Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Notes from the Mayor: 2018 City Survey

Overview2018-08-20 Heraclitus

I’ve spent several months reviewing the most recent city survey and responding to most comments. Note, residents shared their thoughts in over 1,500 comments; I reviewed all of them. Below are my thoughts on some of the most common survey comments:

  • Many residents are concerned about increasing traffic. If no additional homes or businesses were built in Highland we would still face traffic increases. Every home built in Alpine generates traffic for Highland. Employment growth in NE Lehi (think Adobe, Ancestry, Xactware) generates traffic on Highland Blvd, Alpine Hwy, and SR92 from AF, Cedar Hills, and PG residents. Growth in the county and state contributes to traffic on SR92 as more and more people visit AF Canyon (~2M visitors a year).

  • As Highland continues to develop we will lose most of the remaining “open space” many consider to be part of what makes Highland special. The long-horn field (78 acres of private land north of Highland Cemetery) and the alfalfa fields south of Lone Peak Highland (112 acres of state owned land now up for sale or lease). Whatever is built on these properties will generate traffic and will change Highland.

    Here’s is what will not change. The nearby mountains and breathtaking scenery, our proximity to Provo/Orem and Salt Lake, plus we will remain a largely residential community in spite of any future development.

    What we can individually control and one of the things I like best about Highland is that we are a community that cares about each other and we find ways to quietly serve each other. The following article is representative of what in my view makes Highland, Highland: “Highland family serves grieving stranger after loss of wife.”

  • Many people believe that we do not have a tax base in the city. That is not accurate. We get 42.4% of our tax revenues from sales tax and 35.7% from property tax (Lehi gets 44.2% and 35.7% respectively). Note, if the road fee had been implemented as a property tax the percentages would be reversed. The chart below shows comparative percentages for neighboring cities. I did not take the time to go through each cities fees and see which ones could have been implemented as a property tax so I did not it so for Highland. For example, both Alpine and Cedar Hills have an EMS fee (paramedic services).
    Other comparative tax information can be found by clicking here.

  • There were lots of comments regarding our roads. First of all I want you to know that including roads in the list of activities you would be willing to fund was an oversight – our apologies. Second, a number of residents expressed concern that in spite of a fee that they had not seen in uptick in road activity. Well by now most of you are aware that our major road project for the year 6000 W has been completed as well as crack seal and pavement sealing projects around the city. Click here to view a map that shows the planned upcoming projects by year.

  • There were also a lot of comments on code enforcement issues and potholes. Both can reported online by clicking here. We don’t have a full-time code enforcement officer so we rely on city staff and residents to report issues. We will be adding a section to the newsletter to highlight city codes that you might not be familiar with. To look up or review codes click here.

  • I included data from all survey forms received by the city including those received after the deadline for submittal passed,. 70 out of the 1,084 total surveys received were returned past the deadline.

Charts & Graphs

Click here to view the summary data upon which these charts were base.

Other Links


  1. Thank you so much for compiling and sharing this! It is obvious open space, roads and retaining community values are high priorities. Hopefully with increased growth we can act in ways to honor these. Appreciate the great job you are doing, Mayor Mann.

    1. You are very welcome MSmith.I agree with your assessment and believe most of the council does as well.

  2. Thanks for all the information. I have a couple of questions.

    First, how many households in Highland pay the $18.50 road repair fee, or how much does it generate per month/year for the repair of roads.
    Second, who determines how traffic lights are programmed or set up for Highland Blvd and Timp Highway?
    Third, Who determines the speed limit on the commuter lane that runs along side of Timp Highway? Lehi City or UDOT?


    1. All property owners in Highland that have a utility connection pay the $18.50 road fee. The fee generates about $1M per year. SR92 is a state road and UDOT manages the timing of the lights and the speed limit. I've talked with UDOT about the timing of the lights and it is complicated. There is no easy answer as to how to best time these lights because of the distance between them. With respect to speed limits there are standards that UDOT uses to determine them.

    2. Thanks for the info, now I can direct my questions/suggestions to the right place.

      Thanks again.


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