Salt Lake County and an unprecedented consortium of Wasatch Front agencies have been awarded a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The official announcement was made Friday afternoon in Salt Lake City.
The Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant will be used to develop strategies and tools to implement long-term sustainable growth – to help build more livable, walkable, environmentally-sustainable communities along the Wasatch Front.
The grant will fund the creation of an affordable housing plan, the study of six transit-oriented development sites, and the creation of sustainability blueprints that can be used locally, regionally and nationally.
Consortium members include: Salt Lake County, Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC), Envision Utah, Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), UDOT, UTA, Salt Lake City, University of Utah Metropolitan Research Center & Bureau of Economic and Business Research, and the American Planning Association’s Utah Chapter.
The consortium will also use the grant funds to encourage the adoption of the Wasatch Front Principles and 2040 Vision, implement UDOT's U-Plan as a tool for communication, conduct public participation workshops, and find practical solutions to address future growth in the region.
Over the past decade, public, private, academic and community leaders in Utah have developed quality growth strategies for the Salt Lake metropolitan region. In 2010, they developed and adopted a regional vision, the Wasatch Choice for 2040, which is a blueprint for the future of the Wasatch Front region.
The three-year grant will promote coordination and partnerships between the regional planning agencies (WFRC & MAG) with County governments, local communities and cities, and agencies who provide transportation, transit, housing, and job creation services.
The grant is part of the federal Sustainable Communities Initiative to improve regional planning efforts to integrate housing, land use, economic development, transportation and infrastructure. The Initiative’s goal is to incorporate livability and sustainability into land use plans and zoning.