Community & Economic Development 2016 Year in Review

Community & Economic Development 2016 Year in Review
Posted on 02/06/2017

In 2016, the Cottonwood Heights Community and Economic Development Department handled a wide range of planning, zoning and business topics. As the city continues to grow, the department issued more building permits than ever before, playing a key role in the development of numerous properties in the city. 

At the beginning of 2016, the CH City Council approved a new Planned Development District (PDD). This ordinance encourages mixed-use development in properties near the Wasatch Boulevard Gravel Pit and at select areas along Fort Union Boulevard. 

The PDD promotes efficient use of land and public services by allowing projects that enhance the city’s economic development and create a balanced community with residential, business, commercial and recreational uses.

Another accomplishment was the completion of the Cottonwood Heights Bicycle and Trails Master Plan that allows for the connection of trails throughout the city to encourage more bicycle and pedestrian-friendly development. 

Both the PDD and Bike Plan were nominated for awards from the Utah Chapter of the American Planning Association. The Bike Plan was given an Achievement Award from the organization.

The department works with customers to handle various issues that come up. Staff members set up inspections, review plans, answer questions and create relationships with contractors, builders and residents.

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) staff created interactive web maps which are now available on the city website. They continue to develop the data, maps, applications, and processes required for the Cottonwood Heights Emergency Management Status project and several new data layers that will assist in the planning and implementation of various programs.

In order to coordinate these responsibilities, the department provided staff support to a number of boards and commissions including the CH City Council, Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, and the Architectural Review and Development Review Committees.

Cottonwood Heights continues to attract top companies. In 2016, the city welcomed new businesses like Sierra Trading Post, RizePoint and SoFi that contribute to the city’s economic strength. The mayor, city council and business development staff attended a dozen ribbon cuttings, celebrating new businesses in the community.

Businesses created connections through the CH Business Association (CHBA) through a variety of luncheons, workshops, networking events and service projects. Some of the community events included the Bites in the Heights restaurant tour and the Recreational Lifestyle Fair. 

The city also processed more than 600 residential and commercial building permits, valued at more than $52 million. More than 50 land use applications were also processed, while more than 190 residential and commercial business licenses were issued.

The Cottonwood Heights Community and Economic Development Department consists of Brian Berndt (director),  Michael Johnson (senior planner), Andy Hulka (associate planner), Gina Kirkwood (administrative assistant), Jody Hilton and James Short (building officials), Kevin Sato (GIS), Brad Gilson (city engineer) and Peri Kinder (business development). The planning and GIS interns during 2016 were Zach Smallwood, Sarah Rivera, Stephanie Ainsworth and Trenton Cross. Interns are hired through the University of Utah and Brigham Young University planning programs.