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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Residents recruited to help develop Cottonwood Heights’s general plan

Nov 09, 2021 10:14AM ● By Cassie Goff

An updated general plan for the city is being developed with resident feedback. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

Cottonwood Heights is developing an updated general plan for the city. As part of the process, residents and community members have been asked to provide any ideas, insights, or feedback pertaining to the city’s future.  City staff members have termed the new general plan project Cottonwood Heights Tomorrow. 

A city’s general plan serves as a guiding document for almost all city work, as it establishes goals, outlines policies, and details zones. General plans often address topics important to the surrounding community like transportation, economic development, housing, sustainability, and parks and recreation.

The goal of Cottonwood Heights Tomorrow is to provide new growth visions for the city, establish updated goals and policies, and detail actional measures for each. Each chapter of the city’s current general plan will be analyzed and updated through this process.  

With funding from a Wasatch Front Regional Council grant, a consultant team was hired by the city for Cottonwood Heights Tomorrow. The team consists of Tim Sullivan from Township + Range, Christine Richman from GSBS Consulting, Mark Morris from VODA Landscape + Planning, and Mark Vlasic, Sam Taylor and John Locke from Landmark Design. 

The process of analyzing, updating, and developing a new general plan is expected to take over one year. The Cottonwood Heights Tomorrow team will work through this process in five separate phases. Beginning in spring, the team began starting and setting up the project, before moving into Phase 2: Community Visioning. 

“Planning efforts begin with a robust public engagement process that allows residents and stakeholders to identify the places, form, and directions of future growth,” the Cottonwood Heights Tomorrow team wrote. 

Within this phase, Cottonwood Heights Tomorrow is asking for community feedback. Residents and community members have various options for engagement including taking the Vision Confirmation Survey which asks a variety of questions surrounding city planning preferences. 

Residents can share their ideas on the Community Idea Board page of the general plan website. A few of the currently published ideas include underground parking, implementing fiber optic internet throughout the city, prioritizing green space, protecting bike lanes, and incorporating creekside trails. 

In addition, residents can meet with city staff members in-person at city hall (2277 E. Bengal Blvd.) or over Zoom during “office hours.” City staff members will be available on Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings. 

“I feel that a critical component of effective plans and policies at the local government level is obtaining differing points of view on issues,” wrote Tim Tingey in October’s city newsletter. 

Cottonwood Heights Tomorrow will begin drafting a plan as part of Phase 3 after all community feedback has been gathered. By early next year, they will have a plan to publish publicly. Phase 4: Draft Refinement and Public Engagement is expected to run through spring 2022; after which a final plan can be approved and adopted. 

Existing city plans the Cottonwood Heights Tomorrow team will analyze and draw from include: Bonneville Shoreline Trail Access Master Plan, Bicycle and Trails Master Plan, Fort Union Area Master Plan, Wasatch Boulevard Area Master Plan, 2019 Affordable Housing Plan, and current General Plan (which was originally published in 2005 when the city was incorporated). 

The current general plan for Cottonwood Heights provides guidelines for Land Use policies, opportunities, recommendations, and implementation strategies; prioritizes Urban Trails and Parks and Open Space with policies, conditions, and strategies; outlines transportation conditions and future possibilities; details roadway maps and probable improvements; provides a comprehensive summary of housing; details the social and economic conditions of the city; and provides a history of the area. The current general plan includes information about annexation, natural environments, and maps as well. 

If interested in office hours, the city asks you to contact their community and economic development staff to confirm availability at 801-944-7000 or [email protected].

To sign up for updates or provide feedback: visit the website.