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Survey Gives Direction, Envisions Future of S. Utah

Survey Gives Direction, Envisions Future of S. Utah

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- Preliminary results of the Washington County survey Vision Dixie shows a preference for orderly, inward growth that protected the area's resources, officials said.

"There were a number of ideas that resonated loud and clear," said Ted Knowlton of Envision Utah, a main sponsor of the survey. "People don't really want scattered development. They love the idea of mixed-use development and want to protect the unique geology of this area."

Washington County is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States.

Vision Dixie data was drawn from 515 county residents who attended public meetings, 834 who completed an online questionnaire and 383 respondents questioned by a professional polling company.

The survey envisioned four possible growth scenarios and a future population of 240,000 residents.

Most respondents said they wanted county and city leaders to preserve southern Utah's famous red rock vistas, protect open space for recreation and conservation, build walkable community and develop public transportation options.

A report of the survey's findings will be made public July 31 at a meeting of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce.

"It's really a confirming process. We've been talking about new urbanism and higher densities for a while," said Marc Mortensen, who sits on the Vision Dixie steering committee. "While we are already doing some of those things, we know we have a long way to go."

Lin Alder, of Citizens for Dixie's Future, called the survey process valuable and said citizens will have to remain vigilant with elected officials to make sure the planning continues.

"Either Vision Dixie loses speed and is put on the shelf or Vision Dixie gains speed and our citizens and leaders join together to actually change ordinances to support implementation of public transportation and protecting open spaces and everything else that is clearly supported in Vision Dixie," Alder said.


Information from: Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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