Vision Dixie reports progress, prospects

ST. GEORGE – Vision Dixie met Thursday following Washington County’s Economic Summit, What’s Up Down South, at the Dixie Center St. George.  The commission presented efforts made in implementing ten principles that help the municipal governments of Washington County coordinate values and collaborate to preserve Dixie’s landscape, quality, transportation and recreational potential.

Jon Pike at Vision Dixie
Mayor Jon Pike representing the City of St. George in Vision Dixie forum, Dixie Center St. George, St. George, Utah, Jan. 16, 2014 | Photo by Natalie Barrett, St. George News

Presenters included Santa Clara City Councilman Kenneth Sizemore, St. George Mayor Jon Pike, Washington County Commissioner Denny Drake, Leeds Mayor Wayne Peterson, Hurricane Mayor John Bramall, and Ivins Mayor Chris Hart.

Some criticism of Vision Dixie argued the amount of talking in the commission outweighs the amount of actual results.

“We knew that it was going to take time and the implementation was going to take time but it is in the process and it is working,” Drake said of the execution of the Vision Dixie principles.

Vision Dixie was created in 2006 as a means of collaborative direction for the growth of Southern Utah. They have amassed numerous meetings, approximately 3,000 residents in participation and ten principles which guide their processes.

The principles are:

  1. Plan Regionally, implement locally
  2. Maintain air and water quality and conserve water
  3. Guard our ‘signature’ scenic landscapes
  4. Provide rich, connected natural recreation and open space
  5. Build balanced transportation that includes a system of public transportation, connected roads and meaningful opportunities to bike and walk
  6. Get ‘centered’ by focused growth on walkable, mixed-use centers
  7. Direct growth inward
  8. Provide a broad range of housing types to meet the needs of all income levels, family types and stages of life.
  9. Reserve key areas for industry to grow the economic pie
  10. Focus public land conversion should sustain community goals and preserve critical lands

Noticeable items discussed that were a direct effect of Vision Dixie include a council of governments made up of mayors who are discussing efficient corridors, and a fund set up to purchase the land to preserve right-of-way planning for the future.

Hurricane has implemented air quality monitors and has zoned 1-acre to 5-acre lots to maintain its farming community.

Expansion of public trails has occurred in Santa Clara, Sizemore said. He hopes to one day be able to walk from Gunlock to Zion, he said, completely on designated trails.

St. George is making steps towards becoming a more walkable community, especially for students at Dixie State University. Housing projects are in the works for St. George that are close to the college and could potentially reduce the number of cars on campus.

Hart said Ivins is waiting for a bus which they have already purchased, that will travel from St. George to Ivins and back every 80 minutes during business hours. Ivins is also working towards making a portion of the Ivins Reservoir swimmable for the community, he said.

Steps have been taken to increase communication between cities, preserve landscapes through zoning and other methods and develop affordable housing.

After the presentations, questions were asked of the representatives.

Shannon Andersen asked what is to be done to help balance the population growth and the conservancy of water.

“Is it just unbridled growth, whatever comes we will take?” Andersen said. “Is there anyone looking at that?”

Drake said there are already limitations being set.

“For example, on a countywide level and with the help of the water conservancy district we have done a ground water study. This affects all the unincorporated areas,” Drake said. “For them to be able to now build in those areas would require 8 acres, because the water table and the problems with the septic and sewer. So there will be a limitation on the numbers that will be able to be built in those areas because of the study that was done.”

Commuter bike lanes were discussed and the dangers that cyclists currently face on the roadways.

We have roads that are very dangerous for both automobile and bike traffic, one in particular that is a county road, Gunlock Road,” Drake said. “It’s a very difficult road to manage.”

To establish bike lanes, funds must be appropriated. “One of the problems with roads and the bike safety,” Drake said, “is those roads are paid for by you as consumers putting gas in your cars; and by state law, we provide the same service to the bike rider without the contribution.”  


Vision Dixie website

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  • John January 17, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Back in 1992 the United Nations had a conference and implemented a program called Agenda 21. There are many different sections in this document but it really hammers on sustainability and development.
    Vision Dixie has many of the key words and phrases used in the Agenda 21 document for their goals and mission.
    I am very concerned that our area is following anything produced from the United Nations members. This is something area residents need to study up on and get involved with so we don’t end up walking lock step with the desires of the UN.
    “Implementation is going to take time, but it is in the process and it is working” Hhhmmmm.

    • bub January 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      hahahahhaha found a conspiracy did you???? hahahah

      • Brian January 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

        I find when someone throws around the “conspiracy theorist” label indiscriminately, they almost always do so without knowing ~anything~ about the actual subject at hand.

        For the record, the tactic you’re using is championed by saul alinsky in a book he dedicated to satan (“rules for radicals”). You’re tactic falls under rules 5 and 12.

        Agenda 21 is real, it’s being actively promoted in the United States, unwittingly promoted in Washington County in the name of “sustainable growth”, and is, at its core, classic communism.

        Get informed, there is plenty of information about it, all easily verifiable from the UN’s own website on the matter.

        Or keep being a troll, whatever makes you happy.

      • John January 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        Not a conspiracy at all. Research Agenda 21 for yourself. Download the pdf from their site and spend some time reading it. Pay particular attention to the sections where it talks about fundamentally changing how we will be forced to live in the future. Pick out key words and phrases and compare them with documents in organizations within our area.

        • bub January 17, 2014 at 4:49 pm

          Are you saying you don’t think the growth in the area needs to be managed and structured in some way??

    • Ron January 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      OMG! So let’s abolish our bike and walking trails, create as much sprawl as possible, waste water whenever we can because, otherwise, we might just be doing a couple of things suggested by some obscure UN document? I mean, if a UN-sponsored document said we ought to avoid sugar and trans fats, then some of you folks would eat as much of that stuff as possible? I sense some serious paranoia at work here.

    • bub January 17, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      I looked at the agenda 21 and it doesn’t apply here. Your just spouting old Glen Beck tea party conspiracy theory nuttery. If you can prove otherwise I’ll listen…

      • bub January 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm

        The Glen beck crowd thinks that the gov’t wants to implement a plan that forces people out of their nice big suburban homes into communist style apartment blocks in the inner cities. Glen beck wrote a book called agenda 21. I got some good laughs from looking into this nuttery…

  • Cyclist January 17, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Drake said, “is those roads are paid for by you as consumers putting gas in your cars; and by state law, we provide the same service to the bike rider without the contribution.”

    He makes this statement is if cyclist don’t own cars or have never owned a car! Many serious cyclists own several cars and spend a ton of money traveling to go train, cycling events and races all over the state. It would be safe to say that many cyclists put more miles on their cars than the people do who complain about cyclists on the road.

    Not a lot of thought was put into that statement at all. And he’s a County Commissioner !!

  • Joe January 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Cyclist –
    I think your reading way to much into Drakes statement. Point is it will cost more of OUR tax dollars to expand some of these roads to make a bike lane and in this tight economy I certainly don’t want higher taxes for a bike lane. You take one statement from a person on the spot that’s not answered how you like and now your questioning the guys IQ like its amazing he’s a County Commissioner. If we all used that same logic I’d fear how your intellect would look as well.

  • philiplo January 18, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    If the road does not have a bike lane, and I do not feel safe riding against the curb/rail/edge, I will happily ride directly in the center of the lane. That will give me higher visibility and more room to maneuver around obstacles in the roadway.

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