Orem citizens meet to decide land’s future

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    By JARED KATZ

    Residents and concerned citizens met in the Orem City Council Chambers Wednesday evening to discuss the future of the largest tract of undeveloped land available for the city to develop.

    The meeting was run by Ken Young, Orem city planner. Also present at the meeting were several members of an ad-hoc committee that has been formed to decide on options for the Lakeview district. The committee is made up of residents from Lakeview, city and county officials, and the members of the Orem City Planning Commission.

    The Lakeview district runs west of the current city boundries from Interstate 15 to Utah Lake. It may be annexed in the near future.

    Young said the concept of planning for Lakeview has been discussed by the city for about two years.

    Young presented two general plans for the area. The first concept would attempt to preserve open space as much as possible. There would be low density housing areas and parks. The only industrial areas would be along Interstate 15.

    The second plan would be more developed. There would be more medium and high density developments, with commercial developments in the area. There would be some open space preserved in the wetlands along Utah Lake.

    Young also said the city has not decided if the land should be annexed all at once or in small parcels. He said whatever the city does, it is important to have a plan and stick to it so that the area has consistent zoning.

    “Our fear is that owners will come one by one with what’s best for their individual property, and in 50 years all of Lakeview will be gobbled up,” he said.

    The city sent out a survey to property owners in the area. The most popular choice for how to use the land was for agricultural uses. Next was rural estates and low density housing, along with parks and recreation land.

    For both plans the open space would be on the side of the land near Utah Lake. The commercial and residential zones would be closer to Interstate 15.

    Several residents and concerned citizens raised some concerns about developing the area.

    Adele Leavitt said she did not know whether or not the proposed plans would actually work. She said past experience has shown her that it is hard to blend farmlands and open space with residential and commercial areas. She also said she is concerned that the city of Orem will not stick to the agreed upon plans.

    Several people brought up concerns that the area’s wetlands would be adversely impacted and that land-owner interests may be overlooked. There was also considerable discussion about how high the housing density should be in Lakeview.

    Young said the meeting was held so that the city planning commission could get opinions from Orem citizens. They will report on June 1 to the city council.

    Committee member Shirlee Thruston said they planned the meeting because it is a big question what to do with the land. They want citizen responses before deciding what to do.

    She also said it is a long process. The committee was formed in February. A final policy will be passed in October, unless there is a controversy or need for further study.

    Another meeting is planned for July to find out more opinions from residents. It will be at the LDS chapel in Lakeview.

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