By The Wasatch Front Regional Council
The Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) and Salt Lake County have awarded Cottonwood Heights a grant through the “Local Planning Resource Program.” The grant in the amount of $85,000 is for the Wasatch Boulevard/Gravel Pit Master and Capacity Plan.
The area known as the “Gravel Pit” is the last large area of undeveloped land within Cottonwood Heights. This landmark property and proposed study are not only vital to Cottonwood Heights, but are regionally valuable due to the property’s critical location at the juncture of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Wasatch Boulevard, and the city’s main street, Fort Union Boulevard with its many facilities and services. This master plan will include a transportation element, a market/financial analysis, a land use component with an emphasis on design, as well as the appurtenant zoning implications and long-term development projections.
The results of this project, and the deliverables, will have an immediate, direct and guiding effect on what is expected to be a regionally significant transportation confluence, as well as the city’s largest economic engine, with resort-style amenities, including hotels, retail shopping, dining, entertainment and other uses supportive to ski and summer activities. From this project, an anticipated Area Master Plan would be developed, as well as impacting other vital agencies’ transportation and land use plans, such as from the Wasatch Front Regional Council and UDOT.
Launched in 2014 by the Wasatch Front Regional Council in partnership with Salt Lake County, the Local Planning Resource Program’s main objective is to provide resources to local communities for visioning, planning, and implementation efforts that proactively address anticipated growth. The program encourages grant recipients to consider key growth concepts from the shared Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision. With Utah’s population set to double by 2050, communities have indicated a need for the types of resources provided by the Local Planning Resource Program.
“Many have the misimpression that Cottonwood Heights is a built out community,” stated Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore. “But we have significant development still occurring on the east side of the city, like the Gravel Pit, along with critical long range planning needs for redevelopment along key corridors like Fort Union Boulevard. With resources such as this grant we are better able to bring focus to future visioning and planning in our community which should lead to much better outcomes.”
The program helps communities develop in a way that fosters economic growth and efficiently utilizes existing infrastructure. This market-driven approach allows the private sector to flourish while reducing the public resources necessary to accommodate that growth.
“These prudent investments in planning now ensure fiscally sustainable growth in the future,” said Andrew Gruber, WFRC Executive Director. “Planning responsibly saves billions of dollars in future costs associated with fewer roads and utility infrastructure. It also utilizes land use in a way that generates the best outcomes for the community as a whole.”