Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Citizens Want Collaborative Planning

At a meeting of the Wasatch Vision 2040 steering committee last week, Envision Utah staff unveiled preliminary results from a Dan Jones poll conducted this month, asking residents along the Wasatch Front a number of questions about growth and how to plan for it.

Among the results, I found it interesting that residents recognized the need and expressed strong support for collaborative planning among cities and counties (read: regional planning?).

Poll participants were asked to rate the importance of a number of factors on a 1-7 scale, with 1 being "not a priority at all" and 7 being a "high priority."

For the question, "How important is it that your local government cooperates with other cities or counties in the Wasatch Front region in addressing growth issues," the mean score was 6.32. Some 60% of the respondents rated it as a 7, another 20% as a 6. That's pretty high, though in a way, its one of those motherhood and apple pie questions -- who would really be against it?

In a later, related question, participants were asked, "When you think about quality growth, who do you believe can BEST implement the principles YOU favor?" 39% said, "city and county governments working together," the highest response. Local government garnered only a 9% response, state government also a 9%.

So, do Wasatch Front residents favor regional planning? Looks like they do, but it is never called regional planning. Instead, it seems that collaborative planning might be the better term for it, and it looks like it needs to be non-compulsory, that is, not another layer of mandatory government.

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