Wasatch Environmental Update for September 30, 2018

By John Worlock, long-time member of Save Our Canyons

“Brighton Town”

Just about a year ago the news broke that a collection of landowners in Big Cottonwood Canyon, operating as the Friends of Big Cottonwood Canyon, were mounting a campaign to incorporate nearly half of the Canyon into a new entity to be called the Town of Brighton.  The new municipality would include both Brighton and Solitude ski resorts and a lot of housing on both sides of Big Cottonwood Creek down to Mill D South Fork, including the cluster of dwellings at Silver Fork.

The Friends of Big Cottonwood Canyon circulated a petition, asking the state to make a determination of feasibility.  The state has now done that and the answer is now available for all to study.  We hope that you would like to look at the conclusions of the feasibility study, and our best suggestion is that you drop everything and plan to attend an open house presentation tomorrow, Monday, October 1, at Brighton Resort, from 6:30 until 8 pm.  If that’s inconvenient, then phone Save Our Canyons and ask for the internet link to the feasibility study.  Save Our Canyons  is at 801-363-7283.

It is not clear that public opinion will have any impact on the eventual question of incorporation, but we want you to know that Save Our Canyons is totally opposed.

Many of the proposers of the incorporation bring arguments about local control of local problems, and tell of feeling abandoned by the distant Salt Lake County authorities.  But w e are inclined to believe that the county has been hated principally for its zoning rules, and that the obvious consequence of this incorporation would be an unfortunate uptick in building activities in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

This uptick might benefit a few landowners, but it will do nothing for the thousands of Salt Lake County residents who enjoy their outings in the Big Cottonwood Canyon and its contrast with the crowded cities they leave behind.

So now the tension rises:  the feasibility is known, and the vote must come soon.  Now it’s up to those few registered and resident voters to decide the fate of Brighton Town.  If you meet one of them on the street, please ask for a no vote!  Otherwise, just pray.

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