Draper Receives Input on Open Space Master Plan
By Kelly Cannon | email@example.com
Draper - A huge crowd of Draper residents turned out on Feb. 9 to give their input on the proposed open space master plan. The city purchased the 4,500 acres in 2012 that runs from the point of the mountain to the Traverse Ridge Range. City officials were interested in finding out what the public would like to see done with the property.
“Last fall, we held an open house to get ideas from the public of what they wanted to do with the space,” Brad Jensen, Draper project manager, said. “We gave those ideas to a steering committee who then got with a consultant.”
The purpose of the open house, held at City Hall, was to receive additional input on what the steering committee and the consulting group had already developed. The casual meeting had displays set up all around the edges of the council chambers, outlining the history, goals and plans for the open space. These plans include new parks with features such as ropes courses, disc golf and zip lines, improved trails and dog-friendly attractions. Members of the steering committee and the consulting firm were available to answer any questions.
“We’re just trying to gauge what people like,” Jensen said. “If there is something they feel we’re missing, we want to know about it.”
Those in attendance were given a survey they could fill out to explain what they thought of the plan. The survey is also available online at draper.ut.us/openspace. After all of the public input is received, the steering group and the consulting firm will collect the data and give a final proposal to the parks and trails department. It will then move on to the planning commission and then to the city council for final approval, though that is not expected to happen until later in the spring.
Jensen said the most significant portion of the open space master plan is the effort to reduce user conflicts on trails. Over 80 percent of trails in Draper are multi-use, which can cause conflicts between the different people using the trails, including mountain bikers, hikers, hikers with dogs and equestrian riders. These conflicts can also cause safety concerns. Jensen said if mountain bikers are speeding down a trail, it can potentially scare the horses.
The plan is to create more single-use trails specifically for just mountain bikers or equestrian riders. There are other trails where bikers can only ride up one side and ride down the other.
“We’re trying to create a balance,” Jensen said.
Mayor Troy Walker was in attendance of the meeting and was blown away by the large turnout.
“It is outstanding,” Walker said. “I’m very pleased with (the turnout).”
While the city council has not been too heavily involved in the process so far, it did suggest a few ideas at the very beginning of the process, including adding parks with zip lines and ropes courses.
While the finished product of all these plans is years in the future, Walker said the projects will be funded through the general fund.
“The city council has talked about attaching a park fee to help pay for it,” Walker said. “It could be added to the water or garbage bill.”
Walker emphasized these ideas were in discussions only and nothing official has been decided.
Draper resident Shane Goodman was at the open space meeting with his wife after being informed by it by a local leader of the 4-H horse club.
“She asked us to come down as horse enthusiasts to see how our particular interests were being addressed,” Goodman said.
Goodman believed the study was pretty comprehensive and considered all of the interested parties.
“I’m going to go online and read the details more closely,” Goodman said. “But it looks like it was composed to include all of the interests.”
To read a copy of the open space master plan and to fill out the survey, visit draper.ut.us/openspace.