Utah among states with greatest urban sprawl

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  • Western Rover Herriman, UT
    April 23, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    elarue, we've tried apartment living several times. Each time we move to a new state we start in an apartment to give us time to explore. It's just not conducive to raising children. You have to walk them to the playground instead of letting them run out the back door.

    Utah's open space is what brought us back here after living in Seattle. Here we have enough room to keep goats and chickens without them bothering our neighbors, for less than the cost of a house with small yard in Seattle.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    April 23, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    Agriculture is worth saving. People need to eat. Destroying farmland to build houses is a very poor choice. There is much available land that is not suitable to farm, that is where homes should be built. Quality of life and sustainability are still important.Once you put houses on a farm it is gone forever. Intelligent thoughtful growth is worth the effort.

  • Sam Cleach SAINT GEORGE, UT
    April 22, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    I've always found it funny that those who complain about "greedy developers" ruining views and developing lands for their own selfishness are typically the most selfish people out there. They want their view preserved, their open space retained, their commute empty of cars. But are they willing to pay for it? Nope. They want everyone else to pay for it, demanding that their neighbor not develop his land because it ruins the view or some other contrived reason. Apparently this is selflessness, standing up to those greedy developers who just want to pave over everything to create ugly houses that no one could possibly want, this is actually the height of selfishness, you want something but you want someone else to pay for it.

    You may not like the suburbs but there are plenty of people that do. I, for one, love urban sprawl. I have lived in downtown Salt Lake, I have lived in a tiny apartment in a city with over 3 million people. Both had their advantages but I much prefer my current suburb created by urban sprawl with my cookie cutter home and patch of grass.

  • infoman Cedar Hills, UT
    April 22, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    The area I live in was built within the last 20 years. It has filled in with houses, along with green space. It's a nice place to live, and no farmland was used. In fact, I'm growing crops in my backyard where there was nothing but rocks and weeds before. Is there really something wrong with that?

  • el steve o Herriman, UT
    April 22, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    Daybreak is a very cool development and it's astonishing how many very large (massive) apartment/townhome developments are going up all over this valley. I think this whole "anti-sprawl" thing is a devilish attempt to control other humans and is anti-family. It's mostly a bad misguided thing.

    Some talk of dwindling farmland and agricultural resources as a cause for alarm - this idea is totally unfounded (food scarcity is strictly a political issue). The so called "population explosion" myth is just that - a tired old myth that gained popularity in the 70's (see "Population bomb", Erlich).

    If you crave your own open space I have a solution for you: Drive 45 minutes West and find a nice place to sit in the middle of Skull Valley. And once there joyfully ponder open spaces.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 3:31 p.m.

    "Friend, you really can't seem to find anything you like about this area can you?"

    Scenery (aside from inversion season), low crime rates, plenty of snow, and I wanted to go to the U.

    "You don't like our morals"

    That's a loaded statement; I'm sure we agree on most "morals" since morals go way beyond abortion and same-sex marriage (which technically I still agree on personally, just disagree on when it comes to whether to impose restrictions on everyone else regarding them).

    "you don't like the prominent religion"

    Actually I'm quite alright with it. There's a difference between disagreeing with and disliking. I only dislike when they get involved in imposing same-sex marriage bans on everyone, and that's largely scaled back these days.

    "you don't like the politics here."

    True, aside from local politics.

    "With your constant griping about Utah and the Mormons and the society here"

    I think you are reading an awful lot into my making a joke via Reduced Shakespeare Company reference with my initial post.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 3:29 p.m.


    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?

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    April 22, 2014 3:22 p.m.

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

  • Old Poet Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    April 22, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    @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.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    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?

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    April 22, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    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.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    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.

  • Noah So Ogden, Ut
    April 22, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    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!

  • jpjazz Sandy, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    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.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    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.

  • Brer Rabbit Spanish Fork, UT
    April 22, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    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.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    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.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    April 22, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    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.

  • joeandrade Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    April 22, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    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.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:36 a.m.

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

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    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!

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:12 a.m.


    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.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    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.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 22, 2014 9:08 a.m.


    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.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    This article is highly misleading. There is more open space here than most anywhere. Try to camp outside a designated camp ground in the midwest or east coast, on the 500 sq ft that you rent. Yes, the urban areas of SLC, Logan and Provo/Orem/Spanish Fork are being developed. But there is more open space per capita here than most places.

    The driver is growth: a growing population, low unemployment, low taxes, great outdoor recreation, low crime and a great standard of living. If you want to stop the growth, just hike taxes, regulate companies out of business, and tell people to stop moving, traveling and shopping here.

  • djacob10 Salt Lake, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    People should go to the east coast if they think Utah is getting ugly and growing too fast etc etc. This area is one of the prettiest areas to live in the US. People complaining about growth need to move.

    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.

    I know some people have not actually been outside of Utah and seen what it is actually like in other cities. Too say this area is ugly is just flat out incorrect. Again go to the east coast or any other large metropolitan area and see if you can still say that.

    Salt Lake county is growing but still much less busy then most large cities.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Prodicus from Provo nailed it.

    But this is also a problem throughout the United States. If we are not very careful as we convert farmland into tracts of endless houses, we will be in the same mess with our food that we have experienced with oil. Do we really want to be almost totally dependent upon other countries for our food as well?

    Here is what the Agriculture Department says: "As the U.S. population has grown in both number and ethnic diversity, the volume and variety of food consumed and imported in the United States has increased correspondingly. In 2009, U.S. food consumption totaled 654 billion pounds, or more than 2,100 pounds per capita. Of this amount, imports accounted for 17 percent (110 billion pounds), or 358 pounds per capita."

    And: "It is estimated that 15 percent of the U.S. food supply is imported, including 50 percent of fresh fruits, 20 percent of fresh vegetables and 80 percent of seafood."

    Might we all wake up hungry some morning?

  • Nerd herder 12 Spanish Fork, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    Utah is the 8th most urbanized state it the USA with 90.6% of our population in urban areas. The same as Rhode Island. This is another stray statistic meant to make us feel guilty by those who have not researched the underlying data. As a nation we are 80% urbanized. When you are growing a small number (9.4% un-urbanized) by a rate slightly higher than others, it does not mean our local governments are irresponsible or that we aare anywhere near the sprawl of states like Vermont that is only 31% urbanized.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    Right now developers practically run the state legislature. We need to take it back, stop subsidizing sprawl and unwise development, and put measures in place that will help Utah develop healthy family and community friendly urban centers with a density realistic for the long term and allowing for open space.

    We often hear outcries whenever urban planning is mentioned, with lobbying interests and the politically shortsighted decrying it as communism. Brigham Young, whose vision of urban and community planning can be appreciated in town centers from Chihuahua to Alberta, had a different view. Faithful Saints responded to his call and built cohesive, well-designed communities with population densities unusually high for the Old West. He thundered from pulpits, especially here in Utah Valley, against individualists who usurped public resources or fought community plans for their own gain.

    From time to time I sit at the top of Ensign Peak and look out across these valleys. I wonder what Brother Brigham saw and what fiery sermons he would have had for us today. We need leaders with more of his vision and less developer money burning a hole in their pockets.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    April 22, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    I know this may be a foreign concept to those that were born, raised, and have lived their entire lives in Utah, but those of us who have experienced life on the east coast know that it is possible to handle a growing population by building upwards with a focus on more apartment, condominium, and co-op buildings. Then handle the extra traffic that comes from the increased concentration per square mile by developing public transportation, subway systems, light rail that takes you where you want to go easily.

    Of course, here in NYC, we're dealing with the opposite problem of people having not enough space, and it's resulting in fewer and fewer families living in the city and moving out to the suburbs. But if Utah takes this approach to concentrated urban development while still preserving open land, hopefully you can avoid these problems before they creep in. :-)

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    April 22, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    To Brahmabull:
    You may want to consider moving to Detroit--not the suburbs, but the city, where they are tearing down houses to create farmland. The houses that are still habitable are extremely cheap, too. But, the flip side is the crime rate...

  • K.Call Moab, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    "Let's get real. Using 2002 data, the U.S. Bureau of Census classifies less than 5% of the U.S. as being developed, with less than 2.5% as urban. Even in the densely populated East, New York and Pennsylvania are only 10% developed and New Jersey, the most densely populated, has 30% of it's land developed. These statistics alone suggest that the "Smart Growth" proposal(s) to make 50% of America off-limits to human use has less to do with land preservation than with...control of resources."
    Dr. Erik T. Karlstrom, Professor of Geography
    California State University

    Mr. Beck seems to be falling for fear-tactics. Let's focus on the more important issue of state control versus federal control of our own lands ~ and let local citizens decide the best use of our land.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    April 22, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    Walking through older neighborhoods anywhere along the Wasatch Front, you see tasteful houses sized for living. The relatively high population density made for a sense of community, easy access to employment etc, and plentiful allowance for open space.

    Visiting towns and neighborhoods built in the last twenty years, you see vast rows of great huge ugly identical houses, whose cookie-cutter architecture is designed not to be functional, livable, and beautiful, but rather to be ostentatious.

    Many of them are, like Eagle Mountain, plopped down in the middle of the desert where people have long commutes to get to anywhere that has any merit other than cheap land.

    Others are where no sane person who understands the geological hazards would build, like Suncrest or Cedar Hills. (These also cause problems with displaced wildlife and ruin everyone else's views and mountain recreation.)

    Ultimately it boils down to developers' greed, buyers' arrogance, and general self-centeredness.

    We subsidize this foolishness through vastly increased transportation and infrastructure spending, through disaster aid to houses built in geological hazards like the Cedar Hills mudslide, and by not having them pay the social cost of their pollution.

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    April 22, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    "Sprawl" is back yards. It's a good thing. Instead of vast tracts of public green space, each household has its own to do with as it pleases.

    The alternative is apartment living, which is not conducive to how most Americans want to live, raise families, or whatever.

    Sprawl is a good thing.

  • Denver Brad Highlands Ranch, CO
    April 22, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!" -Isaiah 5:8

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    April 22, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    The root causes are that as a society we have become so endeared to cheap and tasteless fast and packaged food that we have lost touch with real food. Food that can only come from a farm. People used to savor and enjoy a meal together. Now it's a bother, an inconvenience.

    And, with government intervention, changes in technology, "advances in science", and genetically modified food, it is so costly to run a real farm and produce real food, that I wonder if we will ever recoup from the loss. It's far more profitable for the grandkids to sell grandpas farm for development than they will ever make growing food.

    I'm afraid this whole idea of "save the land" so we can feed ourselves may be lost in the fast food line and the realtors office.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    April 22, 2014 6:59 a.m.

    A lot of developed land in Utah and Nevada was not crop land but plain desert land. Not a lot of crops besides alfalfa are grown in these two states. I will concede that utah county lost a bunch of orchards though.
    Utah and Nevada growth is not for many big lots but for neighborhoods because of growth. Day break development took in lots of ground where not much existed.

  • Dave T in Ogden Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    We must get ready for when our seniors (over age 65) will double by 2030. We also will have a surge of the aging baby boomer that will not be able to drive.
    They ought to build room for when grandma can no longer stay safely in her home any longer. Research shows one out of three seniors will fall every year and 20-30 percent of those who fall will require hospital care.
    New homes should be built to include cushioned (yet stable to walk on) sub-floors, rubber countertops to cushion any fall. Other things they would consider are to include building all ramps, (no stairs), walk-in baths, cabinets that can lower (for those in wheelchairs), flooring (rubber or cork) that is not slippery when wet (like the kitchen and the Bathrooms). This way, 3 generations can live together safely, learn from each other and improve the lives of all.
    As for getting seniors to places like the grocery store or to the doctor's office, perhaps driverless, electric/solar powered vans will be the way. Though you must build complete streets with a pathway just made for these vans. These special vans (solar powered) could be used for earthquakes.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 22, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    I wish I had the knowledge and skillset to make use of farmland; I could settle down someplace and make such use of the land without worrying about stuff like this.

  • elgreco grand junction, CO
    April 22, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    Just wait until Gov Herbert gets title to all that public land within Utah's borders. Then you will really see some major sprawling. No sense in letting all that beautiful country lie fallow doing no good whatsoever but providing healthy habitats, vital ecosystems, and peace of mind to the harried human.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    April 22, 2014 4:53 a.m.

    I'm one of those conservative capitalist types, and still I greatly mourn the loss of open space on the Wasatch Front. Hugh Nibley would have agreed. It is as if the developers see no value in land unless they can build houses and make money. However, as the population grows, I guess people need places to live. I suggest that just because you are from Utah does not mean you have to live there your whole life. I didn't. I'm originally from Cache Valley and each time I go back I hope it hasn't turned into the Salt Lake Valley. It has grown to be sure, but still has lots of beautiful farms left. Next: let's do a study on all those ugly billboards along I-15. I've lived in 6 states, and this is the worse area for ugly billboards. Hugh Nibley would have also agreed.

  • CP Tooele, UT
    April 22, 2014 4:06 a.m.

    I have to agree with Brahmabull. 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. Homes were built so close together that I am surprised a person could fit in between the houses. Well, we packed up and left because it became nothing but a sea of buildings and more smog.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    April 21, 2014 8:44 p.m.

    as a lifelong Utahn this is not a list I am proud that we are on. There should be a limit to the amount of cropland that we can tear up to create urban housing. The state has gone from a nice place with many open areas to a busy, ugly, urban setting. It is disturbing to me because it can never be undone. Once the farm land is gone and the houses are up, that is it. You never see them tearing down housing to create farmland. Sad

  • omahahusker Modesto, CA
    April 21, 2014 7:44 p.m.

    Is this a case of Zion expanding or more people moving to Zion. The article talked about urban sprawl, but what is the the root cause? Is it the weather? Life in the Rookies is cold and barren. Is it the people? My trips through Utah have shown to me some of the most polite people anywhere(except on the freeways) Is it the education system, price of real estate, safe area to raise a family. Maybe there are some answers out there!