St. George Mayor says there is plenty to get done in 2020, eyes master plan update

File photo of Downtown St. George, Utah, March 5, 2016 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — With his upcoming state of the city address scheduled for February, St. George Mayor Jon Pike believes that 2020 will be a pivotal year for getting things done.

The number one focus, Pike said, is to update the city’s 10-year-old master plan.

“This will probably take us more than 2020 to accomplish,” Pike said. “It is such a big task.”

Pike estimates the update could take as long as 18 months to review and redo land use within the city limits.

“We will look at areas that are yet to be developed and areas that are verging on being redeveloped,” Pike said. “The update is a significant thing and something we will be paying a great amount of attention upon.”

A particular area of focus will be downtown St. George along Main Street from Seventh South to Interstate 15 along Main Street.

Roundabout at Tabernacle and Main streets, Jul. 17, 2019, St. George, Utah | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News

“This is a major entrance to our city,” Pike said.

Other areas an update to the master plan will include is a focus on Bluff Street and the shopping center that once housed Kmart and other undeveloped parcels of land, including farming and livestock interests nearby.

“We are going to, with a consultant, work with property owners to look at these sections of town and look at what are some potential uses for these properties,” Pike said.

The master plan will qualify what type of commercial development is warranted along Main and Bluff streets.

“It also may include some mixed-use developments of multifamily residential units and office space, retail and restaurants,” Pike said. “It may be like we are doing at Joule Plaza and City View.”

This type of focus on downtown development and redevelopment, Pike added, is timely. Talks have already begun between city officials and landowners to flesh out a vision for the future.

“This is not about doing it to anyone, but we are going to sit down with landowners, our planning staff and our consultant … to talk through what the options might be,” Pike said.

Although the primary focus is on downtown, Pike added, other sections of development within St. George will be included in the master plan update.

“In some cases, we haven’t looked at certain areas for a while with regards to what has changed an what we might want to consider,” he said. “We want the public to be involved in every step of the way.”

St. George Mayor Jon Pike speaks with St. George News at City Hall, St. George, Utah, July 8, 2019 | Photo by Frank Forza, St. George News

Long-time St. George resident Kathy Olsen said although she was unaware the city has a master plan, she is pleased it is getting a refresh after a decade on the books.

“I have seen many changes over the years and not all were well thought out,” Olsen said. “It’s good to know that the current city council and mayor is considering what our city will look like 10 years from now and they will listen to our voices in making those changes.”

Pike agrees that the update should be in harmony with everyone’s dreams and visions for St. George.

“You can’t say what is going to happen,” Pike said. “It’s not necessarily getting into specific parcels and what will go in, but the master plan will look at general areas and consider what is the proper development.”

The goal of the master plan is to put ideas forward and see what sticks, developing a general consensus of what makes sense for the short and long-term future of St. George, Pike added.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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