Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Southern Utah Planners Also Attempt to Foist New Urbanist Town Center across Open Spaces

Nashville is not the only place where planners are raising the hackles of the populace by trying to force mixed-use developments across undeveloped back country. Out west in Utah, they're working on a high density "town center" concept called "Vision Dixie," which has proved to be unpopular:
some residents are concerned about the effect such large-scale development could have on the local quality of life. A larger population could equate to more traffic, more pollution and more demand for public services and puts more strain local resources, especially water - a touchy subject given the debate surrounding the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline.

"You still come down to the basic question of what do you want Washington County to look like in 20 or 30 years," said Paul Van Dam, executive director of Citizens for Dixie's Future, a local advocacy group for conservation and controlled growth.

Van Dam said he would be glad to see if the South Block developments meet Vision Dixie principles, but said he was uncomfortable with the general idea of building up the outskirts of urban areas. The South Block would be situated several miles southeast of the city center, an idea clearly unpopular among the public during the creation of Vision Dixie, he said.

"Any time you plop something down, basically in the middle of nowhere, you have urban sprawl," Van Dam said. "It doesn't really matter how nice the community is."
Are Nashville planners merely chasing national trends to pave over greenfields rather trying something authentically new and sustainable in Bells Bend with the May Town proposal?


  1. A little off topic.

    Do you find it a little odd they are using Dixie as a descriptor for their urban growth plan? Vision and Dixie do not work well together. Maybe there is more about Utah that I don't know.

  2. Unless it is an homage to Dixieland Jazz or Dixie beer, I agree with you.

  3. Dixie is an area in southern Utah, and is near the Dixie National Forest.