Yalecrest neighborhood reattempts historic district designation

The proposed local historic districts in the Yalecrest  section of Salt Lake City.
The proposed local historic districts in the Yalecrest section of Salt Lake City.

The Salt Lake City Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation to five residential neighborhoods seeking local historic district designation.  The requests will be forwarded to city council for final approval.  Four out of the five potential local historic districts are in the Yalecrest neighborhood, an historic and affluent neighborhood in the city’s east bench.

The proposed local historic districts:

Local historic districts are an extension of the Community Preservation Plan which was adopted by Salt Lake City Council in October 2012.  The plan established policies intended to preserve the character of neighborhoods that are considered “uniquely historic” to the city and community.  Potential developers looking to build within these historic districts will be required to get city approval before construction can begin.  New construction or remodels within these districts will need to fit into the neighborhood’s character and architectural style.

The various architectural styles in the Yalecrest neighborhood.
Common architectural styles in the Yalecrest neighborhood.

Preserving the historical character of the Yalecrest neighborhood has been a contentious issue for the past several years.   Many of the area’s homes were built at the turn of the twentieth century.  The neighborhood was placed on the list of National Register of Historic Places in 2007.  Over time, many residents became concerned by a surge of mini-mansions they felt didn’t fit the neighborhood’s historical character.

The fight between residents in the Yalecrest neighborhood took a peculiar turn when the Utah state legislature decided to get involved.  In 2011, the state legislature notorious for decrying federal influence in state business,  passed a bill proposed by real-estate developer and state Senator from nearby Sandy, Wayne Niederhauser, that put a one-year moratorium on the creation of a historic district in Yalecrest.  Apart from the moratorium, the bill also allowed demolition of up to 75 percent of any structure in the neighborhood.




Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.