• headerbg5

Preserving Neighborhoods

DSC01696webHistoric neighborhoods are often a city's strongest asset. They traditionally provide several benefits including: being located near downtown central business districts and other neighborhood nodes; cutting commute times and giving alternative transportation choices; offering walkability to nearby businesses as well as schools, parks and churches; providing fully grown landscaping with a street canopy of trees; and featuring a range of housing styles, types, and sizes that meet the demand for a range of buyers and lifestyles.

Though these neighborhoods may be seeing a resurgence of interest today as people seek quality over quantity and a lifestyle closer to the cultural heart of communities, it hasn't always been that way. Starting in the 1960s, a nationwide decline in urban areas led to a movement to eradicate blight, slums, and even marginal neighborhoods through urban renewal. The demolition of hundreds of thousands of buildings meant the loss of neighborhood character, and sometimes in its place, the erection of vastly out of scale new buildings that did not foster a livable community for the next generation.

Historic preservation emerged as the solution with the leading set of tools from both the public and private sector, both regulatory and incentive-based, to stabilize and often reverse the trends of neighborhood decline. Local historic districts, found today in over 2,300 zoning ordinances nationwide, provide a level of consistent decision-making that is local, yet based on national standards for design criteria.

2016 Utah State Legislature

Updated: Thursday, March 31, 2016

THANK YOU to everyone that sent emails, texts, letters and placed phone calls to legislators. We know they heard from so many preservation supporters across the state. While we weren't successful at defeating the bill, we know that there is support across the state at the local level and plenty in the legislature for both historic preservation and retaining strong local governance without interference.

Priority Bill: 3rd Sub HB 223 - Local Historic District Amendments

Read our letter to Governor Gary Herbert, 18 Mar 2016

Read our letter to members of the Utah Senate, 2 Mar 2016

Read our letter to members of the House of Representatives, 24 Feb 2016

* See additional helpful links by scrolling down

Sponsor: Representative Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville); Sen. Stuart Adams (R-Layton)

Status: Governor signed on March 30th.

In Opposition: Utah League of Cities and Towns, Utah Cultural Alliance, K.E.E.P. Yalecrest, Utah Heritage Foundation, Salt Lake City Corp., Salt Lake County, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Letter to the Editor, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Feb 2016: Developer Driven Legislature

Op-ed, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Feb 2016: Legislators talk local control but want to micromanage my neighborhood

Read the letter in opposition to HB 223 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to Utah State Senators

In Support: Property Rights Coalition

Helpful Links:

Historic Districts Aren't A Threat To Property Rights

Why Historic Preservation Districts Are Crucial To Cities by Stephanie Meeks, President, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Benefits of Historic Districts - Key Messages

Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation in Utah – Report with an entire chapter on the positive economic benefits of designating historic districts

Additional supporting documents and tools to protect local historic districts, provided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Other bills we are tracking:

HB 232 - Scenic Byway Amendments
Rep. Mike Noel (R-Kanab); Sen. David Hinkins (R-Orangeville)
Status: Signed by the Governor.
Utah Heritage Foundation opposes this bill.

Don't let legislators spoil Utah's scenic byways with billboards

Bill passes to ease restrictions on scenic byways (billboards)

3rd Sub. HB 310 - Tax Credit Review Amendments
Rep. Jeremy Peterson (R-Ogden); Sen. Curtis Bramble (R-Orem)
Status: Passed in the House and Senate; bill failed legislative review and was returned to the House.

SB 16 – Tax Credit Amendments
Rep. Deirdre Henderson (R-Spanish Fork)
Status: Governor signed.
Utah Heritage Foundation supports this bill.

SB 137 – County Option Funding for Botanical, Cultural, Recreational and Zoological Organizations and Facilities
Sen. Brian Shiozawa (R-Cottonwood Heights), Rep. Eric Hutchings (R-Kearns)
Status: Governor signed.
Utah Heritage Foundation supports this bill.

2nd Sub. SB 173 – State Fairpark Revisions
Sen. Kevin Van Tassell (R-Vernal), Rep. Mike McKell (R-Spanish Fork)
Status: Governor signed.
Utah Heritage Foundation supports this bill.

SCR 4 – Old Spanish Trail Designation
Sen. Ralph Okerlund (R-Monroe), Rep. Kay McIff (R-Richfield)
Status: Governor signed.
Utah Heritage Foundation supports this bill.

Utah's Local Historic Districts


Logan--Center Street66_UHF_ad_This_Neighborhood_is_Too_Old_to_Die


Ogden--Jefferson, Eccles, and 25th Street

Park City--Old Town


St. George--Downtown

Salt Lake City--Avenues, Capitol Hill, Central City, Exchange Place, South Temple, University, Westmoreland Place.

FAQs about Preserving Neighborhoods

What is my neighborhood called?
What does it mean to live in a historic district? 
How is a national historic district different from a local one? 
What resources are available to compatibly add on to my historic home? 
What are the most energy-efficient windows? 
What are options are there for insuring historic homes?
Can I protect my home against an earthquake?
What do we lose when a historic building is demolished?