Babs DeLay

Babs DeLay

January 04, 2015

Sandy Rising

2015

A wise Greek once told me "The economic health of a city can be seen by counting the number of cranes in the sky". After many years of development drought, there are currently many of these metal praying mantises hovering over various blocks in downtown Salt Lake City. A high rise office tower is going in at 111 So. Main which will reportedly provide office space for the @700 Goldman Sacs employees currently leasing in the tech section of Research Park at the University of Utah. The new performing arts center on Main will be up and running in less than two years and its huge concrete pumps and tubes make the area look as if a giant spider is nesting on top of the construction.

In 2007, Salt Lake City approved four towers to be built downtown as part of City Creek. One of them was a condo project that included the tallest building ever constructed in Utah at 415 feet tall. I was a Planning and Zoning Commissioner back then and I remember citizens asking if there wasn't a limit to building height here and folks worried that there was a law "that no building could be higher than the LDS Temple or the LDS office building." That belief my friends, is a myth. The church's headquarters on North Temple and State Street were completed in 1975 and became for a while the tallest building in downtown. Up until then the 270' tall Kennecott Building was about as high up as you could see from the sidewalk. And before the Kennecott skyscraper there were the 11-story Boston and Newhouse Buildings at Main between 300-400 South. There are no height limitations to buildings in the core of downtown although there are restrictions about building big boxes on corners.

It's possible though in the near future that tourists might get confused about where downtown is when they drive over Point of the Mountain and see the 1,100 acres in the heart of Sandy developed into high rises. The Salt Lake burb announced last month that a huge development of offices, housing and hotels dubbed 'The Cairns' to be added to the area between 90th-114th South and I-15 to the TRAX lines. The residential section will have 650 housing units of apartments and condos at Centennial Parkway where it meets Sego Lily Drive. "The Prestige" will include two 25-story towers and two shorter 6-story buildings.

Growth in Sandy is to be expected. It's the city at the base of the Cottonwoods where four ski resorts are located. It's also just a 20 minute hop over the Point of the Mountain to the land of MLM's and tech employers. The developers are well aware of the demographics they will attract to be residents of their new project, from people downsizing from larger homes to 20-somethings who just want to rent and ski in their free time. It's going to be a bit weird for us downtowners in a couple of years to say, "Hey, let's jump on TRAX and go to Sandy for some fun!" when right now all there is to do is take the trains to the soccer games and Expo Center. In just a few years Sandy will be even more of a destination point as planners are connecting Rio Tinto and the Expo Center better with transportation lines and amenities surrounding the new development.

January 04, 2015

Addicted to Homes

2015

Admit it. You're a complete addict. You look at them in bed, at work, on your phone. Your heart flutters, you feel tickles inside your lower belly, and you're totally obsessed. "You like to think that you're immune to the stuff. It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough. You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to..." Robert Palmer.

I know your addiction. I read my own analytics and see what you've done and when you've done it. Naughty, naughty! Your boss would not like you spending so much of their dime on your passion. Lucky for you, your habit is free and so accessible and there are no monthly fees which you have to hide from your spouse (although recently you've been going over your data plan limits on your shared mobile service). Go ahead and admit that you are powerless over house porn and that your life has become unmanageable. When you were in college you talked with your buddies about sex all the time and now just a few years later all you can do is show home tours on your computer at the hipster coffee house to strangers.

People call me and admit their desires to me daily. They text me about how so and so's website has such beautiful photos of a house and that we must dash there immediately to see its glory. Or how a home that just appeared on the MLS is stunning and we must run. It appears my client has been stalking houses for months and days and he has become turned on by images aglow in soft lighting and the appearance of new glossy finishes. He hasn't paid attention to the Google street view too closely because he might have seen that the one house sits next to an 8-plex apartment building, and the other is a new listing done by a flipper I know. I run anyway and meet him at the first house. It too is a flipper that is staged inside to the nines with groovy furniture and IKEA lighting. The lovely neighborhood is perfect with sycamore-lined streets dotted with faux-period street lights and little traffic. Then I show him why he doesn't want this house (8-plex neighbors). He gets back in his car and we drive to the second house. It appears nice too. "Look how the exterior brick was just painted to hide the major crack in the wall and foundation. Do you notice the wet smell in the basement-that's the foundation crack. And for the price of this home, do you want cabinets that just have new fronts and hardware or do you want all hardwood?" The crack scares him and he looks sad. He wants to go back to the interwebs and look at more pretty houses.

House porn is wonderful. I know because I'm addicted too. Read between the lines when you're sitting in your jammies. If the photos are great, read the remarks about the house. If all the agent talks about is the area around it and not the house, there's no updating. "Minimal yard work" means your dog won't have room to pee. Most of all, tell your wife what you're doing and get your own place ready to sell so others can lust over you. You might find she's been looking at the same porn when you're not around.

December 04, 2014

St. Jennie

2014

It may be hard to believe that the area surrounding most of the homeless shelters and The Road Home used to be even sketchier than it is now. The drugs, drinking, homelessness and crime that haunts the non-profit oasis has been established there since Salt Lake City became a town. The 'Red Dirt District' on 200 South just south of 'Greek Town' between 400-600 West was the locale of the largest and most successful houses of prostitution operated during the 1800's into the early 20th Century. There were cheap bars that offered beverages to the railroaders and miners, opium dens a few blocks east, and many a prostitute to be bought for carnal pleasures. Basically, all that's changed in 150 years in the area of the UTA Central Station is some newer buildings and asphalt roads covering the red dirt...and the addition of an angel named Jennie Dudley.

I remember in 1985 when a blue-eyed local cowgirl brought a holy kind of Chuck Wagon to the neighborhood and caused a tiny ripple of goodness. Inside her wagon/trailer are all the fixin's to cook a Sunday brunch to anyone who wanders by or comes out from the bushes by the Jordan River. Every Sunday and big holiday she pulls up and with the help of volunteers unloads tables, coffee pots, cups, plates, grills and plastic laundry baskets under the freeway ramps at 600 West and 600 South and waits.

With a ranching and outfitting background, Jennie says that she found God and that he could speak to her in 'Ranch Language'. He said to her: "Jennie, when you have hungry people out back, you send a Chuck Wagon". "Yes LORD" and she did. She's an ordained Christian minister and founder of the Eagle Ranch Ministries. I am not a Christian but I believe completely in Jennie's mission of goodness and have passed on and supported her cause for years. I'm not sure she even knows my name, so why do I do that? She is the living proof of her beliefs and of what good can do and we all need to pay it forward. You see, she doesn't show up with any food. She prays and trusts that God will arrive with volunteers and food. And they do. I have never listened to her sermons but hear hymns being sung as they are blasted through an amplifier at the hungry lining up to eat. She has never asked me to join her church or told me my ways were wicked. Jennie and her regular crew of fellow believers like Palmer, Marc, Romi and Maxine just smile and thank you. God is NOT letting down Jennie and her mission and no one goes without food, a hug and a smile before they return to the streets – car or no car.

Jennie sets up @ 8:30 on Sundays and is there until 11 or so, and it's easy to do a drive and drop. On 200 South turn South at 600 West and drive a few blocks south of UTA's Central Station. There's no list of what to bring – just use your own logic. The crowd is mostly chronic homeless men without cars who walk to find her kindesses. Jennie says 'There's more women and children showing up than I've ever seen before!' They need clothes and blankets this time of year. She's feeding the masses so bring big cans of ground coffee, creamers, sugar, donuts, pancakes and syrup and margarine. Sandwiches, granola bars, juice boxes, pre-wrapped Twinkies – whatever you can muster. If you bring it, she'll serve it. If the food has to be cooked, they will cook it but don't bring a frozen turkey. Ideally, pre-cooked stuff. She can't make pies and put them in the oven, either.

Every Sunday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. you'll find Jennie feeding the downtrodden folk of the neighborhood. Go help by doing a drive and drop yourself? There are volunteers standing in the pigeon crap who will help you carry food or clothes from your car. Ask for Jennie and slip her some cash for us, k? She's lookin' mighty tired these days but she's still a great hugger in her big ol' white cowgirl hat!

November 11, 2014

Poopy Problems

2014

Recently Salt Lake City had its own version of Old Faithful when a 48-ince water main broke on Foothill Boulevard just south of the University of Utah. Millions of gallons of precious water flooded homes and a Montessori School (the old Jewish Community Center) located just west of the break. Officials say that the geyser was created because of a flaw in the pipe's connector and Salt Lake City Public Utilities (801.483.6700) is taking claims from anyone who has property that may have been damaged.

We've all been getting news stories in the past year that the infrastructure of U.S. cities is collapsing. There's not a day that goes by in NYC where a manhole cover goes flying into the sky because yet another underground pipe has burst from age. We have old pipes in Utah, too. In Salt Lake City proper it's common to find many of the old homes still have the original clay pipes taking the gray water and stinky stuff from the house to the sewer line out to the street.
How do you know if you have old pipes? You can check with the City and see if they have a record of any major work done on your sewer lines (as in when and if they were replaced from clay to cast iron). If you are about to purchase a home, especially an older home, it's wise to have the sewer line scoped by a licensed plumber. The pipe specialist will send down a video camera to look at the goop, poop and cracks and advise you about the health of your sewer line. You WANT to know about your sewer line because guess what...if it breaks it costs a small fortune to fix it and it is most likely your home insurance isn't going to cover the main line replacement. I'm talking $10-$20,000 bucks!

The SLC Water Dept. knows the mechanical infrastructure here is aging as do other utilities in the city. There's a major gas line being replaced downtown that is 100 years old right now (which explains the traffic detours) and more construction upgrades planned for 400 South. Although we don't see manhole covers flying into the air often we all know there are loose lids and smaller ones are often missing. For sewer lines upgrades there is hope for local homeowners because, after many discussions and meetings our city managers have become partners with an insurance company for property owners in case of sewer or water line failure. For @$10-15 a month a homeowner can get their poop chutes covered by this insurance with a handy 24/7 emergency response team ready to run to your shitty problem. Folks have bitched that SLC Corp. shouldn't be in bed with a private insurance carrier, but what the hell, it's cheap and you can always call your own insurance company and have them add this coverage onto your policy. Trust me, you are most likely NOT covered for sewer and water line breaks.

The first manhole covers were made of stone and were found in relics of ancient Roman streets. You can bet your bones that those centurions had the same problems we had with missing and broken manhole covers and leaky pipes. When it comes to shitty problems, time doesn't change too much.

October 07, 2014

Carriage Days

2014

This holiday season you won't be seeing horse drawn carriages in downtown Salt Lake City. The only company providing rides to paying customers has quietly closed-to the cheers of PETA supporters. You might recall the sad pictures in the press during the summer of 2013 when Jerry, the dapple gray horse belonging to 'Carriage for Hire' collapsed on the road during a brutally hot 97 degree August day. The poor animal was so weak that he couldn't get up and his owners had to come lift him with ropes and drag him onto a trailer and take him away. The company tried to cover up the wellness of Jerry by later saying he had been put out to pasture, but we all later learned that the horse had died.

The City Council of Salt Lake was petitioned endlessly afterwards by PETA and others to make horse drawn carriages illegal and mounted a direct protest near the horse stands and on the Capitol steps after the horse's demise. The City did not outlaw the carriage companies and the ability of people to hire carriages for rides around the Temple but the pressure was too much for the last surviving carriage company to stay afloat.

Horse transportation is of course an outdated mode of transportation to get from your uptown condo to your downtown job. But there are remnants of this past-gone era all over the city. In the Avenues and Capitol Hill residents are lucky to have enough land to allow for a garage, and what's often there is merely an old carriage house left over from the turn of the century. Carriages or buggies were commonly some 5 foot wide. Unless you own a Mini it's likely your car is over 5' wide and would be hard to get into one of these old barns. Most often the horses for the carriages were kept somewhere else, like down the street in a community barn/pasture because of the flies and smell of their manure. Homeowners would share the costs of bringing in feed, grooming, and medical service in these communal plots. The evidence of these old days is also visible in the alleyways behind many homes. Basically, the horses might be kept down the street and brought up to the rear of the homes on a shared dirt road so that the animals could be harnessed to buggy or vehicle of some kind.

Not everyone could afford carriages and buggies before the early 1900's. Horses were the primary mode of transportation before trains and cars came about.

We've got gas stations for our modern buggies. Back in the days of horses, citified animals had to have their hay and seed brought in by a delivery man. An average horse eats at least 2% of their body weight daily and needs a fair amount of water and grain supplements in its diet. If you happen to see an Avenues or carriage house in the valley that is two stories tall, that would be an indication of a place that stored hay and grain for the animals of the horse owners.

Sad to see a charming piece of history go away forever. I didn't like seeing the horses plod along on our hot city streets either. At Burning Man creative artists replace the actual mammal at the front of creative carriages with plastic or metal versions. Hey, that's it...bring the carriages back with artsy electric powered beasts to take folks on city tours for the 21st century!

 

October 07, 2014

Harvest Days

2014

Have you ever read a listing for a house for sale or an apartment for rent that advertised one of the added benefits to the property as the 'fruit trees' in the back yard? From the Mormon Primary songbook:

"I looked out the window, and what did I see? Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
Spring had brought me such a nice surprise, Blossoms popping right before my eyes.
I could take an armful and make a treat, a popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn't really so, but it seemed to be, Popcorn popping on the apricot tree."

If you've lived with an apricot tree in Utah when the little orange globes of goodness ripened, you know that often the trees are prolific beyond reason. The farmer's markets around the state are now full of the abundance of the peach and apple harvest for sale because we're had an abundant growing season. Yet so much produce from private properties goes unpicked, unused- rotting and fermenting on the ground with a result of your dog getting drunk on falling pears.

There's a great movement around the country to address the waste of potential local harvests that has filtered into some great programs in Utah. Salt Lake City has jumped on the bandwagon to help reduce food waste at SLC Green: "Each year as they come into season, apricots, apples, peaches and plums often go uneaten, falling in the streets and yards of Salt Lake City. As part of an initiative to reduce food waste, the City has partnered with Tree Utah, Avenues Fruitshare, Green Urban Lunchbox and Salt Lake Community Action Program to create an online database where residents can register their fruit trees." The inventory of fruit trees helps these organizations create a harvesting program staffed with volunteer groups to harvest fruit and nuts from registered trees and provide occasional pruning of the branches. All information about addresses and homeowners is kept confidential.

If you register your fruit trees on the site you let folks know that you want to share in the harvest. It's not a sure thing to expect a group of volunteers to show up in your back yard to pick your apples, but it could happen. The programs rely on the amount of volunteers they get who are interested in picking at any given time and the registration of desiring tree owners to share plentiful harvests. Certain trees may not be eligible due to height, hazards or location.
The great thing about clearing out your sagging, ripe trees is that the fruit nudged from the trees will be split with food banks, the homeowner and the pickers. It's an edible circle of love benefiting everyone. You can register your trees or sign up to be a volunteer at slcgov.com/slcgreen/fruitshare. I also want to give kudos to the Green Urban Lunch Box (search Facebook) and their mobile school bus /greenhouse. These folk empower people to take control of their food system by demonstrating how to create more urban agriculture and urban farms. Their 35-foot school bus is available as a mobile teaching classroom that travels to schools and community events. They were recently parked at the Craft Salt Lake festival and their big yellow bus had tomato plants exploding from inside out the windows. The sight of it made me and the youngsters around it giggle with glee to see a big mobile garden on our downtown street. Happy harvest you all!

October 07, 2014

Our Oldest Cemetery

2014

Whaaaaaa? October already? For you folk that love summer I'm sure you're sad that cooler weather is upon us. I'm a fan of hoodies myself and I'm happy as hell to see that the ski resorts around the capitol city got a half foot of the first dusting of snow this past weekend. When it's cooler weather I like to explore and kick the leaves that fall off of trees. My favorite thing to do is explore cemeteries.

Our REALTORS who work full time understand that buyers often love or hate the idea of living near the dead. A national real estate firm recently blogged that they found homes had sold near the main graveyard in a town went for 13% more than homes a block away from the cemetery. Realtor.com reported recently that six in ten people would consider buying a home near a graveyard especially if there is a supposed ghost living in the house. Some people like graveyards because they are quiet and park-like green space. Others find them spooky or grew up in a culture with specific rules about death prohibiting them living near a graveyard.

Our oldest cemetery in Utah (of white people) is underneath the Palladio Apartments on 300 South and 200 West on the east side of Pioneer Park. When developers dug the foundation for those apartments they found an old pioneer burial plot with bones from the 1840's and 1850's. These men, women and children had been put on top of an even earlier prehistoric Indian burial mound. The deceased were removed and the pioneers went to a graveyard created at Pioneer State Park (near the zoo) while he others were returned to a Utah tribe for a proper ceremony.

If you take TRAX to the U of U from downtown you pass another historic sanctified grounds- Mount Olivet Cemetery at 1342 E. 500 South. It's on the right as the train turns left into the station at the stadium. This is the ONLY cemetery in the U.S. that was established by an Act of Congress as a place to bury any person, of any race, creed or color. The Act was signed in 1874 by President Ulysses S. Grant and it required that a religious person/minister and one layman from each of five chosen denominations in Salt Lake serve on a Board of Trustees to oversee the land. I had always heard that it was a burial site for members of the Masons and that no Mormons were allowed to be buried there at all, but that's an urban myth a friend fed me at a party.

Here's a few of the notable residents buried at Mount. Olivet:

-The earliest black solder (Andrew Campbell) was buried in 1922 after serving in Utah Johnson's Army;

-Emma McVickers, the first woman state superintendent of schools; Emily Pearson, an Episcopal missionary and the first person buried in the cemetery-two years before it opened; Alvina Penney, the wife of J.C. Penney, who died suddenly at home when her department store magnate of a husband was out of town; and Susanna Bransford, the richest woman in Utah who died in 1905 and was known as the 'Silver Queen' for her ownership in the Park City mine of the same name;

-a whole bunch of names of the dead you'd recognize as past movers and shakers in Utah, from the Kearns, to the Keiths and the Walkers plus governors and mayors and Civil War heros.

The cemetery fell into financial problems in the 1990's. After years of many meetings between the Board of Trustees, the Feds and Salt Lake City Corp Mount Olivet's Board of Trustees worked out a deal so that the cemetery could lease out some of its land as an added income source. Since then a retirement center, school buildings/grounds for the U of U and Rowland Hall have been parsed out with the promise if plots were needed again, the buildings would be torn down. The cemetery is open @8 AM until dusk seven days a week.

September 15, 2014

Mayor Glade

2014

We listed the home of the 25th mayor of Salt Lake City (1944-1956), Earl J. Glade. He was elected to run our capitol city a year before WWII ended. In researching the man I found that he was born in Odgen and worked as a teenager in the mines in Park City as a 'mud-hen'. He went to college back east, became head of the business program at BYU and subsequently a professor at the U of U. What I find fascinating is that the home in Sugar House is where the very first KSL radio broadcasts were sent from, in an office on the main floor of the home. The telltale evidence is an outlet in the floor about 5" X 5" in size and old photos of him in the main floor bedroom/office/broadcasting studio.

The home was built on land deeded to Brigham Young in the 1860's from the U.S. Government and was turned over in his will to "all the surviving mothers and children of 21 years of age". According to the web, at the time of his death he had been married or been sealed to 56 women. The 160 acres just south of the now I-15 overpass was cut up and sold off over the years to famous names around Sugar House like William McIntyre, LeGrand Young and Henry Dinwoody. None of the owners back then had any idea that within a few blocks of this land there would later be a Belgian waffle house, dollar movies, brew pups, a state liquor store and a bike lane east to the Shoreline trail and north to the University of Utah and neighboring Westminster College. KSL was originally known as KZN and was the radio arm of the Deseret News paper. The first broadcast was on May 6th, 1922 and was a fireside chat with the LDS Church president Heber Grant. Earl J. Glade joined the station in 1925 and ran operations for 14 years. He was instrumental in creating 'Music and the Spoken Word', the longest running radio program on the U.S. airwaves.

Who listens to the radio any more unless it's Satellite Radio in your car or Pandora on your phone? Back in the 1920's radio was the only entertainment and news medium in the world apart from newspapers, telegraph and live stage shows. According to early radio history a literal 'broadcasting boom swept the United States in 1922 and within a year there were 500 stations coast to coast. Many thought it a passing fad and the early radio receivers were too expensive for the average person to afford. Plus, many of the radio consoles were the size of small refrigerators. Now just in Utah we have over 100 radio stations and an unknown amount of pod casts.

My how times have changed since the 1920's although many of the issues of the capitol city remain the same. Two of Mayor Glade's biggest campaign issues and projects that he worked on while in office were 1) to get more parking in downtown Salt Lake City and 2) to encourage developers to build more affordable housing.

September 15, 2014

Prows and Wood

2014

This summer Utah lost a visionary who built massive affordable housing here. Back in 1953, a self-taught designer named Richard Prows partnered with a local homebuilder and constructed 300 homes in a small town named Bountiful, Utah. Prows bought that man out a few years later and teamed up with an ad-man named Bob Wood and the future for Salt Lake City homeowners was changed forever.

This new team put up homes in the 1960's in Kaysville, Tooele, Roy, Layton and Salt Lake. Prowswood (the newly formed development team) ventured into a fairly unheard of world in 1963...building condominiums. The first condos were built in Puerto Rico in 1958, but the first condos in the Continental U.S. were built in Utah. The Greystone Manor at 2730 So. 1200 East were the first built in our state thanks to some forward thinking developers and attorneys. They had to lobby the Utah Legislature to approve a 'housing cooperative' which was literally based on the ownership style used in ancient Rome where properties were called 'condominios'. Other developers around the country were beginning to build condo projects and the Fed's got involved in 1961 by allowing federally insured mortgages for this kind of housing. Bingo! You got loans? We got developers!

In 1963, Prowswood Corp. began developing Three Fountains condominiums in Murray. They were such a new concept that buyers and real estate agents didn't understand what you owned, how they were run, who paid for what, etc. I had that same problem trying to sell downtown loft spaces in the late 1990's so I can relate to the confusion of the buyer pool. Soon Prowswood started attracting the demographic we see today for condominiums: empty nesters, people too busy to want to do yards or maintenance, single women who like the security, and couples without kids. Prowswood also built Old Farm, Brookstone and so many more projects around the state from St. George to the north. The company literally spun out thousands of condos in their day. Now the daughter of Wood runs her own company and the manager of Prowswood became a developer himself and is responsible for most of the larger condo and apartment buildings here that have sprung up in the last decade or so.

Many of the original owners of Prowswood condos are still in their units. Others have passed or moved to assisted living. The construction has withstood 50+ years and the landscaping on all the projects has grown into luscious shady greens. New owners have updated their units over the years and enjoy amenities like swimming pools in the summer and snow removal in the winter months. Condo living isn't for everyone but as someone who has owned and lived in one for years I will take a moment to salute Richard Prows and his vision...because without him I wouldn't have a place to live! Less and less of them are being built in the Salt Lake Valley and more and more apartments are going up. We'll just have to wait and see what the future will be for a lock and leave lifestyle that Prowswood was so famous for in their day.

August 07, 2014

The McClelland Trail

2014

Happy holiday, happy summer. I'm so glad I'm not living in California where it hasn't rained in such a long time. History has proven that water is scarce, and valuable, and now with global warming it's going to be even a more precious commodity. The Daily Beast calls water 'the new oil' and the growing stories of corporations buying up water rights around the world are astounding. That favorite candy bar maker of yours (Nestle) is one of the biggest culprits of water hoarding and have stated that water is NOT a fundamental human right.

There's a brass plaque on the plaza at 300 South and State Street by the theaters "Commemorating the Beginning in America of Modern Irrigation that states "In this vicinity on July 23 and 24, 1847" Mormons made irrigation ditches and diverted the water from City Creek to water their crops. The words are a bit inaccurate because natives had used irrigation systems here and certainly other settlers round the country had coursed water to their benefit. If you Google a map of the Jordan River as it wanders to the Great Salt Lake and pull back a bit on the map, you can see man-made lines leading to the Jordan River. These mostly straight lines are old hand dug ditches from farmers and land owners of long ago. As the new city of salt expanded, canals and irrigation ditches spread like spider webs in the valley to moisten the hungry crops.

Turn the clock forward a century and you would be hard pressed to find one of these water ways. Most of them have been plowed over out of disuse while others have been diverted through giant concrete water pipes under county and city streets. Active canals are worth a lot of money and there are locals who trade water shares for big bucks. Now Salt Lake City has announced that one of the buried canals that wanders from the Brickyard to 800 South is going to become noticeable again after 132 years. Thanks to a push by City Council person Erin Mendenhall, a group of local citizens, plus $1 million from City coffers, an improved walking and biking trail is going to create a very wide path over a weedy forgotten lane between 1000 and 1200 east. The water will still run under it from the Jordan Narrows to City Creek, where it then meets that waterway at Eagle Gate and turns to the Jordan River. There is also a master plan from Salt Lake City to 'daylight' City Creek itself and let the waters flow at the surface again. A green watery path would run from downtown, past the Red Iguana 2, parallel the rail road tracks and then to the Jordan River again. It could potentially even be stocked with local trout and be a fresh water source again for birds and wildlife.

Years ago I sold a home that bordered the McClelland canal. The new homeowner was delighted to have a wild space next door to her. She planted vines and veggies and felt like the unused space was an expansion of her own yard. Indeed, many homeowners along the trail have encroached upon the dirt that doesn't belong to them. The City will come through and measure and decide what is what. But homeowners along this new bike and pedestrian route should rejoice because their property values may have just gone up with a great amenity on their property lines.