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EHEI Award: Process Improvements

Nomination for Mountain View Corridor Environmental Impact Statement "Growth Choices" Process

Utah Department of Transportation

Process Improvements:
In order to better integrate land use and transportation planning in the Mountain View Corridor Environmental Impact Statement (MVC EIS), the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) initiated a process called "Growth Choices." The Growth Choices process as held concurrent with EIS scoping and the results were incorporated into the MVC EIS alternatives development and analysis. Growth Choices was facilitated by a nonprofit organization based in Salt Lake City, Envision Utah. The nonprofit has been working with local jurisdictions to preserve the quality of life for growing communities through land use and transportation planning.

Innovation:
The MVC Growth Choices process was an opportunity for the 14 study area communities in west Salt Lake Country and northwest Utah Country to consider how changing their existing land use plans could help solve the area's transportation challenges. The goal was to bring the communities together on a formal agreement regarding the vision of future development in the MVC with unified land use and transportation goals. The MVC project team initiated a thorough discussion of the anticipated land use in the study area and provided the tools for communities to understand the implications of various development types in this high-growth area. The process accounted for a wide range of modal options and potential facility types and provided examples of how each interacts with specific land uses. The project team then had the ability to frame the Purpose & Need and Alternatives Development and Analysis on the discussions and feedback that occurred during the Growth Choices process.

The Growth Choices process included individual meetings with mayors and city staff throughout the study area and the formation of a Stakeholder Committee comprised of study area mayors, large property owners, and interest group representatives. The Stakeholder Committee was given the task of developing a set of growth principles and agreeing to a vision scenario for the study area. The early engagement of local government officials and citizens established the MVC EIS as a collaborative effort between local, state, and federal agencies to address the anticipated growth in the study area. The objective of the Growth Choices process was for community leadership within the area to share a common vision of potential growth scenarios with compatible land use and transportation planning.

Process results:
The Growth Choices process played an important role in the development of the MVC EIS. The results of the process refined the project's purpose, indentifying the alternatives, studying impacts, and selecting the preferred alternative. Elements of the Vision were incorporated into all of the alternatives. Cities in the MVC expressed a willingness to pursue land use plans that would support transit, such as larger town centers, village centers with mixed-use developments, transit- and pedestrian-oriented developments, and denser residential development near anticipated transit stations. After success of the MVC EIS Growth Choices process, Wasatch Front Regional Council and Mountainland Association of Governments collaborated with Envision Utah to conduct a 2040 visioning process in conjunction with their Long-range Regional Transportation Plan update.

Mountain View Corridor: www.udot.utah.gov/mountainview/content/home/

Updated: 07/11/2012
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