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Lindon looking for a Lindon 'style'

Community aims to keep rural, historical look in new buildings

LINDON — Heritage is the magic word for Lindon city officials and architects working to design a set of commercial guidelines for the city.

So in order to help the city keep its small-town feel and rural appeal their design theme will be based on the historical look of the city.

"Let's identify four or five historic structures, then look for how we can develop a standard based on that," said Soren Simonsen, a principal with Cooper Roberts Simonsen Associates of Salt Lake City, the architecture design company hired by Lindon.

But the process has been a bit more complicated than just picking one architectural style and mandating compliance from builders. One problem was architectural wording and definitions.

"Part of the problem is we don't know the names," said Marilyn Simister with the planning commission. "We know what we like, but we don't know what name goes with what we like."

Although, even if the titles "Victorian," "alpine," "bungalow" or "Art Deco" were everyday household phrases, it still wouldn't ensure they were the right look for Lindon.

"We want the Lindon style, whatever that is," said Mayor Jeff Acerson.

So when city officials met with architects recently to go over a rough draft of those potential commercial guide- lines, their main focus was creating a Lindon-specific document that outlined standards, rather than a specific style or theme.

"We're not just a regular old community," said City Council member Lindsey Bayless. "We feel we have a certain identity."

And this new identity will be less theme-based, more historical-based.

Originally the rough draft of the commercial guidelines leaned more toward a timber-accented look, somewhat reminiscent of rustic hunting lodges — the alpine style.

However, during the work meeting, the conversation shifted and by the end, city officials felt confident going forward with a look more focused on smaller buildings, more stone and somewhat of a 1900s look.

Lindon was incorporated in the 1920s, and city officials decided the historical feel would be more true to the city than big modern architecture.

"A bit of country" — the city's slogan — is also echoed through the white split-rail fence that winds through various parts of the city and will be a big part of any future development.

The guidelines, which are focused on the commercial areas of State Street and 700 North, will be revised by CRSA to include more specific requirements, such as the types of street lights to be used, the types of trees to be planted and where, as well as outlining a list of building code requirements. Wording will also be tightened from "recommended" or "requested" to "required."