Yalecrest Yes! Heritage Preservation Committee is an official non-profit Utah corporation. Our goal is education about and pursuit of local historic district designation in the Yalecrest neighborhood. Contact us at: email@example.com
Yalecrest LHD Position Statement
Aug. 26, 2010
The Yalecrest Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in November 2007; the Register is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. The district is the same area where the Yalecrest Compatible Infill Ordinance was implemented in 2005.
It is the opinion of the Yalecrest neighborhood preservation group the process initiated earlier this year for designating the neighborhood a local historic district should continue. The direction was set forth in March when the Historic Landmark Commission (HLC) invited several Salt Lake City neighborhoods to begin the Local Historic District (LHD) discussion, and identified three areas as ready to move forward, including Yalecrest.
Why Continue With the Current Process of Pursuing a LHD for Yalecrest?
• The process should continue because the overwhelming majority of respondents in the six recently designated “work groups” want it. The Yalecrest preservation committee was advised to gather petition signatures, and assured they could be collected until the final City Council LHD vote (JT Martin, April 2010).
• Yalecrest was given the go-ahead in the March 2010 HLC meeting to start discussions with the neighborhood about a Local Historic District. No other options were on the table. See “Prioritizing Local Historic Districts” matrix.
• The original process consisting of neighborhood education and gauging support is nearing completion and is ready for HLC.
• Community outreach has been extensive and long term. Residents have attended numerous educational neighborhood meetings.
• Not allowing the completion of the current process (HLC, Planning Commission and City Council) sets a bad precedent for future districts.
• Countless hours have already been spent on this process by City staff and City Council.
• Residents have also expended substantial time and resources on the current process (brochure and door card design time and printing costs, Yalecrest website development, canvassing the neighborhood, database updates, meetings, social media management, handouts, statistical analysis, etc).
• The H Historic Preservation Overlay District is an existing zoning option and available to use right now, unlike a ‘conservation district’ alternative. “The Council and Planning Staff have many large projects they are working on and we would have to convince the whole council to reprioritize and redirect planning in order to work on a compromise in the yccc area. It would not be a simple thing. It would be a major shift in our focus.” (Jill Love email, 5/21/10).
• The H Historic Overlay is the ONLY tool with precedence for addressing the demolition issue that continues to threaten the Yalecrest neighborhood.
• Twenty-three (23) demolitions have occurred in Yalecrest since 1998.
• Current zoning (YCI and base zoning) does not address design—a slightly modified version of the Hubbard house could be built again anywhere in the Yalecrest area. It also does not address demolitions.
• Many supporters stated they would not sign a petition for fear the opposition would know their identities. Others stated a desire to not sign, nor fight against a LHD. These residents are OK with whatever decision is made.
• A local historic district provides individual flexibility for expansions and additions.
• Yalecrest is ranked as one of the strongest, intact large districts in the state (see following chart).
• The Yalecrest Yes Committee feels the neighborhood needs to remain as it is recognized throughout the valley—as one entity, not multiple units. Yalecrest is a treasure for Salt Lake City and the State of Utah.
21.A.34.020: H HISTORIC PRESERVATION OVERLAY DISTRICT and21.A.50.050 STANDARDS FOR GENERAL AMENDMENTS
• The proposed LHD designation of the Yalecrest neighborhood is consistent with 21.A.34.020C H Historic Districts and 21A.50.050 Map Amendments
• In accordance with 21A.34.020.C.2 Criteria for Selection of an H District: The Yalecrest area meets the criteria for selection, significance, physical integrity and age of site. (See Yalecrest Historic District, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, listed 11/08/2007)
• Establishment of an Historic Overlay District directs that an H Overlay District be established pursuant to Chapter 21.A.050 of the zoning code. The Yalecrest area proposed designation as a LHD is consistent with the code. (See Salt Lake City Historic Preservation Plan, June 2009, Goal 2.4, page 42, Appendix A, pages 97, 98, 110.)
• Pursuant to Subsection 21.A.34.020C1 of the SLC Zoning Ordinance A, the Yalecrest Neighborhood Council sent a written request to the Historic Landmark Commission (9/24/09) to begin the process of establishing a Local Historic District for the Yalecrest neighborhood.
What We Were Asked to Do by Council Member Martin
- Obtain PR counsel. Done.
- Prepare informational material. Done.
- Educate residents door to door. Done.
- Solicit feedback from residents (after last educational meeting). Continuing.
Concerns Regarding Work Groups
• The work group process is a restart of the entire process.
• The work groups have apparently been tasked to look at all options, including conservation district. However, conservation district is not a realistic option. The City has not created this zoning tool and developing proper regulations would take a long time. During years of discussion numerous homes would be lost to demolition.
• The Historic Landmark Commission directed Yalecrest residents to discuss whether they wanted a LHD, no other option.
• The process to educate and gauge community support has been thorough and exhaustive. Beginning a new process to measure this is redundant and counter-productive, likely to incite divisiveness.
• Work groups would be helpful in working on the area design guidelines that need to be written once the LHD is approved.
Yalecrest LHD Outreach
• City’s temporary zoning regulation notice sent by City to entire Yalecrest area in March 2010.
• Large neighborhood meeting on April 22. Planning staff and Utah Heritage Foundation presented and were available for questions.
• Those opposed to the LHD held a subsequent meeting at Bonneville Elementary.
• Four neighborhood meetings run by the City Council for the purpose of education and feedback were held on May 17, 9, 24, 26. (Noticed by City postcards and robo-calls).
• Current HLC Chairman Warren Lloyd’s letter dated July 1, 2010 states, “As the neighborhood has held at least seven major meetings discussing this issue, it does not appear that more meetings in that setting would be productive.”
• YCCares.org (an organization opposed to a LHD) delivered postcards to all residents; also developed online survey and blog.
• Yalecrest Neighborhood Council has had the Yalecrest historic preservation and/or LHD topic on its agenda for the past 12 years (noticed to 450 email addresses and over 400 snail mail addresses).
• Extensive door-to-door contact—it has been the goal of the Yalecrest preservation group to reach every homeowner; many petitions in support of a LHD were signed.
• JT Martin also walked some blocks soliciting comments from residents about the proposed LHD.
• This issue has received media coverage in Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Salt Lake City Weekly, KCPW-FM, KSL-TV News, KUTV-Channel 2 and Fox 13 News. The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board has published its support of Yalecrest preservation three times in the past year.
• Brandon Barber distributed flyers to many residents; additional private citizens have distributed their own opinions, many anonymously.
• Yalecrest@googlegroups.com email discussion group established by those opposing an LHD has been very active in this process.
• District 5 and 6 weekly email updates informed residents of meetings regarding the proposed LHD.
• Utah Heritage Foundation Historic Homes Tour, April 2009.
• HLC Meeting June 2010, many residents were in attendance to witness the approval process of Yalecrest applicants.
• Brochures distributed to Yalecrest residents door to door.
• Yalecrest Neighborhood Council website (links to educational information).
• Yalecrest: Preserving Community Facebook page (links to educational information); Twitter used for meeting notices.
• SLC Planning Division’s educational handouts (Preservation in Brief, Design Guidelines, FAQs, windows, seismic, etc.).
Support for Yalecrest Local Historic District
• The overwhelming majority of respondents in the six recently designated “work groups” want it.
• National Register of Historic Places Nomination 2007. “The Yalecrest Historic District retains a high degree of historic integrity as the overwhelming majority (91%) of the resources (1,349) contribute to the historic character of the district.” Yalecrest is ranked as one of the strongest, intact large districts in the State of Utah and in the Nation.
• The Reconnaissance Level Survey (2005) of Yalecrest recommends “the survey area be designated as a historic district dealing with the growth of Salt Lake City on the residential east bench through early twentieth century subdivision development.”
• The Board of State History unanimously approved the Yalecrest Historic District for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (September 6, 2007).
• The Salt Lake City Preservation Plan ranks the Yalecrest Boundary status as “compromised” and has assigned a priority level of “high.” The objective is to “consider stronger protections to control demolitions and teardowns.”
• The East Bench Master Plan states, “The older Harvard-Yale area contains many buildings of architectural and historical significance. Conditions may warrant creating a conservation or historic district in this area where the city would review all new buildings, additions, or alterations for compatibility with established neighborhood character.”
• The Historic Landmark Commission recommended Yalecrest start the discussion about becoming designated a LHD. (March 17, 2010)
• Utah Heritage Foundation supports the creation of a LHD for Yalecrest and has assisted the Yalecrest Neighborhood Council with neighborhood education about preservation, rehabilitation and zoning options for over five years. UHF has a page about potential Yalecrest LHD designation on its website.
• Utah Heritage Foundation: “The architectural quality of the historic district is represented by extreme consistency of the Period Revival styles of architecture that is uncommon in many other Utah districts with hundreds of examples of Tudor Revival, Colonial Revival, English Tudor, French Norman, Mission Revival, and Spanish Colonial Revival styles popular in Utah after the turn-of-the-century.”
• American Planning Association-Utah Chapter, Mark McGrath, AICP, three-part article on Yalecrest preservation, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Built Environment.” “The Yalecrest neighborhood (aka Harvard Yale) on Salt Lake City’s east side is considered by many as one of the premier examples of neighborhood design in the State.”
• The Salt Lake City Council members moved July 6 on what they feel is important to preserve by their vote to lift the temporary zoning on a portion of the district. If they did not feel the rest of the area was worthy to protect with preservation, they could have voted to lift the temporary zoning from the entire area.
Additional Issues for Consideration
• Maintaining the contiguous boundaries preserves and protects the area.
• A larger, well-defined area will make the permitting process more reliable and dependable. E.g. The YCI covers the entire Yalecrest area.
• Demolitions have occurred throughout the entire district. There is an immediate need for preservation of quality resources.
• A demolition ordinance is not currently in place and there are no assurances one could withstand legal challenges, nor be appropriate to protect Yalecrest’s historic homes.
• Salt Lake City elected officials are poised to make a difference—to make the right decision for the neighborhood and our City. Salt Lake City could market our historic Yalecrest neighborhood as a City defining asset.
• LHD will help retain a diverse mix of housing sizes and styles that provide affordability for all incomes and ages. This is what a real community is all about.
• LHD provides an easy, clear, and supportive process for homeowners—and their architects—who want to remodel. It stops predatory real estate development by those who do not live in the neighborhood houses they demolish, but who are in fact buying Yalecrest homes to make a quick buck off the area.
Overwhelming Support for Yalecrest LHD Designation
For several months, the Yalecrest Yes Preservation Committee has actively pursued contact with each homeowner in the Yalecrest boundaries, in order to educate about and gauge support of LHD designation. Several volunteers have canvassed the neighborhood, gathering signatures on petitions which have been submitted to the Salt Lake City Council. The signatures were combined with the City’s LHD comments received and then arranged by work group.
The LHD Support Chart shows broad-based support among those willing to commit to a response (and does not include households in the white, or eliminated, area):
462 supporters + 185 opponents = 647 households
Please contact us to view additional data: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yalecrest Is Significantly Historic
The Yalecrest National Historic District has the highest percentage of contributing structures of all national historic register districts in the state. The following data comes from Utah State History Office. Utah National Historic Register Districts
* * * * * *
The Yalecrest Yes! committee invited supporters to a kickoff meeting for a huge canvassing effort. The idea was to make sure every home in Yalecrest received information about the local historic designation.
Please let us know if you can help. E-mail us: email@example.com