Salt Lake County Regional Development News
October 04, 2021
Helen Peters, Salt Lake County's Regional Transportation Program Manager, was recently appointed Regional Planning & Transportation Director.
Helen has worked with Salt Lake County for more than four years on managing the County's transportation portfolio and collaborating with regional partners and governmental entities to provide expertise on transportation, land use, and funding. She’s highly regarded for her deep knowledge and technical skills in these areas that are critical to maintaining residents’ quality of life.
“I see all my work in transportation as a way of serving the question of, 'How do you give people from all backgrounds equitable access to opportunity?'” Helen Peters said.
In her new role, she will focus on how Salt Lake County can prioritize sustainable regional growth and continue to coordinate with partners and agencies to lead Salt Lake County’s efforts to implement the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision; coordinate countywide input and implementation of the Wasatch Front Regional Transportation Plan; and manage the Planning and Transportation Advisory Committee; as well as collaborate with Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), and Utah Transportation Authority (UTA).
"She brings an appreciation for the distinct differences between local and regional planning and transportation, as well as a recognition that collaboration with municipal partners is critical to a strong region," Dina Blaes, Director of the Office of Regional Development, said.
Regional Planning & Transportation is currently actively involved in the Millcreek Canyon Federal Land Access Program grant; crafting the West General Plan; and facilitating regional solutions discussions about housing and planning, among other responsibilities.
“Our collaboration with public officials and regional partners helps us to create a vibrant Salt Lake County,” Helen said. “There are always challenges to rapid growth, but the Regional Planning & Transportation platform allows us to serve residents by contributing to communities of opportunities.”
Prior to working at the County, Helen was a transportation and policy planner at J-U-B Engineers and Parametrix. Outside all things transportation and planning, Helen enjoys live theatre and chocolate.
Wondering What the Air Quality is Like Today? Look to These 3 Sources for Forecasts and Real-Time Pollutant Readings in Salt Lake County
September 22, 2021
When bad air days settle in the Salt Lake Valley, we often get asked: Where's the best place to look for the air quality forecast or current pollution conditions?
During Pollution Prevention Week, Salt Lake County is sharing three key sources residents can use at any time to better plan activities and travels to better protect your family's health and minimize pollution.
Utah Division of Air Quality's (DAQ) monitors represent the gold standard of monitor quality; they must meet federal requirements, so the monitors are the most accurate for studying nearby air. The data is then analyzed by a team of experts at DAQ who test to make sure the data is accurate. it is the official source for air quality data in the State of Utah.
Limits: There are only 12 monitors which cover all of the Wasatch Front. This limits the amount of detailed information available for residents since air quality can differ based on location. The quality of data is the best but doesn't provide enough detail at smaller geographic scales.
The University of Utah operates and manages a network of research-grade stationary sensors across Salt Lake County and the State. TRAX's monitors are among some of the first mobile air monitors in the world using research-grade sensors. This system allows for real-time monitoring spread out over a larger area by accurate measurements of pollution along the TRAX route. The KSL News Chopper is the first and longest running aircraft platform with research-grade sensors.
The data is analyzed by a team of experts at the Atmospheric Sciences department from the University of Utah. The MesoWest website also incorporates other air monitor data sets, including Purple Air and DAQ data.
Soon, electric buses will also be a part of the monitoring network as the program expands to new UTA bus routes, allowing more specific readings across the County. This will provide residents more specific, neighborhood-level air quality readings.
Limits: Some of the data is tied to areas only where TRAX, electric bus routes, or other modes of transportation are able to travel.
Purple Air designs relatively affordable sensors to be purchased by the public. Sensors are now located all around Salt Lake County and the world, and the data is visible to everyone. This allows all residents to see air quality readings in a specific area on an online map.
Limits: Because the monitors are more affordable, they are less accurate and only record PM2.5 data.
Questions? Ask Salt Lake County's Sustainability Director Michael Shea. Email: Mshea@slco.org.
September 16, 2021
As part of Salt Lake County's Regional Solutions event on Missing Middle Housing to be held October 7, five community and business leaders will join the event to provide insight and expertise on the current housing crisis.
Daniel Parolek — Keynote Speaker, Author, Architect
Daniel is a nationally recognized thought leader in architecture, design, and urban planning. His strong interest in diverse building types, at different scales that bridge architecture and urban planning, drove his desire to start Opticos in 2000. Prior to the panel, Daniel will give the event's keynote address as the special guest and expert in Missing Middle Housing.
Rep. Steve Waldrip — Utah Legislator
Steve brings experience in real estate development, law, government, and public/private partnerships to his service in the Utah Legislature. He serves as co-chair on the Commission on Housing Affordability. He was elected to represent Utah House District 8 in 2018.
After completing undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University, Steve received a master's degree in taxation from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of Utah.
Shawn Teigen — Utah Foundation VP & Researcher
Shawn has worked at Utah Foundation for nearly 10 years as its vice president and research director. He worked as a housing policy analyst with Community Action Partnership of Utah and for Utah's chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
He serves on the board of several organizations, including past chairperson of the Salt Lake City Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board.
Natalie Gordon — North Salt Lake City Council Member
Natalie supports smart growth, responsible use of city resources, and collaborative decision making. Natalie served on the Planning Commission for seven years and is currently employed by the State Board of Education as a School Trust Specialist.
Nate Pugsley — Builder, Brighton Homes Founder & CEO
Nate has been involved in the real estate and development industry for more than 25 years. Brighton Homes has extensive experience in developing and building Missing Middle homes along the Wasatch Front. Nearly 12 years ago, since he founded Brighton Homes, it has built more than 4,500 homes across the Wasatch Front, including in Herriman, Riverton, West Jordan, Midvale, and Murray.
The five panelists will answer questions around the housing crisis submitted by attendees at the event.
Register for the Event
Community members, municipal staff, elected officials, business leaders, and students can purchase early registration tickets at lower prices through September 24 at https://missingmiddle.eventbrite.com.
It will be held at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan, beginning at 11 a.m. and concluding around 3 p.m. As part of the event, attendees will be served a full lunch.