Under the guise of a representative council, the Provo City Council has overstepped its bounds by supporting the South Campus Area Master Plan and South Joaquin proposals.
With over 90 percent of the neighborhoods involved being renters and landlords, the Council has completely ignored the concerns of the majority of the people they are supposed to represent.
Instead, the Council has debilitated this majority in terms of property value, development options and parking.
By downzoning the South Joaquin area to single-family dwellings, the Council will force students out of neighborhoods as landlords are unable to produce documentation that the high-density zoning is legal.
Moreover, as landlords realize that their years of investment in these homes have now come to a dead halt, they will sell-out to developers before their investments go under.
According to the recently passed South Joaquin zoning ordinance, any new developments will not be given the high-density zoning needed to rent to students.
Without this high density, the property value of the homes in this neighborhood will plummet, making homeowners sell their homes at a loss and scaring away developers from even touching the area.
In addition, landlords will be severely discouraged from upgrading their homes because any development on their property will render their previous high-density zoning void.
With no incentive to improve their homes, landlords will let their properties deteriorate, turning downtown Provo into more of a ghetto than the ’50’style neighborhood residents are envisioning.
One of the major problems with both SCAMP and the South Joaquin downzoning is parking. City officials argue that SCAMP will encourage students not to bring cars to school, but rather to walk or rely on the bus system to take them to work and school.
Instead of hoping students will fit into SCAMP, why don’t city officials try to adapt SCAMP to students? Instead of packing students like sardines into high-rise apartments with no parking, wouldn’t it be more feasible to treat students like actual human beings who have just as many rights as any other member of this community?
This is a typical case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease as residents rally a cry to reclaim their neighborhoods and restore Provo to a single-family neighborhood.
Perhaps these residents have confused Provo with Ward and June Cleaver’s neighborhood, but the fact is that Provo has never been and will never successfully be a quaint, single-family neighborhood. It is a university town with students who need housing, who need parking, and most of all, need respect as permanent members of this town.
BYU students are the lifeblood of Provo, but unfortunately, they are getting the least amount of voice concerning these ordinances that will eventually change the way they live.