Unincorporated Salt Lake County

Logo for Salt Lake CountyUnincorporated Salt Lake County

Mayor Jenny Wilson
Laurie Stringham, Salt Lake County Council Member
Email Laurie Stringham
Salt Lake County Website
Community Outreach SpecialistEmail: Hannah Gorski  
Planning Commission Agendas
Unincorporated Population

Salt Lake County is located in the northern valley of Utah surrounded by the Wasatch Mountain Range on the east and the Oquirrh Mountain Range on the west. 


To shore up the remaining community boundaries and tax base, the Legislature authorized most unincorporated-area voters to choose their futures in 2015. All unincorporated townships would become municipalities, but voters in each township could choose whether to make their community a Metro Township or a City. Residents of islands-unincorporated areas surrounded by cities-could vote to either annex or remain unincorporated.

Residents of islands (unincorporated areas) voted to receive their services from the MSD. Some island voters chose to annex and others did not.

The Salt Lake County Council created the MSD in late 2015 under the authorization of the Utah State Legislature. The District began operating in January 2016. The County Council sat as the original Board of Trustees.

One County Council member serves on the GSLMSD Board of Trustees.

  • The first formal meeting of the Salt Lake County government occurred on March 15, 1852—eighteen months after the Utah Territory was established by the United States Congress.
  • With statehood in 1896, a county commission was created.
  • In 2000, a new Mayor/Council form of government was chosen by the voters to replace the County Commission.
  • Salt Lake County is a diverse community of 16 cities and 6 townships. The county government serves almost 1 million residents providing public safety, health services, and cultural and recreation opportunities while also managing property, growth and development issues.

Community Councils
Salt Lake County is located in northern Utah. The large valley is located between the Wasatch Mountain Range on the east and the Oquirrh Mountains on the west, covering an area of 807 miles.
Known For 
  • The first residents of the Salt Lake Valley were natives known as the “Desert Gatherers” or the “Fremont Indians.” They were followed by Shoshonean tribes, such as the Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and Ute who were living in the valley when the Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847 to establish a religious settlement.
  • The future Salt Lake County area was settled by European Americans in 1847 when Mormon pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fled religious persecution in the East. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after descending what settlers later called Emigration Canyon. Brigham Young, their leader, declared "This is the place" after seeing the valley. Thousands of Mormons joined them in the next several decades.
  • The county was officially organized on January 31, 1850, with slightly more than 11,000 residents recorded. 
  • After the railroad came to the county, the population began to expand more rapidly, and non-Mormons began to settle in Salt Lake City. During the early 20th century, heavy industry came to the valley as well, diversifying its economy. Local and interurban trolley systems were built covering the more urban northeastern quarter of the valley. The city dismantled the trolley system by 1945, favoring the use of individua cars. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the east side of the valley began to be more densely settled.

  1. Laurie Stringham

    Laurie Stringham