Orem to decide on second urban village proposal

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    By Craig Blackwell

    Nov. 14 the Orem City Council will hear another student housing proposal to serve Utah Valley State College’s burgeoning population.

    Just like the massive “Parkway Crossings” project planned for the area near Geneva Road across from UVSC, this development also wants to mix student housing and commercial areas.

    According to information released by city officials, the developers want to construct a mixed-use village on four acres near University Parkway between La Quinta Inn and Fairfield Inn in Orem.

    The project would include 110 units of student housing with 7,000 square feet of space for commercial use. The plan estimates the complex would house approximately 600 students living in the 110 units.

    Students would live above the commercial establishments. The idea is to provide an area where students can live, work and play without adding increased traffic onto city streets.

    According to an Orem City report, the proposed commercial establishments include Kinkos, Jamba Juice, Franklin Covey, and a travel agency

    Part of Orem City’s master plan is to plan for future growth with a mixed urban village setting.

    Mayor Jerry Washburn said he wants certain areas in Orem to become more of a walking community. That will help alleviate traffic congestion and accommodate growth, he said.

    Council Member Les Campbell said with any kind of development, the traffic issue has to be taken into consideration.

    “We have to consider everyone involved, students, residents, businesses. Traffic is already a problem on University Parkway,” Campbell said.

    “We have this connection with our automobiles. It is tough to leave our cars at home. Kids get a car for their birthday instead of a bus pass.”

    Campbell said that Orem City receives little money to help combat the problem of the lack of student housing. He said the growth of UVSC has exceeded all estimations and that leaves the City in a bind trying to accommodate the large number of students.

    Campbell said a public hearing is set for tonight so the Council can get all the information regarding the proposed project.

    Also, on Nov. 7th Council Member Mike Thompson won a seat in the State House of Representatives. He will vacate his seat on the City Council when he assumes his responsibilities with the State.

    According to Campbell, an elected official cannot hold two elected offices at the same time. Once Thompson leaves his position there will be a public notice — the Mayor will accept applications for a replacement for 20 days.

    “The Mayor and the City Council will review the applications and decide who they want to appoint to fulfill the remaining time of Thompson’s seat,” Campbell said.

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