SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall today announced that Salt Lake City is under contract to purchase Allen Park using park-designated impact fees, which must be spent on new park space or new park uses. The park was previously facing potential development by a former buyer.
“Allen Park is a rare opportunity to preserve almost seven acres of unique ecosystem in a historic area that would otherwise be developed by private entities,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “We have heard the request from many members of our community to use parks impact fees to purchase this land, and are grateful for an opportunity to be able to do so.”
“This is an iconic parcel in a City that needs more open space,” said Chris Wharton, City Council Chair. “We hope we will have partners to help make it an important public park soon.”
Impact fees are used to ensure that new development pays for new services, instead of residents shouldering the entire burden through taxation. As its population continues to grow, open space is at a premium as the City is already largely built out.
Allen Park was purchased in 1931 by Dr. George Allen, an Illinois-trained physician, and his wife Ruth, an artist and fashion illustrator. The couple lived in a lodge on the property with their children and an exotic bird collection. Old homes were put on new foundations and rented out over the decades.
Allen Park will remain closed to the public while the City evaluates its potential uses and gathers community input.