Sometimes visiting the past is the best way to provide for the future.

Sandy city leaders are using that philosophy to their advantage in dealing with the city's original municipal district. The strategy to develop a Historic Sandy Neighborhood Plan to preserve and revitalize that area of the city is a good one.Once the city's primary business and residential spot, the historic district forms an almost perfect square mile. The western border begins at State Street and stretches to 700 East, while 8400 South and 9000 South form the north and south boundaries.

The neighborhood plan was prompted by the recent decision to build a station for the TRAX light-rail system inside the district. The Historic Sandy Neighborhood Plan, expected to be in draft form by May, will establish development policies, projects and regulations specific to the area.

"The original square mile of Sandy is an important part of our history, and we want to make sure nothing takes away from that heritage," noted James Sorensen, Sandy's senior long-range planner.

Part of the plan will likely call for preservation of a pedestrian-oriented commercial section that includes some of the city's original business buildings. The city previously restored the old Sandy Museum.

Comparisons are being made to the type of structures in downtown Park City - antique stores and drug stores. Possible changes to the area include curb and gutter improvements, open spaces and a park.

Residents need to have sufficient opportunities to voice their views in this process. Planners are seeking their input, especially those living within the historic district. Public hearings will be scheduled when the finished draft is presented to the City Council this spring.

This appears to be a situation where everyone is a winner. The historic atmosphere of a key city area is not only preserved but improved through renovation, and there is a strong possibility the change will include a park.

In an era where development seems to be running rampant, it is nice to be able to maintain some nostalgia and sense of history as Sandy plans to do.