State leaders plan for future growth

SALT LAKE CITY — State leaders are getting serious about growth.

More than 400 leaders from around the state met at the Salt Palace Tuesday for the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium meeting.

Gov. Gary Herbert spoke at the meeting, unveiling a new initiative called, “Your Utah, Your Future.”

Herbert said Utah was the third fastest growing state in the country, and it’s time, “to analyze what we’re going to do to accommodate the significant growth pressures we’re facing in Utah.”

With the state population expected to nearly double by 2040, Herbert said Utah will face issues about water, air quality, energy, transportation, housing, schools, and jobs.

“We need to make sure we get out in front of the curve and anticipate the growth and plan for it,” Herbert said.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams shared similar concerns.

“Growth will change us,” McAdams said. ”Whether we’re happy with the change or not really depends on how well we prepare for the future, what goals we set and how diligent we are in achieving our goals.”

Herbert said Envision Utah will be conducting a 24-month statewide study, gathering information.

To that end, Herbert said Envision Utah will be conducting a 24-month in field study, going out into Utah communities to gather information and input about future growth needs. The results will be used for long-term planning.

Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium also announced the release of a new community toolbox, a suite of online planning tools.

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