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Dear Draper Residents,

I hope you are both physically and financially healthy in these uncertain times. In my short time on the City Council, it has been an honor to serve you.

Managing Draper’s growth intelligently is our great challenge. I spoke with many of you on the campaign trail and a consistent theme emerged from our conversations: we must preserve the unique feel of Draper and capitalize on exciting growth opportunities like the prison development.

Managing growth is a balancing act. We must balance the property rights of landowners wishing to develop their land as they see fit with the rights of neighbors who must deal with the consequences of new development. Furthermore, while we see the challenges of more density in the community we love, we also see poorly planned suburban sprawl contributing to traffic and air quality problems.

So, how do we effectively manage growth?

The answer is not simple, but it starts with a smart infill policy.

When I say “infill,” I refer to the development of vacant land within already built-out areas. An example of infill might be your neighbor subdividing her plot to be developed into multiple new homes. Robust demand for land in Draper drives higher property prices, which provides greater incentive for landowners to sell and sub-divide. Without proper planning, extensive subdivision can lead to further density in the wrong places and often creates traffic, aesthetic, and quality of life problems.

This is why, as a City Council, we recently approved a budget amendment to develop a comprehensive infill strategy.

We must strategically protect areas of Draper threatened by wrongheaded density but also direct good density to areas primed for growth. We can preserve our amazing quality of life while simultaneously capitalize on the incredible demand to live, work, and recreate in Draper.

If we get this right, a smart infill strategy will preserve more open space, help reduce traffic, produce affordable homes, and incentivize exciting retail development. This will help us preserve Draper’s unique identity and enable us to remain dynamic in this ever-changing world. This is my goal.

Despite Draper’s changing physical environment, the people who made our city great are still here: tending to our trails, coaching youth sports, manning the fire and police departments, and helping their neighbors, especially in these times of need.

We have inherited a great city—now let’s make it even better.

Councilman Cal Roberts