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Eagle Mountain planners like mapping the future

Developing a general plan for a brand new city is no simple task.

But it's certainly a rewarding one, say those involved in the creation of a road map for the future of one of the state's youngest towns in the Cedar Valley area west of Lehi.According to Mayor Debbie Hooge, the majority of the tiny town's 200 residents and 63 families who have been part of the process, have found it exhilarating as well as challenging to design a town from scratch.

They've been focusing on it for the past several months.

The final draft of the plan goes before the planning commission Thursday, and to the City Council a week later, if approved by the commission.

That's roughly three months ahead of schedule since Eagle Mountain adopted the Interim Development Code in August and has six months from that date to pull its plan together for Utah County officials to examine.

The town's incorporation has been considered valid since May 1997.

"The most critical issue for us now is to implement the ideals in the general plan," Hooge said. "It's one thing to have it on paper and another to have it become reality."

Included in the plan are concepts expected to help create a city that's people-friendly, full of open spaces and ultimately tax-free, said Hooge, describing a series of publicly owned utility companies eventually generating enough revenue to support the town without a property tax.

"There's this whole future that's out there, a reality that we're dreaming of," said Hooge. "It's close enough to taste."

That reality means no strip malls and no visible parking lots. Buildings will surround parking areas in the multiple city centers that will be located close enough together to permit easy walking to shopping.

Parking will be purposefully limited so as to encourage biking and walking "to town."

Traffic circles or roundabouts will keep vehicles flowing from a main street that intersects only with main entryways into subdivisions that don't participate in high volume traffic.

Biking and hiking trails will play a major part in the city layout.

Eventually there will be at least a couple of golf courses and a commercial airport designed to support corporate air traffic.

Councilman Nick Berg says the plan is detailed and well thought out. It's taken hours and hours of steady work by numerous citizens, he said.

"We're really on the verge of having something unique and different," the mayor said.