MOUNTAIN GREEN, Morgan County — The northern Utah section of the American Institute of Architects has offered a design assistance team to develop guidelines for a town center for the city of Mountain Green, as a gift to the community.

"This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the American Institute of Architects. To celebrate, AIA launched the Blueprint for America project. This is one of hundreds of community planning initiatives across the United States," said Tony Pantone, president of AIA Northern Utah.

Mountain Green is located in Weber Canyon, about 13 miles east of downtown Ogden. It is the fastest growing community in Morgan County, which has an overall growth rate of 3.8 percent, second only (among Utah counties) to Washington County in southern Utah.

The county's master plan calls for a town center in Mountain Green to serve the primarily residential population, but the county did not have the resources to flesh out the details. The AIA's involvement will broaden considerations to include economic development, road and interchange placement, housing choices, and long-term protection of the area's rural beauty and environmental quality.

A team of five experts, including two from out of state, will come to Mountain Green Oct. 17-20 to work with community residents, property and business owners, and planning officials to create the guidelines. The goal is to create the framework for a sustainable, livable and walkable town center.

Sherrie Christensen, Morgan County's community development director, said she welcomes the initiative and has helped guide the preparations since the first community meeting in April.

"We have a unique opportunity in Mountain Green and Morgan County in that, to date, the designated town center has remained virtually undeveloped," she said. "This planning process will forever shape the future of Mountain Green and give the community the tools needed to create a sustainable town center that reflects the community's unique heritage, locale and spirit."