Utah planners and leaders are asking residents to give their input on the future of the state. EnvisionUtah.org presents visitors with five different scenarios discussing 11 different areas of focus. Utah residents are asked to vote on which scenario they would like state and local leaders to carry out. The goal is to reach 50,000 participants by the time the survey closes in a month.
Unfortunately, not enough people have taken the survey to reach any conclusive results, especially in rural areas.
“As of last week, only 420 Washington County residents had logged in to participate.” reports The Spectrum.
Utah’s population is expected to double by 2050, and Southern Utah is one of the fastest growing areas in the state. In St. George, new homes are popping up at a rapid pace and growth is expected to continue. These scenarios address the following issues:
Housing and cost of living
Jobs and economy
Transportation and communities
Several of the scenarios could affect Southern Utah especially because they include a Lake Powell pipeline to help provide enough water for the growing population. The survey is part of the “Your Utah, Your Future” initiative presented by Governor Herbert in 2015. Scenarios range from no significant change to extensive investments in community health, environment and education. The idea is that these scenarios will create a road map for Utah’s governments, businesses and developers to follow to improve the state.
“We’re doing this statewide visioning process,” explains Betsy Byrne, lead planner of Envion Utah, in an interview with UPR. “We’re looking at not just the urbanized regions where we did the original vision but we’re looking at the entire state, and trying to get people from all over the state to weigh in on how they want to grow.”
A similar study was conducted in the 1990s, when population growth crowded the cities and caused many traffic and congestion problems. Now, the state hopes to create another long-term plan to address new growth needs and rural communities.
Since much of the upcoming growth will happen outside urban areas, in places like Washington County, this plan is important for St. George residents to participate.
“State demographers have forecast the county to grow to nearly 200,000 people by 2020, and to more than 280,000 by 2030,” reports the Spectrum.
If you would like your voice to be heard, visit EnvisionUtah.org to read about the plans and cast your vote