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Goats or stores? Cows or caterers? W.V. tackles planning issues

Series of meetings is gauging what the residents want

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WEST VALLEY CITY — So is it a corner where the horse is going to stay or will there be a hotel or home improvement center?

Do you favor a goat or a grocery store?

How about the cow vs. a catering business?

Answers to those questions and many more are in the process of being mapped out through a series of neighborhood planning meetings hosted by West Valley City.

Last month, the city sought input from residents of the Decker Lake Planning District, one of six geographical districts in West Valley City. A meeting also was scheduled last week for Granger residents.

The meetings are the result of this year's completion of an updated general plan that maps out the types of land use the city wants to embrace in the coming decades.

Terri Hansen Payne, West Valley's long-range planner, said the general plan was the result of 18 months of public meetings, focus groups, and surveys soliciting input.

"We're now going back and looking at the map, trying to get a feel for what works and what doesn't work and trying to get feedback from residents of the specific districts."

The plan, Payne stressed, is not as concrete as a zoning change, but is an explanation of what the city wants do.

"It explains what kind of land uses we want," Payne said. "For instance, on this corner we would like to see it commercial, but previously it had been residential and could change the face of the neighborhood. We want to make sure we are not doing anything that the residents wouldn't want."

A lot of it, Payne said, has to do with trying to keep the horses in the corrals where they are, yet provide enough flexibility for city planners to make room for additional retail and commercial growth.

The general plan also includes possible areas for horse trails along the Jordan River Parkway and a wetlands park in the northwest portion of the city.

The key element of the meetings is to gauge a community's sentiments, Payne said.

Some Chesterfield neighborhood residents, for example, showed up at last month's meeting to make sure the area in which they live retains the qualities they like.

"There are a lot of horses in Chesterfield. It is an older area of the city, east of Redwood Road and north of 3100 South and a very unique neighborhood," Payne said. "It feels like you are in the country, and they are anxious to preserve that."

So far, the city has hosted three planning district meetings to gather input from residents. Payne said five more are expected, including an Aug. 30 meeting for the Hunter Planning District, set for 6:30 p.m. at West Valley's Family Fitness Center.

For more information about the planning meetings, call 963-3312.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com