Comments about ‘Utah among states with greatest urban sprawl’

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Published: Monday, April 21 2014 7:30 p.m. MDT

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sandy, ut


Intelligent response. Your solution to anybody who doesn't like the open areas to be torn up is that they should move? It is ugly here now, and you know it. They are building in the valleys, in the foothills, and in the mountains. If you have seen the area surrounding Park city in the last 30 years, it used to be beautiful. Now every hillside in and out of town is dotted with houses and cabins - it is hideous. The same thing is happening along the Wasatch front... building closer and closer to the mountains. You look at the mountains and you see... houses. If that is what you want your state to be, I don't know what to tell you. But it is not good.

American Fork, UT

Just want until Herbert and our legislatures control all of the land in Utah, you haven't seen anything yet, I don't know the numbers, but it seems that a disproportionate amount of our state legislatures have a background as realtors or developers.

I agree that it's sad to see farmland and open space get ripped up for subdivisions, but at the same time we have to live somewhere, and if we want to keep having large families then it's only going to continue. Especially since everyone these days seems to think they need a large 3,000+ square foot home. My guess is we are going to see a lot more high density housing developments and start seeing developers building up more, instead of out. It's just not going to be possible for everyone to have a half acre of land anymore.

American Fork, UT


I agree about the billboards. Utah is such an eyesore, someone driving through this area would never know we actually have beautiful mountains, you can hardly see them for the billboards. The new trend is the electronic ones, which are even worse, especially at night. The Wasatch Front is quickly becoming a place my wife and I don't want to live in. Unfortunately we don't have much other choice, which I guess is how it is for a lot of people.

Alpine, UT

State government and the Chamber of Commerce has oversold the merits of Utah and attracted too much attention from outsiders who have moved here, thus creating our dubious place on this list. Urban sprawl ruins our way of life. We are now paying too high of a price in trying to grow and expand our state's economy.

It is time to back off and to become more proactive in passing laws which seriously protect what open lands we have left and preserve at least a semblance of a rural atmosphere here in Utah. The governor and our state congress need to be bold and act now before this gets any worse.

I'm certain our state forefathers would not like what we've done in urbanizing Utah to the extent we have. Becoming more like California and/or New York is not the direction we want to continue pursuing. It has already added shameful air pollution and created water shortages throughout the state. We need to change direction NOW!

Salt Lake City, UT

Not surprised, not when the state is still begetting like the bunnies like to do.

Tooele, UT

This documented urbanization of Utah is self evident. Those of us who have lived here our entire lives have seen first hand the ugly effects of uncontrolled growth. Brio is totally correct about Utah being oversold to outsiders in misguided attempts to grow our local economies.

Another obvious factor adding to this insidious problem is illegal immigration. The percentage of illegals living here is growing year by year. All total, they are the equivalent to a very large city here in Utah. They use our short supplied natural resources and hold wages down. Legal immigrants do have a right to be here. Illegal aliens do not. And they are compounding this urbanization problem which is unfortunately accelerating.

It's time to wake up and take action to stop (or at least drastically slow down) this problem that is encroaching on our way of life here in Utah. There is no doubt those particular aspects are not as good as they were even just a generation ago. Unfortunately, it is exponentially accelerating. And as someone previously pointed out, once good open space is lost, it is all but impossible to ever get it back.

Vote wisely.

Salt Lake City, UT

The problem is GROWTH - more and more people expecting homes, services, jobs - and a culture and government dedicated to 'accommodating' that growth. The parallel story by Anderson on 'City Life' and high density housing, etc. helps - but only a little. As I noted in a DesNews op-ed on Feb. 23 (Mountain urbanism - optimism not enough), the real reality and problem is our rapidly increasing numbers, all wanting to live along the narrow strip known as the Wasatch Front:

We must confront the very hard realities upon us: Growth must greatly slow. We must move towards full sustainability — in energy, in material resources, in population. We must rethink and revise our very fundamental and ingrained religious and cultural ideologies and doctrines.

St.George, Utah

While traveling through different areas of states other than Utah, one notices the careful planning, which includes areas where newer homes have been built. Parks and open spaces are always included in the neighborhoods. Business areas are carefully and tastefully planned in a similar layout.
This favorable formula has not been utilized in Utah.
Just jam the stuff in! That seems to be the way in the state of Utah.

Centerville, UT

LOL could not help it.
"I am a Utah native and I am sad to see this happening. My family and I moved to West Valley City and when we lived there it had beautiful fields and we could see beautiful sunsets, sadly it all went away as just about every inch of open field got plowed up and homes, condos, businesses took over." Solution, "Well, we packed up and left because it became nothing but a sea of buildings and more smog." Where did they go Tooele. Twice in moves by going to West Valley and to Tooele, they create urban sprawl and then they complain about it.

Brer Rabbit
Spanish Fork, UT

Most of Utah's best farmland (Wasatch Front) has already been covered with concrete and asphalt. The rest of the state is marginal farmland, due to lack of water, poor soil, or short growing season. Just as in the rest of the United States, economic growth depends on population growth, and the faster the better.

Population growth as a measure of economic success cannot go on forever, and at some point, we must become overpopulated like India and China, or suffer some sort of economic or societal collapse. The population expansion ideology is built into the Constitution by the apportioning of Congress, and into our religion here in Utah, where success is determined by the divisions of wards and stakes.

Due to individual and group economic special interest the ideology of rapid population growth and its economic benefits may be unstoppable until the bubble bursts. This is a major reason that the government allows the flood of legal and illegal immigrants. Since the native born reproductive rate has been below replacement for several decades, 70 percent of U.S. population expansion is now due to immigrants and their children.

one old man
Ogden, UT

An interesting story about Las Vegas and its thirst for water is found in another part of DN this morning.

Water is another aspect of Utah's urban sprawl that is simply being ignored. It will come back to bite us -- or cause us to die of thirst.

But good planning only gets in the way of large profits.

Sandy, UT

For an example of how to “create” open space in an urban setting look to Detroit, Buffalo or Dayton OH. These cities they cannot keep up with the demolition of abandoned properties. Detroit is creating agriculture land where city blocks once existed. It’s collapsed economies have led to massive numbers of residents fleeing to find jobs and lower crime rate locations in which to live.

Our growing economy has created jobs for our children who once had to leave the area to find employment. Cities have allocated green park spaces and public trails. Can we do more to draw attention to make our communities need for public space? Of course we can. In the meantime the Wasatch Front population will continue to expand to the extent that there is an infrastructure and an economy to support the growth.

I for one am grateful for the thought and planning that has gone into creating this wonderful region and look forward to participating with citizen groups to improve it for future generations.

So Ogden, Ut

I appreciate Amy Joi O'Donoghue article and find she is using data which is reliable. I've been a native Utahn my entire life and have witnessed the sprawl which has taken place in this state. I grew up in Murray where it was farmland, now days try driving down State street! Overcrowding is terrible and Utah has not kept up with the increase population swarming in from California, and other states. How interesting seeing the farmlands disappear, as in Ogden, and now see $300-$400,000 homes covering the farmland. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that our food source is dwindling. There are acres and acres of land available but have you seen what it looks like? Take a look at I-80 from Utah through Wyoming....barren? I'd say so! What isn't being said is seventy percent of open-space destruction is related to population growth; and 70 percent of U.S. population growth is attributable to Congress' immigration policies. And the Feds want our land! Just look at whats happening to Clive Bundy and the standoff!

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake, UT

You said: "One of the comments saying "The state has gone from a nice place with many open areas to a busy, ugly, urban setting" is a joke".

It is NOT a joke. I have lived in this Salt Lake valley for 62 years. This valley and much of the state is undergoing urbanization at an unprecedented rate. Where once lovely fields, orchards, farms and open spaces existed now are covered by townhomes, condos and castles.

Indeed, this valley and much of Utah has lost it's open spaces and beauty that it once had. Moreover, much of the land that is still open is no longer accessible to campers, hunters, hikers and others. Large ranchers and other land owners no longer want to share their open space with others. Most of their land is now "NO Trespassing"(perhaps justified in some cases)?

While Salt Lake and some parts of Utah are still less populated than other places, we have lost much that once was what made Utah such a wonderful place to live. For this old timer, it is no longer such a place and it is a sad day for me to witness the change.

St.George, Utah

Different topic than this.
Others ranchers on Federal land pay their way.
Clive Bundy has wanted it for free the last twenty years.
Pretty funny watching Bundy wave the US Flag.
As John Stewart pointed out, Bundy should at least done what the Confederrate South did, and design his own flag.

Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, UT

You say "Not surprised, not when the state is still begetting like the bunnies like to do".

Friend, you really can't seem to find anything you like about this area can you? You don't like our morals, you don't like the prominent religion, you don't like the politics here. With your constant griping about Utah and the Mormons and the society here one would wonder what keeps you here? Pray tell, what do you like about it here?

Provo, UT

@Meckofahess -- Why do you think this is YOUR area and not Schnee's. I guess Schnee has as much right to live here and comment on how he/she would like it to be as you or I or anyone else. It much feel quite cozy to be in the majority and have everything exactly the way you want it, but sometimes it's good to listen to other opinions and viewpoints. It might be nice if people quit telling or implying that other people should move away if they are not clones of everyone else in every respect.

Old Poet
Salt Lake City, UT

One of the best communities in the United States for managing urban sprawl in an intelligent manner is found in Utah.
The work of Stephen James at Daybreak, Salt Lake Valley, has helped lead the way of creating a walkable community, with a balance and variety of dwellings, for a variety of demographic populations. Urban gardens, walkable paths to neighbors, a lake, to a Latter-day Saint Christian temple, to schools, and markets, and all with driveways and garages designed so they do not poke an observer in the eye. Steve James graduated from the University of Utah School of Architecture, received his graduate degree at the prestigious architecture University of Minnesota, where he won the coveted Ralph Rapson Traveling Fellowship Competition. Two of his published books are seminal works on urban development in Europe: Made Spaces: Enduring Places (2010) and Made Spaces: Interpreting Places (2013). Thank you, Kennecott Land/Rio Tinto for employing James' skills and others of his associates. May the rest of Salt Lake Valley and Utah urban places study and follow this singular example for urban development.

Syracuse, UT

I absolutely cannot fathom living in the environment depicted in the pictures accompanying this article. Talk about ugliness personified!

Salt Lake City, UT


I was curious why "Schnee" and people like you rarely mention anything good about the local mores,traditions and culture here. It is hard not to notice the frequent criticisms and innuendos like "the state is still begetting like the bunnies like to do" voiced in this forum about much here such as the local politics, religious influences and traiditonal family structures. I did not imply that this is "MY" area as you attmpt to imply. I have spent a great deal of time trying to understand other's point of view, particularly that of those in the gay community. Are you interested in the point of view of those that differ from yours?

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