The Vision Dixie Principles for Smart Growth

Principle 1: Plan Regionally, Implement Locally

Principle 2: Maintain Air and Water Quality and Conserve Water

Principle 3: Guard our ‘Signature’ Scenic Landscapes

Principle 4: Provide Rich, Connected Natural Recreation and Open Space

Principle 5: Build balanced Transportation that includes a System of Public Transportation, Connected Roads, and Meaningful Opportunities to Bike and Walk.

Principle 6: Get ‘Centered’ by Focusing Growth on Walkable, Mixed-Use Centers.

Principle 7: Direct Growth Inward.

Principle 8: Provide a Broad Range of Housing Types to Meet the Needs of All Income Levels, Family Types, and Stages of Life.

Principle 9: Reserve Key Areas for Industry to Grow the Economic Pie.

Principle 10: Focused Public Land Conversion Should Sustain Community Goals And Preserve Critical Lands


Smart Growth is an approach to development that encourages a variety of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement to grow strong, environmentally sustainable communities. Smart Growth eschews sprawl and a reliance on vehicles and ultimately aims to help create vibrant neighborhoods in which residents live, shop, work, and play. Smart Growth has been an underlying influence on CSU’s work over the years, helping to inform our organization’s position on projects like the Northern Corridor Highway and Lake Powell Pipeline.

With an eye towards the implementation of Smart Growth principles throughout Washington County, CSU established a new initiative this year called Community Pulse. This initiative is intended to: collect relevant information from county, city, water district, and other related organizational meetings on an ongoing basis; inform the public of such relevant information; rally community involvement to influence decision makers; and take positive and constructive actions to advance CSU’s mission and goals. With a part-time volunteer team of four and growing, we are just getting this initiative started, so stay tuned! In 2022, we expect the Community Pulse effort will enable CSU to be more proactive and make even more effective gains in our work.

The General Plan is one tool municipalities can utilize to implement Smart Growth planning principles. In 2021, two major southwestern Utah cities — St. George and Hurricane — began the process of updating their plans, and called on citizens to weigh in on various municipal planning and development goals. Many residents did so, including Jane Whalen, a Hurricane resident and CSU board member, who tied her comments to CSU priorities (and Smart Growth principles!) such as county-wide integration of land use planning, environmental protection, water conservation, transportation options, and scenic viewshed protection. The General Plan update process is one way every-day residents can participate in the planning process and encourage officials to embrace Smart Growth principles.

In addition to the general plan update survey, St. George residents were also invited to participate in a survey on a Downtown Area Plan to give recommendations for improvements to the Downtown Core and surrounding neighborhoods. Survey results have yet to be released, but we are watching for them.  On a related note, St. George City is close to adopting a Complete Streets policy which has been under discussion for several years. Complete Streets policies prioritize making transportation accessible and equitable for everyone, prioritizing moving people safely between destinations over moving vehicles.

Additional info can be found on our Smart Growth page.


Published November 14th, 2021