SANTA CLARA — The historic district of Santa Clara is known for its tree-lined streets and a link to the past.

The Santa Clara Relief Society House served as everything from a venue for meetings to a medical clinic to a post office, Santa Clara, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Santa Clara City, St. George News

But what about its future?

The city is conducting a survey that seeks residents’ feedback on whether more growth should be encouraged or discouraged along Santa Clara’s historic corridor as well as the preservation of older buildings. 

The corridor is considered to be the area along Santa Clara Drive between Santa Clara Parkway and 1700 North and includes Santa Clara Town Hall, the Jacob Hamblin Home, the Relief Society Home, Frei’s Fruit Market and eight buildings on the National Registrar of Historic Places.

In recent months, the five members of the Santa Clara Heritage Commission, appointed by the mayor, have been grappling with the direction of the district. The main debate among commission members has been whether to impose height limits on future buildings in the district and matters related to their responsibility in preserving historic buildings. 

Ultimately, at the urging of the city’s planning manager Jim McNulty, a survey has been created to obtain the sentiment of how residents feel.

“By contributing your insights, together, we can ensure that our beloved downtown remains a cherished and thriving community space,” the commission said in a joint statement attached to the survey.

The survey is similar to one conducted by neighboring city Ivins in late 2022 that has since dominated the conversation on the city level from the Planning Commission to the City Council to those in last November’s elections. 

However, the Santa Clara survey is smaller in scope, doesn’t apply to the entire city and unlike Ivins’ survey, which was on paper, the Santa Clara survey is online. 

This map shows the Santa Clara Historical District as of January 2024 with the area of the district along Santa Clara Drive shaded in gray | Image courtesy of the city of Santa Clara, St. George News | Click to enlarge

All Santa Clara households are receiving a postcard asking them to participate in the survey through a web link. The online survey is anonymous and doesn’t appear to have any way to confirm whether those taking the survey are from Santa Clara. 

Among the questions asked in the survey are the importance of preserving the historical district, whether new or remodeled buildings in the corridor should follow a code regarding design, size and scale, what kind of new businesses should be encouraged for the district, should hours of those businesses be extended and what action the city should take on a historic building in disrepair.

It’s not clear how such a new code would conform with a new state law, which limits what cities can do regarding design requirements for new residential buildings. 

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, Jan. 24.

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