Principles of the Vision

As a result of the Wasatch Choices 2040 process, Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC) and Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG) adopted the following Growth Principles and Objectives in late 2005. The adoption of the growth principles means that over time our region will make key transportation decisions after considering their impact on long-term quality growth goals and calculations of cost effectiveness. The Preamble below is part of the adopted text of the Growth Principles and provides a more specific overview for how they will be used.


The following Growth Principles embody many of the values held by people of the region. They were adopted after reviewing input from community workshops, open houses, committee deliberations, surveys and polling. They are intended to promote quality growth throughout the region. Because the Greater Wasatch Region is experiencing rapid growth and is expected to do so in the future, it is imperative that this growth be well planned and accommodated in the most efficient and cost effective way. As the Wasatch Front Regional Council and Mountainland Association of Governments develop regional transportation plans and programs, these Growth Principles will provide a context for these plans. Additionally, the Principles may also provide a context for plans that are developed by local, state, and other entities, such as special utility and school districts, cities, counties, and private development companies.

These Growth Principles will be applied to the regional transportation planning process and the Regional Transportation Plan. Along with other required transportation factors, the Growth Principles will be the foundation and framework for developing performance criteria, such as those dealing with environmental quality, economic growth, cost effectiveness, enhanced mobility, safety, and other like criteria. These criteria will then be used as a tool in identifying projects for the RTP (Regional Transportation Plan) that best fulfill the objectives of the Growth Principles.

The framers of these Principles recognize that collaboration will be needed among the region's local governments and others if these Principles are to be implemented and their potential benefits realized. These Principles are intended to assist the many entities involved in making plans for the future by providing a context that applies to the region as a whole. As a consequence, it is hoped that the region's transportation and other services will become more efficient, and that its quality of life, as defined by the Principles, will be enhanced.

Growth Principles and Objectives

Relevant Principal: Provide Public Infrastructure that is Efficient and Adequately Maintained

  • Promote redevelopment to better utilize existing infrastructure.
  • Optimize use and maintenance of existing infrastructure.Promote compact development consistent with market demand. Encourage contiguous growth to reduce infrastructure expenses.
  • Develop long term funding sources for infrastructure development and maintenance.
  • Encourage cooperation and coordination in the use of transportation and utility corridors and rights-of-way.

Relevant Principal: Provide Regional Mobility through a Variety of Interconnected Transportation Choices

  • Develop a balanced, multi-modal transportation system.
  • Coordinate transportation with regional employment, housing, educational and activity centers.
  • Encourage future commercial and residential areas within close proximity of each other to reduce travel distances.
  • Encourage a balance of jobs and housing in each part of the region to reduce travel distances.
  • Support actions that reduce growth in per capita vehicle miles of travel.

Relevant Principle: Integrate Local Land-Use with Regional Transportation Systems

  • Land-use planning and decisions remain a function of local communities.
  • Preserve corridors for future infrastructure needs.
  • Coordinate regional transportation with centers of development.
  • Coordinate transportation decisions with schools and educational centers.
  • Make land-use and transportation decisions based on comprehensive understanding of their impact on each other.

Relevant Principle: Provide Housing for People in all Life Stages and Incomes

  • Encourage an adequate supply of moderately priced housing near regional job centers.
  • Encourage land use and housing policies to accommodate the need for a variety of housing types throughout the region.
  • Encourage housing and other development near transit to maximize the efficiency of the public transportation system.

Relevant Principle: Ensure Public Health and Safety

  • Encourage communities to develop transportation facilities that promote physical activity and healthy living.
  • Encourage accessibility of housing to other destinations to enable the routine use of walking and bike paths.
  • Provide for a safe and adequate water supply for culinary, sanitation and fire protection needs.
  • Promote interconnected streets to reduce travel distances.
  • Provide efficient police and emergency access.
  • Provide safe access to, and use of, all modes of transportation.

Enhance the Regional Economy

  • Improve mobility to foster a robust economy.
  • Use transportation investments and land use decisions to develop the regional economy.
  • Transportation and land use decisions should lead to improved quality of life to help retain and recruit businesses and labor.
  • Transportation and land use decisions should help keep our region an affordable place to live and do business.

Promote Regional Collaboration

  • Encourage collaboration among government, business, education, civic and community organizations.
  • Coordinate development and maintenance of regionally significant utilities and transportation facilities.
  • Include a broad base of involvement in the planning process.
  • Coordinate local and regional planning efforts.
  • Promote the sharing of information and expertise.

Strengthen Sense of Community

  • Preserve environmental, cultural, and historical assets.
  • Promote unity and cohesiveness while valuing diversity.
  • Avoid physically dividing communities.
  • Use transportation to bolster town centers.

Protect and Enhance the Environment

  • Protect and enhance the natural environment.
  • Enhance the aesthetic beauty of our built environment.
  • Promote conservation of energy, water, and regionally significant critical lands.
  • Enhance air and water quality.
  • Encourage conservation of open space and irreplaceable natural resources in land use decisions.
  • Create and enhance access to areas of natural beauty and recreation.
  • Encourage community trails coordinated with regional/state trail systems.

Wasatch Choice 2050 Partners

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