Community leaders gather to discuss growth and planning

The 5th annual Cache Summit at the Cache County Events Center. Business and elected leaders discuss the vision and growth of Cache Valley.

LOGAN – The fifth annual Cache Summit brought together business and elected leaders to discuss the valley’s population growth and its effect on homes, the economy and quality of life.

“I love the fact that everybody’s interacting,” said Rep. Val Potter, R-District 3, who was among a number of state, county and city leaders attending the summit.

“It’s a great chance to be together,” he said. “Elected leaders are talking with developers, business leaders and manufacturing operations about what’s happening in the community.”

The valley has clearly experienced some growing pains over the past decade. Pollution, traffic, affordable housing, economic development and growth were discussed during the summit.

Planning is the key, according to consultant John Janson, who spoke on preserving community character. Janson is currently working with leaders in Heber City on updating their General Plan.

Janson said it’s important each city has a vision and an understanding of what people value most. Engage your residents, he said, and then establish a General Plan. The most important element of any plan, “is great action.”

Casey Snider, Executive Director of the Bear River Land Conservancy (BRLC), spoke on the need to preserve the valley’s character. He said “change is inevitable, but legacy is a choice.”

“We need to be cognizant of the fact that we are growing,” Snider added. “We are changing and there are things that are going to change with that, but there are some things that are worth maintaining.”

The BRLC works to preserve critical properties that either have a recreational value or a value to wildlife habitat. Snider said working farms and ranchers are the collective heritage of this community and they need to be protected as well.

“The biggest thing in any meeting of this nature is realizing there’s people to talk to,” said Potter. “They’re not going to get all their answers, but if they can see who to talk to, they can better resolve internal questions, problems or issues. This is a great place to network.”

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