Envisioning the next 10 years: Hurricane invites public feedback for general plan update

HURRICANE — The city of Hurricane is asking for public feedback as they work to update their general plan, which will shape the future of the city for at least the next 10 years.

But residents only have until this Friday to get their voice heard.

The streets are quiet on Sunday morning in Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 9, 2020 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

The need to update the plan is due to significant changes in population, economy and demographics that have occurred since it was previously updated in 2011.

The general plan will address growth and land-use pressures, open space and trails, heritage and cultural resources, economic opportunities, moderate-income housing and natural resources.

Olivia Cvetko, with planning firm Logan Simpson, told St. George News they are working with Zions Public Finance and the city in order to come up with a plan. The planning process is broken up into four phases.

The initial phase started in February, when they put out a “Have Your Say Hurricane” survey, which focused on core community values. They had expected to collect data up until April, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and set them back.

Having now moved onto phase 2, they are taking the values gathered from phase 1, which included some 150 respondents, and turning those into vision statements that will then be composed into goals and strategies that will shape Hurricane through the next 10 years or more.

In the backdrop, the Virgin River flows through basaltic cliffs near Confluence Park, Hurricane, Utah, May 8, 2020 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

Of the values listed in the first survey, the top thing people loved about Hurricane, with 45% of the vote, was its open space. Neighbors and sense of community came in second with 34%.

As far as what people valued about the open space, 59% of respondents listed natural, open space at the top of the list, which was surprising Cvetko said.

“I was not surprised that people loved their open space and parks, but what did surprise me was that most people out of that loved their natural open space. That’s not very common to see. Usually, you get a lot of people saying, ‘We love our parks and trails.'”

They are now asking for participation in the Visioning Questionnaire, expected to close on Friday. Anybody who is interested should respond on the city’s website.

“It’s not just 18 and up,” Cvetko said, “this plan is going to affect the future of Hurricane for the next 10 to 20 years, so if we are talking to high schoolers who are saying, ‘You know, I would really stay here if I could find a career in this industry.’ That’s also helpful.”

Metal flower sculptures greet people as they drive along State Street, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 9, 2020 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

She also encouraged second-home owners to respond or anyone with interest. They are ultimately hoping for a wide perspective. If people don’t have the opportunity or time to take the Visioning Questionnaire before it closes, they can also input their opinions by using the mapping tool.

The mapping tool allows for people to drop pins on different places in Hurricane that they love or think need improvement.

So far, one common theme they have found from information gathered through the Visioning Questionnaire is that people really want more restaurants in Hurricane.

“It’s an overwhelming desire,” Cvetko said. “And hand in hand with that, people are saying they would like to see the historic downtown revitalized near Pioneer Park. That area has so much potential. I think a lot of people are looking for somewhere to gather, somewhere more vibrant.”

When it comes to the economy, Cvetko said it’s important for people to address what they hope to see: do they want to see more commercial businesses or mom and pop stores?

The more information they receive, the better they are able to research policies and develop incentives in order to make that vision come to fruition.

Cvetko said they are hoping to have the plan complete in December, though full adoption of the plan will likely not be until January after the holiday season is over.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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