When I was first elected to the Draper City Council in 2007, I began working on the concept of moving the Utah State Prison. I built a solid relationship with Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, the Salt Lake County Council, the Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and many other key state leaders. Because of my good relationships, I have been directly involved in the vision plan for the site. I am thrilled to tell you that the Utah State Prison is moving and will be gone by 2018!

Why move the Prison? 

Presently, the prison site is not taxed. Thus, Draper City, Canyons School District, and other government entities receive zero dollars from the site. It’s a 700 acre tax black hole. The prison site sits completely within Draper City limits, yet is owned by the State of Utah. The prison site is one of the single most valuable pieces of real-estate in the Utah. If we can get the land on the tax rolls it will change the game for us.   

To understand the potential of the prison site from a property tax standpoint consider what has happened to our FrontRunner site (only 135 acres) in just five years.  

In 2012, the property tax value of the FrontRunner site was a mere $6,055,340.00. Today, five years later, the taxable value of the site is $225,000,000.00! It will go up in value in 2017 by another hundred million dollars with a projected value at buildout near a billion dollars.

Why does that matter to you? Because now, that site is generating tax revenue at a level thousands of times higher than if it had been developed into single family homes. That kind of revenue generation secures our future and is one of the main reasons you have not had  a property tax increase in Draper City in the last ten years that I have been serving you.

Just imagine what 700 acres (in an even better location) will generate if properly developed into the Silicon Slopes! If developed correctly the prison site is a game changer for Draper City, Salt Lake County and the State of Utah. My goal has always been to see this incredible parcel of real-estate be developed and owned by private parties so it can finally for the first time in its history hit the tax rolls.   

So what have I done as your Mayor to make this a reality?

  • I served on the original Prison Relocation and Development Authority (PRADA) and I advocated strongly for the concept of a large mixed use development the Silicon Slopes.   
  • I oversaw the creation of an artistic rendering of what I hoped would happen on the site. Frankly, it helped jumpstart the conversation and our artistic rendering demonstrated to the State that Draper City is ready to lead out as a true partner in seeing this site reach its maximum potential.  
  • I serve on the legislatively created Point of the Mountain Commission which is tasked with developing a plan for the development of the entire point of the mountain area.
  • I was selected to serve on the subcommittee that chose the consultant, Envision Utah, which is now in phase two of a comprehensive analysis of the point of the mountain area. 
  • I serve on the UTA board and from that position I have learned to identify and advocate for the planning and development of the transportation system that we are going to need to make sure we can realize the growth, breathe clean air, prevent traffic congestion and enjoy our lives.    


Now is NOT the time to change your mayor. Make no mistake about it, the prison site is going to be developed into Silicon Slopes. The State does not need our permission or land use authority to develop the site. They would like it but they don’t need it. They are going to do it with us our without us! If we partner with the State we will be rewarded with the tax benefits. If we try to stop it, make it open space or more housing it will happen anyway and we will get none of the benefits. I have the relationships to make sure we are part of the plan.