Lake City’s new temporary zoning on 400 South runs right through the Central City local historic district, a landmark site the City considers significant. We applaud the project but wonder if the area from 500 East to 700 East (in Central City LHD) could have some special protections?

Read this letter to the editor:
“Transit over heritage?

Published April 16, 2012 in The Salt Lake Tribune

Re “Salt Lake City imposes temporary zoning change along 400 South” (Tribune, March 28):

In its proposed “walkable, transit-oriented development” rezoning of the 400 South TRAX corridor, Salt Lake City seems to be acting with callous disregard. For some areas, it makes sense; for others, it is wholly inappropriate.

Within a two-block area of 900 East, you have an elementary school, two churches, a city park (Gilgal Gardens) and a number of single-family homes. The rezoning would incentivise developers to construct high-rise commercial and residential structures there.

The city has shown insensitivity to heritage. The Tenth Ward LDS meetinghouse dates back almost to pioneer days. Yet the plan would “remove those blocks … that front on 400 South from the historic district.”

A major impetus behind the proposal is to “provide an important support base to the core area and transit ridership” and to foster “transit oriented development.” The public transit system is to serve the people, not visa-versa. This plan is a case of the tail wagging the dog — planning in reverse.

Good city planning should be balanced and protective of community interests. Anything less is incompetence at best, and a violation of public trust at worst.

Kent Jackson Fetzer

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SLC planning update on preservation programs

Wondering about the status of Salt Lake City’s preservation programs? The quarterly newsletter of the Planning Division updates us on various regulations and guidelines under discussion:

Below is a summary of the various proposed changes and where they are in the adoption process:

1. Fine Tuning Historic Preservation Ordinance Revisions:
Purpose:
To revise ordinances relating to the review of projects within the H Historic Preservation Overlay Zone. The proposed amendments relate to making the ordinance more clear, the process more efficient and to clarify the authority and makeup of the Historic Landmark Commission.
Status:
The recommendations of the Historic Landmark Commission and Planning Commission have been transmitted to the City Council.

2. Character Conservation District Ordinance
Purpose:
To create a new regulatory tool to allow for the preservation of neighborhood character.
Status:
The recommendations of the Historic Landmark Commission and Planning Commission have been transmitted to the City Council.

3. Sign Design Guidelines
Purpose: To create new design guidelines applicable to signs in local historic districts and on Landmark Sites
Status: The Historic Landmark Commission recommended approval of
the proposed guidelines. The Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the matter at its April 25, 2012. Both Commissions’ recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council for final review and decision.

4. Residential Design Guidelines
Purpose: To revise the existing residential design guidelines to clarify the guidelines and include new best practices relating to maintenance, alteration and new construction in local historic districts and to Landmark Sites.
Status:
The Historic Landmark Commission recommended approval for the proposed changes at its March 1, 2012 public meeting. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and review the proposed guidelines in May. Both Commissions’ recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council for final review and decision.

5. Commercial Design Guidelines
Purpose:
To create new design guidelines applicable to commercial development in local historic districts and Landmark Sites
Status:
The Historic Landmark Commission recommended approval on April 5, 2012. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and review the proposed guidelines in the near future. Both Commissions’ recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council for final review and decision.

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Renovation Pumps Millions into SLC’s Historic Warehouse District

by PR or News Wire, 09 February 2012—

Renovation of the Keyser Building at 320 West, 200 South has pumped millions into the downtown Warehouse District with expectations for that number to grow in coming months. Funded by U.S. Translation Company President and Honorary Consul to Peru in Utah David Utrilla, designed by local firm Lloyd Architects and carried out by Evergreene Construction, the Keyser Building is a shining example of modern industrial architecture that helped return the structure to its original roots as a 1920 industrial warehouse. The project also utilized numerous local skilled employees in the technology, information systems, security, and office supply industries. With renovations taking place from June to December 2011, the project employed over 50 area workers not including the 15 employees Utrilla currently has in his office. “We are so excited to be in this new space in the heart of Salt Lake City,” Utrilla said. “We are also pleased that we could help provide jobs – especially in the construction field – for our community in this economic climate.” Previously located in South Ogden, the renovation not only gives U.S. Translation Company a new space, but completes the language firm’s launching of new logo branding, and a redesigned website created by South Jordan firm, Red Olive. Focused on helping companies, government entities and non-profits communicate with a global audience; U.S. Translation has experienced explosive growth over the past three years being named to Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest-growing, privately-held companies over the last two years. Proximity to Energy Solutions Arena and the Salt Palace made the Keyser Building a good fit as the company often provides interpreters and equipment for many of the area’s international conventions and conferences.

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