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Sandbox of Graphic Ideas for
Utah's "Guiding Our Growth"

April 22 (Left) vs April 21 (Right)

  • Camera angle moved slightly because the right side has more development than it used to, which required recentering.

  • #1 now has the same 3 "Satellites" as #2, but they have all moved inward more to look less far-flung (see later comparison of 1 vs 2).  

  • General suburban footprint trimmed to make up for new satellites

  • White areas increased a fair amount.

  • Camera angle moved, white increased quite a bit.

  • Satellites have moved inward and look less exurban.

  • General sprawl is less dense than in #1.

Purple Podiums
  • Parking skinnier in some spots, as it looked a little overwhelming to me.

  • Sprawl in top-right extended a little, to make sure people get the message that this is a much larger footprint than the previous two.

  • White areas increased (same in all)

Volcano Hiker
  • White increased.

  • Bottom right has more development, as it looked sparse previously.

Volcano Hiker

​#1 vs #2

  • I'm hoping this hits what Ari has been trying to get me to see.  Both have the three "Daybreak" centers, but the first also has ADUs and a lot of scattered infill in parking lots, and it also has higher density SF on the fringes.  #2 has no ADUs, no parking lot infill (other than general growth of centers), and it also has lower fringe density (hence a bigger footprint)

  • The top right mountain valley has development in 1, but not in 2.  Thinking was that in a less regulated environment, it might show up there.  But there is also an argument that as #2 consumes more land, maybe there is pressure to build in that valley?  Not sure but I can easily be persuaded to just add the development in both or remove it in both.  Thoughts?

  • Do the 3 Daybreak centers feel dense enough or tall enough?  There is a lot of parking that is visible now.

Volcano Hiker

​#2 vs #3

  • This is to show how the overall footprint is getting progressively larger with each ratchet of the NIMBY wrench.  

  • Lots of development spilling into the mountains.

  • There is zero growth in historic centers in #3.  Maybe there should be a tiny bit?  Or maybe the caricature that there is no significant growth is best shown with "no growth."

Volcano Hiker
  • This compares "Urban Transportation 10 vs 11" (highway & sprawl, vs both highway and transit)

  • Transit only almost finished.  It will remove the freeway and major EW, and reduce sprawl.

  • "Slow the growth" not yet started.

Volcano Hiker
  • This is zoomed in so we can remove the "transit, walk, bike" tags.  Actual bikes and peds can be added, but not here now.  This is a great view I think and still helps to see the lane use contexts.

  • The only thing it really loses is the EW highway, but we might still get it by backing up one block.

Large Lot Pros and Cons


  • Creative outlet for landscaping enthusiasts

  • Off-street storage for RV’s and extra vehicles 

  • Private outdoor space for kids, pets, chickens, etc.

  • Easy to host large private events

  • Free front-door parking at most stores, homes

  • Cabins in mountains offer private recreation

  • Path of least resistance


  • Expensive homes, infrastructure and landscape

  • Growing numbers can't afford large yards, or are unable/unwilling to "mow big lawns."

  • More water, air pollution, travel time per capita

  • Most streets "bare bones" (minimal aesthetics, alt modes)

  • Walkable “Places” cannot easily emerge

  • Rural valleys lose vistas and small-town appeal

General Infill Pros and Cons


  • Young adults and elderly can more easily find affordable, ideal dwellings close to home.

  • Accessory Dwelling Units improve affordability for young people; create caretaker opportunities for elderly

  • More people per city = more revenue in taxes, and at same time lower taxes per household.

  • Less infrastructure per capita makes it easier to fund Complete Streets and other services.

  • Saves water, saves farms, improves air, improves use of alternative modes, reduces travel time per capita.


  • Parking may require a longer walk

  • A bit more traffic in neighborhoods if heavy utilization of ADUs

  • Paradigm shift: Moves more toward pre-WWII America, which may create "devil you don't know" anxiety for many.

  • Less RV ownership (i.e., more RV rentals).  More off-site RV storage

  • Less land for gardening and hobbyist landscaping (i.e., more need for creativity in tighter spaces).

Positive and Negative?

  • Increased mixing of income groups. This has many positive aspects but some may see it negatively.

Activity Center Pros and Cons


  • Similar benefits as General Infill, but less ADU/opportunistic focus, more intentional Centers

  • Avoids cost of “Complete Streets” for full arterial length.

  • Focuses attention on doing a good job increasing accessibility, alternative mode usage, catalyzing mixed-uses at specific centers of activity.

  • Little disruption to auto-dependent uses between one center and next (i.e., blends post-WWII and pre-WWII).


  • Demand for parking near Centers may spill over into nearby neighborhoods on busy days

  • Without ADUs, will be difficult for some age-in-place homeowners to secure on-site assistance.

  • Without ADUs and large-lot-to-townhome conversions, difficult for young families to find affordable options in historic suburban neighborhoods.

Positive and Negative?

  • Increased mixing of income groups. This has many positive aspects but some may see it negatively.

Internal Focus:   1) Large Lot vs 3) General Infill, Corridor View

Features in General Infill View

  • Street Trees / Complete Streets are essential.  Must come first or the scenario cannot happen (other than ADUs).

  • Trees on entire corridor highlight expense of "Complete Street'ing" long lengths, when maybe just in Centers could help focus dollars and growth.

  • Pink does not expand (reserved for Centers scenario)

  • Highlights opportunistic nature... "infill here and there, where ever it is easiest."  No particular focus on specific centers.

  • Some new growth at outer edge.  Is it enough or should we do another row?

Ideas for Individual Graphics

In the regional and corridor series, views are from the same camera angle to facilitate transition comparisons.  It may also help to have some close-up shots to highlight unique attributes of various growth types.  This lists some of those ideas: 

  • Infill: A single block or two showing before / after neighborhood infill techniques:

    • Mother-in-law, where the same house is white before, then maybe foundation turns orange and a stairway installed to show a basement apartment. 

    • Over-garage ADU

    • In the garden ADU or tiny house

    • Two homes with rather large yards, converted to 6 small, tight SF homes.

    • A single home replaced by 3 townhomes?

  • Satellites:

    • Entrance to Satellite where you see green parkway as you come in, and lots of very tight SF neighborhoods.  

    • Townhomes and nice MF close to transit as you get closer to center

Internal Focus:   ADU Closeups

ADU Closeups

  • Left slider: Show a single family neighborhood with maybe three old, tiny homes on large lots, a cul-de-sac, and a couple other roads.

  • Right slider: Three old homes replaced by 12 townhomes.  A cul-de-sac house builds a backyard garage with apartment over top.  Another house in area just changes from white to orange, along with a door to basement showing up (mother in law).  

ADU Pros and Cons


  • Second income, which helps young families get into a home (both as renters or as owners of the rental)

  • Elderly who have no nearby family can offer "reduced rent" to someone to mow lawn, shovel snow, help with errands.

  • Efficient use of homes built for many, but occupied by just one or two.

  • Efficient use of yards built for gardens, but only growing weeds.

  • Exposure to neighbors of different incomes and ages.

  • Any additional traffic is very minimal - easy for most streets to handle unnoticed.

  • Increases property and sales tax revenue without increasing cost of services very much.


  • May be hard to figure out how to park extra cars off-street on snow-plow days.  (Could be a requirement of ADU)

  • Some neighbors may worry about increased potential for crime, clutter, degradation.

  • May "steal" from pool of renters who would otherwise be in centers and nearer to transit.

  • If heavily utilized, could make neighborhoods feel more crowded.  Mitigate with a max # of ADU permits within say a quarter-mile of the candidate home. 

Thoughts on "Slow the Growth"

Below is Mike's idea of succinct language to educate about this topic and get feedback on options for slowing growth.  Maybe it could be a script for the governor in a video on the topic?

“What about slowing growth in my town, my region, or the state in general?”
With increasing congestion, lack of water, air pollution, loss of open-space, and other negatives associated with growth, many say, "Just make it go somewhere else!"  To some extent, cities can limit their own growth, and there are pros and cons for doing that.   In a metro area with many cities, that doesn't limit regional growth.  It just leapfrogs past you.  They drive through your town anyway without helping your tax base.  That is the point of "Guiding our Growth" - exploring how to accommodate city and regional growth in ways that minimize the negatives.
In a free country, the things we do to make Utah nice for ourselves also makes us a magnet – giving our kids job opportunities and bringing in even more.  Or alternatively, to slow growth significantly we would have to intentionally or accidentally make it worse to live here.

However, there are a few policies that could slow regional or even statewide growth at least a little, which might find significant support.  For example, if the state or individual communities are aggressively marketing and offering incentives to come here during boom-times, should they really be doing that?  

On a scale of 1-5, rate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements:

  1. When tourism is booming, the state should KEEP advertising to attract even more tourists.  When the economy is booming, officials should continue efforts to attract even more outside businesses with high-paying jobs.  The positive aspects of growth always outweigh the negatives, so the faster growth the better.

  2. When tourism is booming, the state should STOP advertising to attract even more tourists. When the economy is booming, officials should STOP efforts to attract outside businesses.  Growth in boom-times is fast enough without trying to make it even faster.

  3. When the economy is doing poorly, that is the time to work to attract tourists and new businesses.  We should only try to attract tourism and businesses from the outside when our economy is doing poorly.

Maybe something like this reflects listening to people.  It educates by explaining that most of the growth will keep coming, because our efforts to make life great here will also keep our kids here and even bring in more.  But it also empathizes by asking an important question – during boom-times, do you want us to keep working to attract even more attention, or should we back off of the gas pedal to the extent that we can?

Slow The Growth
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