White City Metro Township

Welcome to the White City Long Range Planning site. The long-range planners for White City work on long-term planning efforts to shape the community over time. Most commonly, long-range planners work on the General Plan for a community which guides the goals, vision, and actions of the community. After the General Plan is adopted, long-range planners assist the community in achieving its goals through physical projects, policies, or legislative changes. Click on the General Plan page to learn more about it.

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About the Community

Today White City today is a community of 5,810 people located in the southeastern part of Salt Lake County, Utah (United States Census Bureau, 2019) (Figure 9). White City is surrounded by Sandy City but retains a distinct, unique identity. Find a summary infographic of demographic and economic trends on pages 30-31; it uses data from the United States Census Bureau’s “American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates,“ 2019. For a thorough report on White City’s recent existing conditions, look at the 2019 White City Technical Assessment which predominantly uses 2017 American Community Survey data (GSL-MSD, 2019 B). 


Native American hunter-gatherers first inhabited what would become Utah as early as 10,000 B.C.E. (Lewis, n.d.). In approximately 400 C.E., the Fremont peoples made northern and eastern Utah their home (Ibid). Later, the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute peoples lived in parts of the Salt Lake Valley (SLCo, n.d. A) and likely traveled in what is today White City. In 1847, pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley. Some farms were established in the southeastern area of modern day Salt Lake County; otherwise, the area experienced limited development until the 1860s. In 1864, silver was discovered in Little Cottonwood Canyon (Notarianni, n.d.). This discovery spurred the building of mills and smelters in the area. Additionally, railroad expansion, including the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad’s Little Cottonwood Branch, encouraged development (UtahRails.net, 2019). 

Sandy City was the first community in the area to incorporate, in 1893 (Notarianni, n.d.). Growth in Sandy and the greater southeastern Salt Lake County area remained low during several decades of a “bust,” when mining operations slowed. In 1930, Sandy had a population of 1,436 (Salt Lake Surveyor’s Office, 1933), and in 1950, Sandy had 2,092 residents (Salt Lake County Surveyor’s Office, 1951). In the 1950s, settlement in the Salt Lake Valley began to pick up again. Two developers, Ken White and Cannon Papanicholas, began building in an area that Ken White dubbed “White City” (White City, n.d.). White City soon became a census-designated place. The community grew, becoming an unincorporated township in 2006 and an incorporated metro township in 2017.