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Master plan aims to save older Sandy

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Deseret Morning News graphic

SANDY — An updated master plan approved Tuesday by Sandy officials aims to preserve the city's 113-year-old historic district.

The plan was praised by residents and community leaders and unanimously adopted by the Sandy City Council. The historic area is the original square mile of Sandy and houses some of the city's oldest buildings, some dating back to 1893, the year of the city's incorporation.

The historic neighborhood includes the Sandy Museum and numerous homes on the National Register of Historic Places. The area runs from 8400 South to 9000 South and from State Street to 700 East. A TRAX line also runs through the area, with a stop at 9000 South.

Sandy began public open houses for suggestions in January. Since then, a 50-member steering committee and about 1,000 other residents have voiced their opinions on the area.

"This plan is truly written by the residents," said Nick Duerksen, Sandy's assistant community-development director. "I've been with Sandy 15 years, and I've never see this kind of level of public participation. It was incredible to see over 100 people come to every open house."

The plan addresses land use, zoning, trails, parks, infrastructure, architectural design standards and roads. Duerksen said the plan centers on three goals: maintaining the area's historic character, improving deterioration and providing a plan for the future.

"There's quite a bit that could still be developed in the area," he said. "So there are stricter guidelines in terms of keeping the character and flavor of the area."

Part of that plan includes a pedestrian-friendly, walkable Main Street, full of small local shops. The current Main Street has few businesses and is hidden off the major roads such as State Street, where commercial centers including the South Town Mall, Expo Center and Jordan Commons line the street, and where the Real soccer stadium will be built.

The historic-district plan calls for a mixed-use zone change that would allow residential as well as commercial use and add more shops that would be accessible with light rail. A three-tier system of architectural requirements will allow homes and businesses to fit in with the character of their street.

Although Sandy was incorporated in the late 1800s, building in the historic district was still going on through the 1960s. So those architectural requirements span historic, bungalow-style homes to the modern kinds being built today.

"The purpose of all that is so you don't build a home that looks completely modern between two 100-year-old homes and vice versa. The design of it won't jump out as something too old or modern for that area," Duerksen said.

The city's next step will be the complete reconstruction of the road and lighting on 8680 South, between State Street and 700 East.

E-mail: astowell@desnews.com