“We are a very progressive community,” he said. “We want to continue to make Layton City a very enjoyable place to live not just with the security and safety we provide through police and fire services, but also with amenities like entertainment and parks, and with businesses that provide family-sustaining jobs.”
Layton is “growing up,” said Stevenson during a recent tour of the 22-square miles that make up the city.
The largest city in Davis County, with approximately 76,000 residents, it is ninth largest city in the state of Utah.
“We’ve got 260 to 270 miles of roads to care for and we go from the mountainside to the grassy fields near the lake, with three creeks that are really important to Layton City because they fill the reservoirs we use for irrigation,” he said. “It’s an ideal situation.”
Even the city complex is a source of pride for Stevenson, who pointed out its unique natural and developed features. City hall is bordered by a forest of trees and a stream, with an amphitheater and park nearby.
“It’s just a beautiful area,” he said.
Stevenson knows Layton as well as most anyone, having lived in the city his entire life. Both he and his children attended Layton High. He served on the city council for 10 years from 1982 to 1992, but retired when he learned his wife was expecting twins. He returned to city government in 2014 and has served for three and a half years as mayor.
The city is host to 13 elementary schools, three junior highs and two high schools, he said, with a fourth junior high on the drawing board for west Layton. Multiple city parks — including two that opened last year — are planned to be within three to five miles of every resident, he said.
There are large homes on large lots or townhomes near mixed-use areas to meet a range of needs.
And there is still farmland, something Stevenson said is “really cool.”
“In a city this size, it’s great to be able to come and get fresh corn from a stand or pick a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch or just watch the crops grow,” he said.
Layton, too, is “growing up,” he said.
Near the East Gate of Hill Air Force Base, two new industries are now established and he hopes the business park there will continue to grow.
Janicki Industries does precision drilling and Kihomac does reverse engineering to provide replacements parts for old planes at Hill, he said, adding: “It’s pretty impressive.”
If residents need a headstone, if they want to visit an aquarium, if they want to shop at a department store (Dillard’s will soon replace Macy’s at the Layton Hills Mall) or buy an artificial palm tree, they will find it in Layton.
Layton hosts the Davis Conference Center and 1,000 beds of hotel space, he pointed out. It has the Davis Campus of Weber State University. The Intermountain Regional Offices for Smith’s is situated in Layton.
Stevenson is excited about a new WinCo that now fills a lot off Fort Lane that lay vacant for a long time. The space will soon add a CVS and a Beans & Brew as well. Just across the interstate to the west, south of Fort Lane, a new hospital is under construction. At the north end of the city just east of I-15, an R.C. Willey Superstore is to be built.
Plans are for more improvements to the downtown, and include removing a trailer park and turning into a mixed-use development.
Taxable sales in the city total $1.4 billion annually, according to a report on the city’s economic development.It is in part thanks to sales tax receipts that city leaders were able to lower property taxes last year and may be able to lower them again this year, said Stevenson, even while budgeting $1.8 million to upgrade roads.
“It’s very humbling for me to be mayor of this community,” he said. “There is no question what makes this town great. It’s not the elected officials, it’s the people of the city that make it great.”