The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Motta Brothers Farm: Conservation Development in Action

Motta Brothers Farm

In 2019, Laurie Motta Eccleston contacted the Center for Ecological Planning and Design at the University of Utah in search of guidance and resources concerning the future development of her family’s farmland in western Davis County. Laurie is one of six descendants of the Motta brothers, Dominic and Ambrose, who grew vegetables on the land starting in 1968. Laurie and her two sisters and three cousins grew up on the farm. Now that the Motta brothers have passed away, and none of the descendants wish to farm the land, the family has recognized that development of the land is inevitable and they wish to guide that development so that it fits the values and heritage of their family.

That initial contact led to a workshop class offered by the Department of City and Metropolitan Planning in the fall of 2020 taught by Dr. Sarah Hinners PhD., and Sumner Swaner, Landscape Architect. The nine students in the class created a development plan that provides a vision for the future of this property using principles of conservation development. The plan envisions a mixed-use development that includes detached single-family homes, townhouses, commercial space, and a small working farm. The plan also includes green infrastructure to manage stormwater and agricultural programming as an amenity for residents of the new community.

Motta Brothers Farm Development Plan