To protect the privately owned Allen Park from development, Salt Lake City is slated to “save” it by purchasing it for $7.5 million and transforming it into a public “art park.” Spending $7.5 million of impact fees to prevent private development in an affluent neighborhood to appease eastside NIMBYs is absurd.

Proponents of this purchase are likely much more concerned with preventing intensive development than “preserving” property that has not been publicly accessible in decades.

Rather than acquiring additional open space, the city should use these funds for much-needed improvements in existing city parks, such as improvements outlined in the 2015 Warm Springs Park Master Plan or the or the long-overdue redesign of Washington and Library Square.

There are countless other opportunities for investing $7.5 million in creating new park uses in our existing parks that would create a much greater benefit to city residents than purchasing land in one of the most expensive ZIP codes in Salt Lake City.

Trevor Ovenden, Salt Lake City