Phase One: Summit Talks
Phase One: Summit Talks began in January of 2023. This initial phase set the foundation for Our Summit by hosting conversations with the community via one-on-one interviews, collecting responses to a questionnaire, and hosting a series of kickoff events throughout the county.
Over the course of two days (January 17 - 18, 2023), twenty community members took tike to talk about what makes Summit County special to them. The interviewees included county staff (from Open Space, Sustainability, and Economic Development departments), elected officials and planning commissioners, as well as teachers, housing advocates, non-profit employees and volunteers. The following are examples of questions asked:
- Where do you live in Summit County?
- Why did you sign up for a one-on-one interview?
- What is your favorite thing about Summit County?
- In what ways do you think Summit County is falling short?
- In your community, what do you think is missing or could use improvement?
- What type of growth do you think is appropriate in Summit County over the next ten years?
- If you left Summit County for ten years, what would you want to see when you return?
- What is most important to protect in Summit County?
- What is the biggest opportunity for change in Summit County?
- What else do you think is important to consider when creating a vision for the county?
The three primary themes emerged based on these one-on-one interviews:
- Rural Character
The kickoff events launched the Our Summit Community Vision. This open-house format invited Summit County community members to lear about the Our Summit Visioning Project through an informal event. The kickoff event was hosted at three different locations throughout the county (Coalville, Kamas, and Snyderville Basin). Around 100 people attended one of these three events. The kickoff events included educational material about what a visioning plan is and what it can and cannot do.
Additionally, attendees were asked to share their opinions.
In order to get to the root of what makes Summit County so special, participants were asked "What do you love about Summit County?" The input received covered a broad range of topics. The word cloud below represents the most commonly mentioned themes.
The most frequently mentioned elements were:
- Open Space
- Trail Access
In order to identify elements that should be included in future engagement efforts in the planning process and potentially included in vision statements or educational materials, participants were also asked "How can Summit County improve in the next twenty years?" The themes that emerged helped the project team understand some of the priorities that the vision should encompass.
The following were the most mentioned comments:
- Managed Growth: Although the comments didn't specifically use this terminology, planned, sustainable, responsible, and smart growth were all mentioned often.
- Affordable Housing: This includes high-density housing that is inherently more affordable.
- Invest in Open Space: Open Space was tied for second with affordable housing.