THURSDAY NOVEMBER 2, 2023
David Zook is serving in his second term as Cache County Executive. In that role, David is the CEO of Cache County, serving in a role analogous to that of County Mayor. Some of his policy priorities related to community planning have included establishing the county's first open space preservation bond, convening a housing crisis task force, updating the county's general plan and transportation plans and expanding economic development efforts.
David’s background includes nearly 27 years of experience at the county and city levels, including 9 years as a City Manager and 18 years in county government. David has served in multiple roles in our community, including as Chairman of the Cache Chamber of Commerce, as the founding Chairman of the Cache Valley Economic Development Alliance, as Chairman of the Cache County Republican Party, and on the Hyde Park Planning Commission.
David earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from SUU, where he has also served as a professor of public administration. David holds graduate and undergraduate certificates in economic development and earned the ICMA Credentialed Manager designation from the International City & County Management Association.
Ryan Beck began working with Envision Utah in 2008. He serves as the Vice President of Planning. Ryan is currently involved with Guiding Our Growth, a statewide conversation about Utah’s future and Land Use Review for Attainable Housing with DWS Housing and Community Development. Recently, Ryan was involved with Envision Utah’s planning work for the Point of the Mountain, Valley Visioning, and Your Utah Your Future. Prior to working at Envision Utah, Ryan worked with a local private transportation planning firm. While there, he prepared city transportation plans and operated travel demand models. Ryan was involved with the Twin Falls Master Transportation Plan, Vision Dixie, and UTA/Brigham City Transit Feasibility Studies. Ryan’s education includes a B.A. in History from the University of Utah and a Master of Law and Policy from the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver.
Eric is a principal at jNivin, investing and growing young, entrepreneurial companies. He served as a co-chair of the initiative to pass the Cache County open space bond and serves as Vice Chair of the Cache Open Space Advisory Committee. He also serves on the boards of Logan City Parks and Recreation, Logan Schools Foundation, and Cache Valley Center for the Arts. Eric is also a volunteer adaptive ski instructor for Common Ground. He has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Brittany holds the role of Regional Planner at the Bear River Association of Governments (BRAG), having secured this position through a combination of academic achievements and practical experience. She possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology from CMU in Grand Junction, Colorado, and is presently pursuing her Master of Professional Studies in Geodesign at Penn State University. Notably, she is actively engaged in her Geodesign dissemination project in Clifton, Colorado, a community she previously resided in before joining BRAG.
During her academic journey, Brittany participated in a studio course at Penn State, where she played a pivotal role in reimagining Toronto's waterfront. This project provided her with valuable insights into real-world land use and planning challenges, fostering a comprehensive understanding of urban systems and district-scale landscape change issues. Collaborating with consultants and stakeholders, Brittany achieved considerable success, showcasing her ability to navigate complex planning scenarios and contribute meaningfully to the project.
Brittany's Geodesign case study centers on Clifton, Colorado, where she observed a noticeable absence of community identity and economic vitality. Her dedication to creating a distinct cultural identity for the area, while simultaneously expressing gratitude for the unwavering support she received during her educational journey, reflects her commitment to giving back to both the Grand Junction and Clifton communities. Brittany's primary passion lies in exploring and understanding the intricate connections between nature and humanity.
Jordy is the Associate Director of Planning & Sustainability, USU Facilities Planning, Design & Construction. She has a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Idaho, a Master of Science in Bioregional Planning from Utah State University, and a license in architecture. Her experience includes 22 years work experience at USU Facilities and 7 years experience in architectural private practice. Current job responsibilities include master planning USU campuses, early project planning and development, and sustainability initiatives.
Jordy's journey is marked by interesting tidbits that add depth to her profile. She originates from Southern Oregon, where she grew up on a farm fully off the grid. Remarkably, she put herself through college through summer work as a firefighter with the US Forest Service, gaining valuable life experiences along the way. At the age of 20, she embarked on a transformative 6-month backpacking journey through Europe, an experience she cherishes as one of the most valuable parts of her education.
For the past 22 years, Jordy has proudly made Logan, UT, her home, where she resides with her husband and two sons. Her personal interests include mountain biking, hiking, photography, and travel, reflecting her adventurous spirit and passion for the outdoors.
Landis is the regional trail and active transportation coordinator for Cache County. In this role he supports partner cities and other organizations within the valley plan, design, and complete trails and other active transportation facilities. Landis came to this position with a wide background of outdoor recreation employment and environmental planning and design education. He is thrilled to have found a position where he can combine his passions and skills in such a beautiful place. He is excited to work with others in our communities to build upon and connect our trail systems.
Karina Brown works as a Policy Analyst for Cache County Executive David Zook. Karina is a Nibley City Planning Commissioner and also serves as a board member for Logan Regional Hospital, Bridgerland Technical College, and Friends of the Cache County Children’s Justice Center. She is Chair of the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee.
Karina has an M.S. in Human, Environmental, and Consumer Resources from Eastern Michigan University and a B.S. in Family Resources and Human Development from Arizona State University. She received the Public Leadership Credential from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Casey serves as the Utah State House Representative for District 5, covering most of southern Cache County. He manages the family farm in Avon, Utah and has served as the executive director of the Bear River Land Conservancy. He earned a B.S., Conservation and Restoration Ecology and Law and Constitutional Studies, Utah State University; and an M.S., in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Christopher Sands, ASLA, AICP
Chris is a Utah Licensed Landscape Architect and a Certified Planner who serves as Principal
and Senior Planner at BIO-WEST, Inc., in Logan, Utah. BIO-WEST is a 60-person, multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm serving Federal, State, and local government agencies, as well as private companies, since 1976.
Chris’ studies and over 35 years of work experience focus on providing context sensitive resource management planning, recreation planning, land-use planning, open space planning, habitat restoration, and site design services.
He currently serves as chairman on the Cache Open Space Advisory Committee (2023), member
of the Cache County Planning Commission (2007), and member on the Landscape Architecture
and Environmental Planning (LAEP) Advancement Board (2003) at Utah State University. He
previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Stokes Nature Center in Logan
Canyon from 2003 to 2010 and was a founding member of the Cache County Agricultural
Advisory Board (2002 - 2007).
Stephen Nelson, AICP, is the Development Service Director for Cache County. He previously worked for Nibley City as the City Planner and then for Hurricane City as the Planning Director. He graduated from Utah State University and received his master's from Villanova University.
Jess Lucero is an Associate Professor and Department Head in the Department of Social Work at Utah State University. She earned her PhD in Social Work at Wayne State University in 2012, focusing her doctoral studies on the intersections of place, space, and race in shaping the life chances of young people. Jess is a community-engaged scholar, having co-led USU in its 2020 efforts to obtain the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. Her research focuses on issues related to housing, homelessness, refugee services, and domestic violence. She serves on Logan City’s Planning Commission, the executive team of the Bear River Local Homeless Council, and as a board member on the Balance of State’s Continuum of Care Board.
Josh Runhaar is the Executive Director of Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corp. (NNHC) and is responsible for the creation and oversight of affordable housing programs including the development of mutual self-help housing through the USDA; multifamily properties through LIHTC, HUD, and USDA; overseeing housing rehabilitation; housing counseling and mortgage programs. Prior to his work with NNHC, he worked as the Director of Development Services at Cache County for more than 14 years where he oversaw community development and public works functions in addition to a number of other services. Josh also serves as an adjunct professor at Utah State University where he has taught graduate courses on land use law and planning for fifteen years. Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from Utah State University and two master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois.
Christopher leads solutions development studies and supports environmental and local studies. He has 6 years experience working on UDOT projects. Previous to being in Region 1, Christopher was the Statewide Long Range Planning Manager at UDOT.
For 21 Years Christopher worked at Utah Transit Authority where he worked as a bus operator, Manager of Long Range and Strategic Planning, and Senior Manager of Service Development. While at UTA Christopher was responsible for leading the team to implement various plans, including increasing ridership in Ski service by 26% and on Redwood Road by 35% respectively at no additional cost.
Christopher has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Utah
David Zook & Karina Brown
“Housing Education Campaign”
In spring of 2022, Cache County Executive David Zook assembled a Housing Crisis Task Force to study housing challenges in Cache Valley. The task force, composed of more than 50 experts representing a wide variety of interests and expertise, made several recommendations, including that a public education campaign be implemented to educate residents about factors affecting the region's housing crisis. Karina Brown, who served as a co-chair of the task force, will report on the progress of the campaign thus far.
“Guiding Our Growth Results for Cache Valley”
It has been more than six years since Envision Utah completed the statewide vision, Your Utah Your Future. From 2010-2020, Utah ranked as the fastest-growing state in the nation, and there's no sign that growth will slow down soon. As one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, pressures on home prices and a deep housing shortage seem to have raised growth concerns to an all-time high.
With over sixty-three percent of Utahns feeling like we're growing too quickly, Envision Utah, working with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, and other partners, engaged in a statewide conversation about growth. Since May of 2023, Utahns across the state have voiced how growth is affecting their communities.
Learn more about responses received from residents of the Cache Valley and northern Utah.
“Upcoming Legislative Issue”
Rep. Snider will lead discussion on what possible legislative efforts will be made in the State of Utah to address housing, water use, and transportation.
Christopher Sands & Eric Eliason
“An Update from the Cache Open Space Advisory Committee (COSAC)”
This presentation will provide a brief summary of what the COSAC has been up to since its inception 6 months ago and what to expect next
“Cache County General Plan and County Wide Planning”
Cache County adopted its new General Plan and Moderate Income Housing Plan in February 2023. These plans help provide direction and recommendations for County wide planning issues, including housing, active transportation, trails, and water conservation. These issues impact every community and resident within the county, and Cache County's County Wide Planning and Trails programs have started to work on many of these items.
“Reimagining Clifton, Colorado: Bridging Heritage, Transit, and Growth through Geodesign”
This Geodesign project entails a comprehensive exploration of Clifton's geographical and cultural narrative, employing advanced geospatial analysis techniques and design methodologies. Through rigorous examination of historical industries and their impacts on the diverse landscapes of Clifton, we aim to identify sustainable solutions that preserve the community's rich heritage.
Utilizing geospatial modeling and design tools, the project seeks to foster the emergence of integrated transportation systems harmonizing with Clifton's aspirations and its unique geographical and cultural context. Our objectives include developing data-driven strategies and design proposals that not only respect the community's past but also pave the way for a vibrant and sustainable future.
With a focus on Geodesign principles, this project exemplifies a holistic approach to urban planning and landscape design, driven by a deep understanding of the intricate relationships between people, nature, and place.
Jess Lucero & Josh Runhaar
“Options for Moderate Income Housing”
This interactive session will provide participants with a broad view of how growth, affordability challenges, and community attitudes connect to moderate income housing strategies. Josh and Jess will share potential solutions for addressing moderate income housing gaps in Cache County, and participants will engage in facilitated discussions about the challenges and opportunities for solution building.
“USU Landscape Resiliency and Drought Plan”
Utah State University’s Landscape Resiliency and Drought Plan is a multi-purpose tool and reference for green space enhancements across the campus. The University has an impressive collection of signature plants and landscapes which combine to provide an attractive and welcoming campus. Most landscapes require supplemental watering or irrigation. As drought conditions and water restrictions become increasingly common, the importance of converting some landscapes to drought-tolerant and resilient species has increased.
The plan outlines a toolkit of resiliency approaches that can be deployed across USU open spaces to help meet the University’s resiliency and water conservation goals. These tools include maintaining healthy soils, implementing turf alternatives, continuing to refine irrigation practices, integrating ecological planting strategies, and deploying drought-related water conservation tactics based on annual water availability.
Case study illustrations are envisioned for how to apply the water wise landscape strategies in a variety of campus settings. Overall, the plan sets forth the opportunity to reduce campus turf areas by 67 percent while maintaining turf areas in high use, recreation sites, and culturally significant locations such as the Quad.
“The Utah Trail Network”
What is the UTN? The vision is for UDOT to build and maintain a network of paved trails throughout the state that connect Utahns of all ages and abilities to their destinations and communities. This network should be a comfortable and reliable option for those walking, biking or scooting. When built out, the network should create a regional trail spine, or backbone, with local facilities tying in wherever possible, making it seamless for someone to jump on for any distance they need.
“Getting Trail Ready”
Cache County's trail program is excited to partner with communities and other organizations to continue expanding and connecting our County's trail systems. This session will be about the process for cities and/or landowners to complete a new trail project from the initial idea to the ongoing maintenance needs. The necessary steps will be highlighted with some best practices. There will also be an overview of the potential funding sources for trail projects. There are many ways the County may be able to support projects throughout the process and this will be detailed in the session as well.