Protect, preserve and enhance
Oct 31, 2017 10:55AM
● By Cassie Goff
City staff addressed concerns about open space from residents. (Cassie Goff/City Journals)
Open space has been a major concern as the population in the Salt Lake area rises and development all over the state of Utah flourishes. Many residents of Cottonwood Heights frequently voice their concerns regarding maintaining open space within their beautiful city between the canyons.
On Sept. 28, the community and economic development department held an open house to allow a conversation for some of these concerns. The open space open house was held in the Community Room of the Cottonwood Heights City Hall located at 2277 E. Bengal Blvd.
When attendees arrived at the open house, they were asked to fill out a survey either online or on paper. Once they had completed the survey, they were given three numbered stickers. As attendees walked around the community room, they looked over three maps that broke the city into three parts: east, west and central. They placed their stickers where they thought open space needed to be protected, preserved or enhanced. Then, they wrote comments on the outside margins of the maps with corresponding numbers.
The maps had highlighted areas so residents could visualize the current open spaces throughout the city. Some of these spaces are problematic for varying reasons, such as poor maintenance, steepness of a hill and ownership conflicts.
Many residents came to this event, including a number of city council members and additional city staff members. By far, the most popular area of interest was District 1, which concerned open space around Wasatch Boulevard, Kings Hill and multiple trails.
Some of the common concerns among the attendees were ingress and egress, preservation and enhancement of parks, pocket parks, biking, encroaching development and existing fields. Crestwood Park and Mill Hallow Park were also areas of interest.
By the end of the open house the maps were filled with comments.
“There’s a sense of community with open spaces,” Community and Economic Development Director Brian Berndt said. “There were good discussions, got questions answered and conveyed concerns.”
The Cottonwood Heights Community and Economic Development staff plans to take the feedback received from this open house and turn it into a usable open space master plan. They plan to partner with Bike Utah, Ski Utah, Holladay, Sandy, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), UTA and the ski resorts to help protect open space within the area.
“This will start the conversation and introduce ideas of what we can do,” Berndt said.
The survey given at the open house is still available online. To take it, please visit http://cottonwoodheights.utah.gov/cms/One.aspx?portalId=109778&pageId=10381277.
The city may hold another open house, so follow the website for relevant information. A complete city map with all the comments collected from this open house is also available to download or view from the above link.