Draper residents speak out

DRAPER — Life is good, many Draper residents agree. But some fear it could get worse in this once-rural, fast-growing southern Salt Lake County suburb.

Initial results of an ongoing opinion survey being conducted by the city show 76 percent of residents believe Draper is either a good or excellent place to live. Sixty-seven percent rated the individual neighborhoods they live in as either good or excellent.

But when asked if they think the quality of life will improve or decline over the next 10 years, 39 percent said they think life in Draper will get worse. Slightly more, 41 percent, said they think it will improve.

Figuring out why 39 percent of survey participants are so pessimistic, and what the city can do to make sure conditions don’t worsen, are among the goals of city officials tabulating the online survey.

Residents were asked which issues, among a list of 20, were most important to them. Emerging as most significant are: Ensuring an adequate supply of water in the future; preserving open space; reducing traffic congestion; providing parks and recreational facilities; providing a variety of housing; developing a citywide trail system; and preserving and revitalizing Draper’s neighborhoods.

The survey also asked those who currently have complaints or concerns about the city to elaborate:

Quality of life. "No nightlife at all. No private clubs. . . . People are not very friendly. They seem to only be interested in your religious affiliation. If you are not Mormon, you are not welcome. . . . Too many people and cars. . . . More emphasis recently on businesses, apartments and small houses. . . . Poor infrastructure, inadequate schools, poor fire protection, poor commercial development, poor park system."
The future. "Too much traffic, new developments, not going to have that quiet country feeling anymore. . . . All of the growth. . . . The schools will not be able to afford the quality of life that the city now affords. . . . All of these horse riding areas are being overrun with houses."
General plan. "Stop planning for all the cars. Make pedestrians the No. 1 priority. . . . We need a community center. . . . Adequate commercial for each area of the city. . . . Keep light rail out of our back yards and keep it along the I-15 corridor where it belongs. . . . We need more business generated so we can have their tax money. . . . Focus on controlling and maintaining good traffic flows. . . . We don’t want more stores, malls and buses."

Draper City Manager Eric Keck said residents feel the city could do a better job of communicating and interacting with its residents.

Residents still can participate in the survey by visiting the city’s Web site, http://www.draper.ut.us, or by calling Susan Hayward, the city’s neighborhood information coordinator, at 576-6527.

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