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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