I like a lot of what I read in the Los Angeles Times. They tend to carry trend stories that resonate more with me in Salt Lake City than the New York Times can offer me from 2,000 miles away. Particularly, this.
Don't these people look angry? It seems that in California, as in Utah, you just can't mess with the bungalow without making enemies.
The story is more than a week old, but somehow I fear that it's timeless: modern aficionado picks a neighborhood based on its charm and liveability (translation: established, mature homes in an older style) and wants to update his property with a contemporary structure. Neighbors burst into flames.
Other than the details specific to this situation, the article does a good job summing up what Tai and I fear would happen when we try to pull a building permit anywhere near downtown Salt Lake City. Many of the city's best neighborhoods are that way because a developer bought large tracts of land decades ago and built hundreds of houses all in one or two styles. (Sidenote: wouldn't it be hilarious if 50 years from now new Draper was considered historically charming??) There are plenty of great reasons to preserve and restore significant historical buildings; there also are plenty of great reasons to allow a blend of new and old in established neighborhoods.
What's evolved in Salt Lake City since that developer of yore are historic landmark districts in many parts of the city. I cannot talk about these districts without first bursting into flames — or at least getting an expression not unlike the man's above — not because their stated purpose is to retain the historical charm of these neighborhoods, but rather because that purpose is often translated to and enacted as "No. New. Anything." sans discussion about compatibility, building for your era, etc.
This, and the monster home ordinance of early 2006, are two of a few very large reasons that we've been eying Summit Park more and more these days, despite all the other very large reasons not to (including our genuine love for Salt Lake City proper).
Chew it over while you enjoy your turkey. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
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