Mayor of Cottonwood Heights says grant funding opens door for development project

Posted at 10:36 PM, May 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-04 09:14:36-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – There is a new vision for an undeveloped area in the city of Cottonwood Heights.

The Wasatch Front Regional Council and Salt Lake County awarded the city $85,000 through the local planning resource program, and city leaders have their eyes on an undeveloped area near a gravel pit.

The gravel pit is at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore said it is expected to mined out within the next 10 to 15 years.

He said it’s time to turn it into something more profitable, and they are excited about a new tool to help with the plan.

“Part of the grant that we received was $20,000 to pilot a new tool that is used in planning, and once we get that tool mastered, they’ll be able to use us to train other municipalities to use the same tool,” he said.

The plan is to turn the almost 200 acres of empty land into hotels, retail stores, restaurants and entertainment facilities. Because the area is right next to two major ski resorts, the mayor says ski and summer related businesses are part of the plan too. But the timeline for the project is still unclear.

“I think it will take a year or two to really work through, and even then, what you end up is a plan that is a living plan that will probably change as circumstances change,” Cullimore said.

The Wasatch Front Regional Council said the local planning resource program’s main objective is to provide resources to local communities for envisioning, planning and creating municipal projects.

“I think the important point here is that our population is slated to double by 2050,” said Muriel Xochmitl of the Wasatch Front Regional Council. “And how do we help communities? How do communities along the Wasatch Front proactively plan for that anticipated growth? The local planning resource program is a way that they can do that.”

Cullimore said he thinks the reason why Cottonwood Heights was chosen is because the city is progressive and open to redevelopment as well as new development.

“We feel very fortunate that Cottonwood Heights has been selected for this grant two years in a row,” he said.

Cullimore said this project is open for community input and that updates will be made available on the city’s website.