Thank you, Tribune, for your recent editorial recognizing the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortia's planning accomplishments ("Utah definitely needs a long-term plan," Our View, Nov. 2). I also wish to commend Gov. Gary Herbert's commitment to bring this sustainable planning approach to every community in Utah.
When the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development launched the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant program in 2010, and awarded a $5 million grant to Salt Lake County, we expected great things and have not been disappointed.
The work of Salt Lake County, Envision Utah, the Wasatch Front Regional Council of Governments, the University of Utah, the Utah Transit Authority, the Utah HUD office and others has created "tools" that will give communities along the Wasatch Front a new way to plan for their future. Now communities will face future growth armed with the knowledge to enhance the positive aspects of change making local neighborhoods more vibrant while protecting and maintaining Utah's wonderful quality of life.
These new tools developed under the grant initiative will serve as models for other cities and towns throughout the country.
Rick M. Garcia
Regional sustainability administrator
HUD Region VIII