Tremonton City has never had a long-term plan for how land within city limits should be used, but city officials are looking to change that through a collaborative effort with the Utah Department of Transportation.
Last week, the Tremonton City Council adopted a resolution approving an agreement in which the city would contribute $25,000 and UDOT would pitch in $50,000 to create a comprehensive land use plan for the city.
“The city has never done this as far as I know,” City Manager Shawn Warnke told the council at its Jan. 21 meeting. “This will be focusing on land uses throughout the city and what makes sense, looking at zoning districts, land use densities and things like that.”
He said the land use plan will be integrated with other plans the city is working on or has completed in recent months and years as part of its overall general plan, including plans for moderate-income housing, economic and market analysis, Main Street design and revitalization, transportation, trail, parks and open space.
The overall effort would be to look at the elements of all plans that have land use policies or objectives, Warnke said.
“We just finished our transportation master plan, which has a really big influence on land use,” he said. “Having those two plans reviewed in tandem, incorporated into one overall plan, makes a lot of sense.”
The city budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes $25,000 for the land use plan, but staff have been searching for outside funds to help complete the study. To that end, the city sought out and secured a Technical Planning Assistance Grant from UDOT in the amount of $50,000, bringing the total amount for work on the plan to $75,000.
The resolution and agreement approved last week formalizes UDOT’s financial contribution to the effort, and provides a framework for how the funds will be used.
Under the effort, Warnke will serve as the project manager, whose first objective is to find a private consultant to work with. Warnke said the plan, subject to council approval, is to go with Landmark Design, a Salt Lake City company that has done similar work with cities of varying sizes along the Wasatch Front and elsewhere in Utah.
“We looked at their references and they came back really good,” Warnke said of the firm.
In addition to providing guidance for future planning as the city continues to grow, the plan would also help bring Tremonton into better compliance with state law, which requires a city’s general plan to include three major elements: transportation, affordable housing and land use.
Moving forward, as the plan is developed, it would include significant involvement with the city council and planning commission.
The council approved the agreement unanimously at last week’s meeting.
“I think it’s something we need,” Councilmember Bret Rohde said. “It can give us direction and strategies we can use to move into the future.”