LEHI — What will public transit, air quality and outdoor recreation look like in southern Salt Lake County and northern Utah County look like by the year 2050?
Those are questions a group of stakeholders aims to answer in the next few months as they plan the long-term future of the Point of the Mountain area.
“We’re figuring out right now where we want to be in 2050, and then the question is 'How do you get there?'” said Ari Bruening, Chief Operating Officer of Envision Utah, a group that is working with the state to devise a plan for the Point of the Mountain region.
Bruening said the area stretching from Sandy to Lehi is “clearly the fastest-growing part of the Wasatch Front.”
Envision Utah, along with the Point of the Mountain Development Commission, has developed five different development scenarios that focus on different outcomes for the region.
The commission members are currently gathering public input on each of the five scenarios, with a goal to have a preferred scenario by the end of January, Bruening said.
On Thursday, representatives from the commission and Envision Utah met with representatives from the Silicon Slopes tech industry to see what priorities the tech community would like to see in the plan.
Some of the scenarios put more emphasis on investment in public transit. Others focus on saving money and include less capital investment.
Other factors considered in the scenarios include air quality, entertainment, housing affordability, outdoor trails, new jobs, commute times, development of urban centers and more.
Bruening said the commission members plan to cull elements from each of the five plans into one preferred scenario, depending on the input they gather from the public.
After settling on the preferred plan in January, they will begin discussing financing for how to put the desired scenario into place, Bruening said.
“There will be a lot of work after that to actually figure out how to make it happen,” he said.
Planning for the future of this region is important not only because it’s growing quickly but also because of how it’s growing, Bruening said. Lots of high-paying new jobs are being created in the Point of the Mountain area, in part because of nearby Silicon Slopes, he said.
The scenarios plan for between 218,000 and 286,000 new jobs in the area by 2050. Across the whole Wasatch Front, the projections predict between 950,000 and 1.1 million new jobs added.
Bruening said the area will be completely built out by 2050, so the planning is important.
“Through all of the scenarios we’ve looked at, this area is going to completely develop by 2050,” he said. “The question isn’t ‘Is it going to develop?’ but 'How do we want it to look?'”