But members made no attempt to hide the fact that they left the hardest questions for the council, mayor and planning staff. The details are many, but the basic question is plain: How to balance the rights of private property owners with the rights the needs of the larger community.
The canyons are not a corner lot that may or may not damage a neighborhood if a bar or convenience store is permitted. They are the very economic and ecological core of our region. Regulations that are too tight can stifle economic activity. But rules that are too permissive will be the very definition of killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
That is why county officials should make sure that they err, which is only human, in favor of preservation and environmental stewardship.
This will be more difficult as more people want to live in the canyons and mountains, in and near our globally popular ski resorts, and as those resorts look to be year-round attractions rather than seasonal destinations.
But it will be easier if those who operate the resorts become partners in preserving the appearance and integrity of the land that makes their enterprises possible. Easier if public and private interests work together to, as the committee suggests, swap land and limit development so that human activity is held to manageable clusters and more of the land is left in its natural, often breathtakingly beautiful, state.
A separate transportation plan, necessary to keep the ski areas from becoming a constant snarl of polluting vehicles, is another complicate part of the mix.
Doing this wrong has the potential to do serious damage, not just to the holdings of a few owners, but to every single person who now lives, or may someday live, along the booming Wasatch Front.