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Salt Lake City Closing in on Historic Preservation Plan

The Salt Lake City Council is discussing a plan this evening to help guide the city’s historic preservation process. The plan is about three years in the making. Salt Lake City Council Chair Soren Simonsen is hoping it will lead to more productive discussions about the issue.

Simonson says the plan requires more buy in from a community before it’s considered for a historic or conservation district. He notes many people have felt blindsided by initiatives, like a proposal to designate the Yalecrest neighborhood as a historic district back in 2009.

“My hope is that we can create something that preserves resources as a way of telling the cultural history and the story of our city," he says. "But also allow them to adapt and modernize and continue to represent the evolution of our city as its buildings evolve.”

Simonson says the plan includes more incentives for preservation, rather than just strict regulations.
“That often diffuses a lot of the controversy when people don’t feel compelled to do something, but they’re kind of enticed with benefits," he says.

The plan also identifies commercial and residential properties with preservation potential and provides tools to make those determinations.

Simonson says the council will likely adopt the plan as a formal policy in the next month.  

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