The Park Record editorial, July 13-15, 2011 |

The Park Record editorial, July 13-15, 2011

Get ready, county residents: 2050 is right around the corner

Summit County leaders are inviting citizens to attend a series of workshops to help shape their county’s future. At the meetings, residents will be asked to envision the county in the year 2050.

For those of us who are still getting used to starting the year with a 20 instead of a 19, 2050 seems like a long way off. But, then again, 2011 seemed like the distant future just a little while ago and now it is halfway over.

Forty years ago it is unlikely anyone could have predicted the extent of Summit County’s development but, in hindsight, it is clear that the seeds were being sown then for an explosion in growth later. For example, in the 1970s the state’s quest to become an Olympic host was initiated, the local ski industry was just getting underway, and construction on the Interstate was helping to pave the way to Summit County’s doorstep.

the same token, many of the decisions that local governments make today will have an irrevocable effect on the community that residents and visitors will experience in 2050.

Unfortunately, most of the time, elected officials and planners are forced to react to issues that must be dealt with immediately. They are rarely afforded the luxury of looking at the larger context or setting long-term goals. The same is true for residents who are often too immersed in work and day-to-day responsibilities to reflect on their surroundings what they would like to change and what they want to preserve.

On Thursday, though, Summit County planners will ask residents to do just that to look beyond today’s controversies and imagine what they would like their open spaces and developments to look like 40 years from now.

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Citizens from both the East and West sides of the county are encouraged to attend and will be asked to share their opinions on a variety of issues. Some of the issues that participants will be polled about include affordable housing, transportation, economic development, conservation and zoning.

Summit County officials will use the input to help modify the Snyderville Basin and East Side general plans in the hopes that new developments will dovetail with residents’ hopes and dreams for the future.

The workshop will be held this Thursday, July 14, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wanship Fire Station, 2000 South Hoytsville Road, in Wanship.