Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 22, 2005
Grow Grantsville wisely

Our community has a lot to be thankful for. We have open spaces, schools, commercial areas and good neighborhoods.

We have historic buildings and museums. We have farms and ranching operations.

There is room to ride horses. Some of us live here to avoid the bustle of the big city. These are part of our history and they help what make us who we are. Our children will remember the town they grew up in throughout their entire lives.

How do we preserve what we like most about Grantsville? Change is coming, that’s for sure. The question for us is what do we want to preserve and how should this guide our future zoning, public works, commercial and residential development.

Without a carefully worked out plan reflecting all our interests, Grantsville could become just another street sign on the road map — a place to pass through on your way to somewhere else. Imagine asking yourself 10 years from now, “What do I like best about our town?” —or— “What do we want people to notice about us?” —or — “What is our town really like?”

We are a small, rural, western, agricultural place. We value children and family relationships, community activities.

We like clean orderly neighborhoods. Why not highlight these values in our roads, buildings and landscaping? If we succeed, visitors will think of Grantsville as a town where citizens like attractive public landscaping, clean streets and safe neighborhoods.

Have you ever driven down State Street in Salt Lake City and wondered which city you were actually in? Was it South Salt Lake, Murray or maybe Sandy? Car dealerships and small businesses stretch as far as the eye can see. Everything blends together without so much as a street sign explaining what you’ve left behind, and what you’ve just entered.

If I say “Dinosaur Land” what comes to mind? Chances are, you thought of Vernal, Utah. Last time you were there, were you looking for a small “welcome to Vernal” sign on a post somewhere next to a newspaper stand? It’s hard to miss the 30-foot tall fiberglass dinosaur on the way into town. Vernal has created an unmistakable entrance to their city based on the nearby national monument.

If you are there in the spring or summer, you will notice beautiful trees, flowers, and a pedestrian friendly historic downtown area. It just begs you to stop and take a walk, maybe even spend a little money. You have arrived someplace special.

I’m not suggesting a 30-foot fiberglass cowboy marking the entrances to Grantsville. I am suggesting that we need to take a good look at how our town reflects what we like best about it.

When I first came to Grantsville, I found myself wondering where the city actually was. Where is downtown? When have you actually “arrived?” How can one tell? Currently our General Plan describes Grantsville as a “western, rural town.” What does this mean to our public improvements, residential areas and to our business owners?

What is it about Grantsville that we want to show and how can we make it happen? It’s our community. We can either make Grantsville into something we are proud of, or, we can sit back and let urban sprawl do its ugly work. Our General Plan will be much more effective in shaping our future if you contribute to it.

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