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Wasatch County

Midway residents describe visions for the city’s future

Midway open house.jpeg
Credit Celeste Johnson
Midway Town Hall is located at 160 West Main Street.

In last week’s open house at Midway Town Hall, a crowd of about 100 residents offered their opinions for how the city should grow and evolve.

Midway residents showed up in force last week to talk about their city’s future. Specifically, they were concerned with open space and development in their rapidly growing community.

The meeting was part of the public input process the city planned for its general plan update, which it does every five years. At town hall, committee leaders took feedback at 11 tables devoted to city planning topics like streets, open space and parking.

Midway Mayor Celeste Johnson says she spent the meeting talking one-on-one with residents.

“We got really good feedback on how we've been using our open space bond money,” she says. “We got good feedback on the code text amendments that have been changed that kind of continue to protect view corridors, things like setbacks, and we aren't increasing our building height allowance and things like that. We always get some feedback that traffic isn't being controlled enough.”

Johnson also says most people agreed they don’t want more commercial buildings downtown.

Public input isn’t over yet. The city has an online survey available asking what people like and dislike about the city and what should happen there in the future, as well as what kinds of high-budget projects voters would be willing to pay for.

The survey is open until the end of the month.

One topic the mayor wants to hear more about is affordable housing. Specifically, she asks residents to weigh in about where they want to see homes for teachers, law enforcement officers and other workers.

Midway resident and former Park City councilor Leslie Miller says the meeting was a good way to learn what’s going on in the city planning office. But she says it’s still tricky for the public to comprehend the scope of the city’s plans and offer specific input.

“It was very well organized, and it was thoughtful,” Miller says. “I think that they were making an effort to address the community’s concerns. But, what I think still needs to happen is that all these components to the land management code have to be coalesced and summarized into a cohesive vision.”

She says for herself and some residents, immediate priorities include how to improve walkability in the city and land conservation.

To Miller, big issues, including what types of development to allow, depend on how the city grows. While she doesn’t want much more high-density development in the near future, she hopes what is built will add diversity to the types of buildings around town.

Miller says although much has changed, the issues local government is considering today remind her of those she saw while serving on the council from 1992 to 1996.

“We were watching the evaporation of our open spaces, and we were watching outdated land management code direct those kinds of developments, and you still see evidence of that today,” Miller says. “So, hopefully, Midway can get going and figure this out before it's way too late. A lot of people in the community who have lived there for as long as I have, which is over 20 years, feel that the character of the town is being diminished, and that maybe it is too late. But this effort, I think, gives me some hope.”

Johnson says the city will next review feedback it gets. The goal is to finish the general plan update by September.

Residents can take the survey at midwaycityut.org.

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