March Letter from the CWC
During each monthly public meeting, the CWC Executive Director delivers a staff report to the Commission on all that CWC staff accomplished or made progress with during the preceding month. Please see below for the March report. By sharing these reports with you through the website, we hope to continue the tradition of transparency and engagement.
March 2019 Overview
In March, the Central Wasatch Commission staff made significant strides working with UDOT on the Cottonwood Canyons Transportation Action Plan, made progress with the Gateway office space negotiations, and refined the direction for the Environmental Dashboard project. Staff spent substantial time working with Senator Cullimore and Representative Eliason on S.C.R. 10: Urging Solutions for the Central Wasatch Mountains, and had continued interaction with Central Wasatch Mountain interests, community groups, and individuals.
During its March meeting, the Stakeholders Council approved the Stakeholders Council Rules and Procedures, which can be viewed on the CWC website, and Utah Public Notices website. The Council also considered the creation of subcommittees. John Thomas from UDOT, Frank Pisani, the Cottonwood Canyons Transportation Action Plan Project Manager, and Jesse Dean with the CWC spoke about the goals and objectives for the Cottonwood Canyons Transportation Action Plan (CCTAP). Stakeholders provided feedback on the goals of the CCTAP, which are: to provide integrated multi-modal transportation choices for residents, visitors, and employees; to ensure the transportation experience is reliable and facilitates a positive experience; to ensure the transportation experience is safe and promotes health; and that the transportation system supports the natural and intrinsic values of the Central Wasatch. These initial draft goals will be provided for comment during the Public Open House on April 9th, 4–8 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall.
The Stakeholders Council meetings are the third Wednesday of every month from 4-6 p.m. at Millcreek City Hall in the Promise Room. These meetings are open to the public, and we encourage you to attend. If you would like to listen to these meetings, you may access the each meeting recording on the Utah Public Notice website.
The scoping and comment period for the revised Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact Statement opened on March 5th, and extends to May 3rd. You may find the link to submit comments to UDOT on both the CWC and UDOT website.
UDOT and the CWC are co-hosting a public open house on Tuesday, April 9th from 4 — 8 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall. At the open house, you will have the opportunity to learn about the goals and objectives of both the LCC EIS and the CCTAP, as well as leave comments. You may read the draft purpose of need for the LCC EIS, as well as the draft alternatives-development and screening methodology report for the LCC EIS on the CWC website, and on the Little Cottonwood Canyon EIS website.
2019 Utah Legislative Session
Senator Kirk A. Cullimore, District 9, sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 (S.C.R. 10): Urging Solutions for the Central Wasatch Mountains. S.C.R. 10 highlighted the need for transportation solutions in the Cottonwood Canyons, and recognized the work of the Central Wasatch Commission to address both canyon transportation and lands issues. The resolution passed unanimously out of the Senate Operations and Political Subdivisions committee, and passed the Senate with a majority vote (20-8), but it failed to pass the House by three votes on the final day of the 2019 legislative session. Representative Steve Eliason sponsored S.C.R. 10 in the House.
CWC staff and board members will continue to work with UDOT to address transportation issues through the Little Cottonwood Canyon Environmental Impact statement, and the Cottonwood Canyons Transportation Action Plan, as well as on the CWNCRA at both the State and Federal level.
H.B. 78: Federal Designations, sponsored by Representative Carl Albrecht and Senator David Hinkins passed during the legislative session. H.B 78 requires a governmental entity that is advocating for a federal designation within the state to bring the proposal to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee for possible review. The Central Wasatch Commission is a governmental entity, and will continue to work with the State legislature as staff advances the CWNCRA.
After months of negotiation, staff were unable to reach terms that were acceptable to the Brendle Group to amend the existing contract to complete the environmental dashboard project and bring it from a written report to an online interactive tool. The contract with The Brendle Group expired on March 10th, 2019.
Staff are currently working with organizations that have the technical expertise required to complete the project, and that have been associated with the project since its inception. Once an agreement is solidified, work can once again begin. Staff will be communicating with the Environmental Dashboard steering committee internally about these project updates.
CWC staff continued to met with the Granite and Big Cottonwood Canyon Community Councils, the Association of Community Councils Together (ACCT), Downtown, Wasatch Hollow, and East Liberty Community Councils in Salt Lake City and other community groups to present the work of the CWC and answer questions on the CWNCRA, transportation studies, the environmental dashboard, and other issues. If you are a part of a community group and would like CWC staff to present, please get in touch with the staff to coordinate.
The staff and CWC Chair have continued to work towards moving into new space. Construction on the office is expected to begin on April 1st, and is projected to reach completion in 5 weeks. Staff will move into the space in either May or June, pending any unforeseen delays.
CWC staff will deliver this report to the full Commission during the April public meeting, happening Monday, April 1st, 4 — 6 p.m. at Cottonwood Heights City Hall. We hope to see you there.
Chris, Ralph, Jesse, and Lindsey