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Summit County planners honored with 2 national awards

American Planning Association

The American Planning Association awards recognize the OurSummit Visioning Plan and Rail Trail Corridor Plan.

For OurSummit, the APA gave the county the John Keller Merit Award for a planning initiative. For the rail trail, it was the Vernon Deines Merit Award for a special project plan.

Community Development Director Pat Putt believes the OurSummit plan was the first-ever countywide visioning project. It incorporated input from surveys, open houses and other public engagement efforts, and it may inform future revisions of the east and west side general plans.

Putt also told KPCW his colleagues were akin to the 1953 Detroit Lions, 1995 Chicago Bulls or 2008 Detroit Red Wings.

Click here to see the final OurSummit plan.

For the rail trail, the nonbinding plan will guide the county if it takes over management of the 24 miles of trail between Park City and Echo. It considers areas to improve, add connections and facilitate economic growth.

"In the early 1990s, a local grassroots effort transformed the abandoned Union Pacific Rail tracks into a priceless community anchor known as the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail," said Maddy McDonough, Summit County Planner. "Without the tireless work of the community members before us, this plan for the future of the Rail Trail would not have been possible."

Click here to see the full Rail Trail Corridor Plan.

The APA’s Small Town and Rural Division recognizes a few municipalities each year with either an honor or merit award, honor being the more prestigious of the two.

Criteria include sustainability, public engagement, the role of elected officials and transferability to other communities.

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