12 years ago, the ‘Envision Cache Valley’ initiative was launched to develop a growth forecast through the year 2040. This plan was created with the input of many stakeholders (residents, businesses, landowners, farmers, etc). How has the plan fared to date?
‘Envision Cache Valley’ however well drafted, has not been followed as intended. Taking ideas from the drawing-board to the real-world require clear direction, hard work, and constant vigilance. Even the best of projections change with time and experience. Some work as intended while others prove problematic. Such crucial plans should be monitored and updated regularly, as both challenges and opportunities arise. Here are my ideas:
-Any growth plan should, as a priority, preserve our individual community identities.
They are what makes Cache Valley unique.
-A Regional Council should include a representative from ALL cities, not just one from
the north and one from the south as proposed previously. It should also be a voluntary
forum to address common issues, foster cooperation and communication, and work
together for the common good of Cache County. Each city would retain its autonomy.
In a past survey, over 80% of county residents wanted local jurisdictions to work together
to address growth, and considered it a high priority.
-Regional revenue sharing, a part of the previous plan, could lead to unnecessary
regional government, a concept I am opposed to. This needs further evaluation.
-Wherever possible, we should consider redevelopment before expansion. The
conservation of land is a good alternative to expansion, and makes us better stewards.
-The previous objective of building “fewer roads, water, sewer and power lines” is
incongruous with growth management. Instead, we should focus on providing the
infrastructure necessary to support our vision. This should be, not as we go along, or in
response to, but pre-emptive, according to our master-plan.
-To help minimize the loss of agricultural land, I would explore the use of mitigating
ordinances, designed to replace each acre lost to development with an off-setting acre
of open space. I would also work with our agricultural community to encourage the
voluntary down-zoning of large land parcels.
-Proper density ordinances will help control the ‘land grab’ as cities annex county
property for development. Urban boundaries should be maintained as much as possible.
I believe high density housing is better served in urban locations, where commercial,
government and personal services are more readably available to these residents.
-Although the ‘Envision’ plan references higher-paying jobs, it offers no solutions, nor does
it reflect the impact of improved, personal income in its demographic or development
recommendations. Better jobs and income will greatly affect the future, and should be
given equal consideration in any plan to manage overall growth.
Copyright © 2021 Ensignforcachecounty - All Rights Reserved.