Recent growth and development in Western Weber County, combined with significant projected growth in the near future, has resulted in the existing 20-year-old general plan to become obsolete. Current population projections estimate Weber County to have a 60% growth rate over the next 50 years, or about 1.2% per year. Applied to Western Weber, that would add 3,412 people for a total of 9,112 in the year 2065. However, based on current building trends, the area is growing much faster, at about 7.1% per year. If this trend continues, it will add an additional 13,383 people for a total population of 22,495 in the year 2065.
For the last few years, Weber County staff have been working to collect essential data relevant to development of the Western Weber area, such as current zoning, land use, and existing physical conditions of the area. The in-depth study investigated different types, densities, and configurations of residential development that might be considered in Western Weber, with clustered development emerging as a possible key tool for helping direct growth and development in a manner that can preserve the cherished character and “sense of place.”
Four public meetings were held in an effort to collaborate with residents and property owners to create a conceptual planning vision for Western Weber County. This vision will take a lead role in devising a new general plan that will adequately address the challenges and opportunities that future development will bring to the county.
After spending more than a year working closely with the residents and stakeholders of Western Weber and countless hours of research conducted by county staff members, a Preferred Future Land Use Vision was established.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LAND USE:
• Designate small mixed-use villages at primary transportation intersections
• Do not allocate any more density rights to the area, except those necessary to preserve or enhance the rural sense of place
• Prioritize residential development near existing sewer systems
• Create a buffer between the heavy manufacturing area and other land uses
The vision also addressed Future Transportation needs of a rapidly growing and changing area.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRANSPORTATION:
• Petition UDOT to move the proposed West-Weber Corridor alignment westward to better connect manufacturing areas and avoid prime agricultural land.
• Extend 2550 South, 2200 South, and 2700 North to the West-Weber Corridor, effectively linking it to I-15.
• Extend 4700 West to a future 2700 North extension in Plain City.
• Support prior street-grid planning by requiring collector streets to be located on section lines, whenever possible.
• Improve access to developed areas and across the Weber River.
• Accommodate active transportation along major roads.
The vision also addressed the desire to preserve open space and provide parks, trails, and natural systems in a manner that is coordinated to meet long-term community needs.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARKS, TRAILS, AND OPEN SPACE:
• Purchase and develop a large Ogden Bay regional park with a recreational focus, including a sport field complex, large open grassy areas, running track, playgrounds, pavilions, picnic areas, shade trees, pedal-cycle park, motor-bike park, equestrian facilities, fishing, public restrooms, and potentially camping facilities.
• Purchase and preserve a green-space buffer along the Weber River that will preserve the land from becoming developed and enhance the land as a recreational amenity, including an extensive regional trail system that connects regional and community parks.
• Create regional trails/pathways along or adjacent to existing canals, rivers and other waterways, railroads, and collector streets in lieu of sidewalk.
• Explore the public’s support for creating a community fishing pond in or near the Reese Park.
So, what do you think? Community input on the vision of Weber County growth and development is imperative to developing a general plan that reflects the vision of all stakeholders and residents of our great county. Your contribution and feedback are encouraged and appreciated.
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