ALL NEWS

The Point: Turning a prison into a green development

Sep 14, 2020, 9:36 AM
Planners at The Point, Utah prison COVID-19 inmate...
A section of the Utah State Prison at the Point of the Mountain in Draper is pictured on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

DRAPER, Utah – The 700-acre prison site in Draper officials named ‘The Point’ is set to become the greenest, most innovative development in Utah if planners get their way. 

The Point of the Mountain Development Commission told the Deseret News Editorial Board that they’ve been getting input for years, including from people who live in Draper, about what that development, called The Point, would look like. 

Planners now envision The Point as a mix of tech industry jobs, housing, open space, trails, and a world-class research facility all of which would be completely car-free, though connected to the rest of Utah via public transit like light rail and buses. 

Utah State Representative V. Lowry Snow (R-Santa Clara) is the co-chairman of the Point of the Mountain State Land Authority. He told the editorial board that selling off the land to developers would not be in the best interests of Utah. 

Snow believes Utahns will get a much better return on investment, not just monetarily. 

“Setting the standard for environmental quality, quality of life, open space,” Snow said. “When you turn this over to private development because for developers the bottom line is so focused on profit margin, they don’t have the same freedom, you might say, to work on some of those other issues.” 

Planners and politicians are betting the development can ease some of the woes of the Wasatch Front by providing affordable housing, as well as making the air cleaner with more open space and less reliance on cars. 

Point of the Mountain State Land Authority Executive Director Alan Matheson hopes it provides another benefit for families. 

“Our children are going to be able to have world-class careers right here in Utah. It will keep families together,” Matheson said. “If we develop this right, we think we can set a standard of development that others can follow in our state.”  

But critics are skeptical that any development can truly be car-free, or how attractive that will be for people. They argue it might increase traffic, if the development succeeds in attracting people, in a heavily traveled corridor.

They also point out that many developments with a heavy government presence have not panned out as planners had hoped for. 

To cover the costs of infrastructure, the state is looking at bonds and potentially diverting some property taxes. 

Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, who is running for Governor in November but is also co-chairman of the state’s task force on the project, would also like to see a world-famous landmark become a part of the development, saying it is time for those on the project to “think big”.

“If we do this right, just the innovation of people living and working and playing in one area … that will attract people. But I think we can do more. I don’t know exactly what that thing is, what that vision is, but I think I’ll know it when I see it,” Cox said.

     

 

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Two Murray police cruisers are shown...
Mark Jones

Murray Police warning public to be on lookout for scam

Several reports of a scam have been reported in Murray. According to police, a caller pretends to be from the Murray Police Department and attempts to notify a person of a warrant and insists the person pay the bail amount.
21 hours ago
An electronic sign on the campus of the University of Utah was seen displaying pornography today....
Becky Bruce

Slight increase in crime on U of U campus from previous year, report says

There has been a slight increase in crime on campus over the previous year, according to a report released Friday by the University of Utah.
21 hours ago
Turkey and cattle farms near Moroni, Utah. Three additional cases of avian influenza have been conf...
Mark Jones

Three additional cases of avian influenza confirmed in Sanpete County

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced Friday that three additional cases of avian influenza have been confirmed on turkey farms in Sanpete County.
21 hours ago
A three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon sent two people to the hospital. Photo credit: Marissa Cox....
Mark Jones

Three-vehicle crash in Stansbury Park sends two people to hospital

A three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon in Stansbury Park sent two people to the hospital.
21 hours ago
A downed power line near a road is pictured in Puerto Rico....
Aimee Cobabe

Puerto Rico still needs helps, the Red Cross says

The Red Cross said it’s difficult to get help to everyone in Puerto Rico right now because many areas are still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017.
21 hours ago
Salt Lake County DA's office pictured, it just declined to call an incident an officer-involved cri...
Samantha Herrera

Salt Lake County DA says police chase that ended in a fatal crash was not an officer-involved critical incident

The DA's office found that a police chase turned crash did not meet the criteria for an officer-involved critical incident.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
The Point: Turning a prison into a green development