Like all major community issues, incorporation of Stansbury Park carries plusses and minuses. I am voting “Yes” because it gives Stansbury citizens the responsibility, flexibility and power to determine what our community will look like in 25 years.
It is simply a matter of choosing between pro-active planning our community or reacting to the demands of developers.
A “Yes” vote gives citizens the opportunity to engage in a process that will generate a specific general plan for Stansbury Park. This plan would guide the location, type and quality of development.
If the final vote tally shows “No,” our growing community remains unincorporated and we remain a minor blip in the Tooele County general plan.
Under the status quo, the county will continue to process development applications at the demands of residential and commercial developers.
But here are four specific areas that a “Yes” vote provides Stansbury Park citizens the opportunity to shape our community.
1. Neighborhoods: One of the reasons why Stansbury has a pleasant, hometown feel is because Terracor (later Leucadia) implemented a visionary plan back in the 1970s.
That plan specified winding streets, lake development, attractive homes, parks, wide-open spaces, and other amenities we all enjoy today.
However, that original plan has run its course. We only have to look to other nearby residential developments that do not have curb, gutter and sidewalks to show what happens without a general plan generated by an engaged citizenry.
If incorporated, we will have the power to shape our destiny, preserve our distinct neighborhoods, and continue to build a cohesive community.
2. Future Business: Land to the south and west of Soelberg’s, and next to SR-36, proves ideal for commercial development. A “Yes” vote, coupled with a vibrant Stansbury Park general plan, will create better planning there and eliminate market demand reactions.
3. Design standards: Cities may adopt specific architectural design standards for homes, apartments and commercial development. We are currently stuck with the lowest common denominator in the county’s land use ordinance, which pays little attention to good design.
4. Transportation: The intersection of Stansbury Parkway and SR-138 near Benson Gristmill proves the importance of transportation planning. This busy intersection is hazardous for all users, whether on foot, bike or in a car.
Old Mill Elementary opens on the north side of SR-138 next year and it is obvious the influx of traffic will compound this unsafe situation. A detailed transportation element in Stansbury Park’s general plan can address similar safety issues in the future.
However, if we choose to stay unincorporated, we can only expect repeat poor planning down the road.
“No” equates to the future look and feel of Stansbury Park remaining in the hands of Tooele County. “Yes” allows engaged citizens to decide the quality of Stansbury Park development.
Please study both sides of this issue and mark your ballot “Yes.”