Just up the road from Provo, Draper is moving forward with a plan that is unusual for the region: preserving open space and avoiding construction of new subdivisions.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the city is buying 2,200 acres of land. Though some of that space could eventually be developed, the current plan includes keeping a lot of it open:
Purchase of the land would create a one of a kind 4,000 acre open space property along the Wasatch Front, which is “unprecedented,” according to the city. The master plan for the area would include an expansion of city parks and trails and the already created plan for Corner Canyon Regional Park.
All of this is happening after a lengthy process which at certain times included plans to build thousands of homes on the land.
It’s great that Draper is likely to get more open, park-like space. But it’s even more significant that this plan rejects sprawl. Like many municipalities along the Wasatch Front, Draper is currently a fundamentally suburban, car-oriented city. This approach to land use, however, may be one step toward encouraging less sprawl. It should be a lesson for other cities interested in longterm success.