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Cities look to blend as they grow

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SALEM — South Utah County mayors want to resurrect a plan to blend their cities as they grow.

The plan, offered several years ago, won the favor of all 10 cities from Springville to Goshen, but county commissioners rejected it, Salem Mayor Randy Brailsford said.

Land use and road width were to be consistent where one city blended into another or where the cities abutted unincorporated land.

One sticking point was that the county preferred narrower roads because they cost less to build and maintain, Brailsford said during the monthly mayors' meeting. County officials should at least acquire the right of way for wider roads so homes aren't built in future rights of way as cities annex the land, he said.

"There's a level of cooperation in the 10 cities we rarely see in other parts of the state," said Bob Terragno of Envision Utah.

"There's more sympathy now (toward the plan). You need to go back and ask for county cooperation," he said.

County Commissioner Gary Herbert said he didn't recall the cities' earlier effort to unify expansion.

"I would support the idea of coordinated planning," he said.

Where city and county boundaries meet, the roads should line up, he told the Deseret News.

Most rights of way on county roads aren't in county ownership, Jeff Mendenhall of the county community development department told the Deseret News. Often the distance between fence posts defines those rural roads. However, the county standard is a 56-foot width, while a collector or main road would require a 66-foot width, he said. Some city roads already match the standard.

South county cities are Springville, Mapleton, Spanish Fork, Woodland Hills, Salem, Elk Ridge, Payson, Santaquin, Genola and Goshen.

E-MAIL: rodger@desnews.com