City Council Rezones Property for Families

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    By Karen Sorenson

    As part of an effort to centralize student housing and encourage the growth of single-family homes in areas further from campus, Provo City Council is rezoning a property south of campus. Any development on the property will be zoned for families and not available for groups of single students to rent.

    The ordinance, which passed Tuesday night, Feb. 7, 2006, affects property five blocks south of campus. The council would like to see areas remain zoned for low-density development as opposed to more high-density student apartment complexes.

    Jans Yeckes, assistant director of the Department of Community Development, said rezoning the land to single-family living will reclaim conversion homes and get more long-term residents in the neighborhoods south of campus. The plan is known as the Project Redevelopment Option, or Pro-zone.

    While some students may consider the plan to be a hit against them, city council member Cynthia Dayton said that is not true.

    “The positive contribution from the students in the community is outstanding, and we recognize that,” Dayton said.

    The city council said the best use for the land south of 500 North is for single-family homes. Re-zoned properties would limit occupants to single families or up to two non-related people.

    Over 55 percent of all renters in Utah County live in Provo. It”s a percentage that is a little out of balance, according to the city council.

    “We are working diligently to establish a better balance [of home owners and renters],” Dayton said.

    Council members say they are encouraging home ownership and trying to attract long-term residents to Provo. With available land scarce, Dayton said the city is looking at property that could be rezoned for a better purpose.

    “We ask, ”what would be the best use for that property?”” Dayton said.

    Cindy Richards, the council vice-chair, voted for the ordinance, saying “I”m thrilled for the neighborhood.”

    Projects of this sort are happening all around the city, as the city council attempts to use the land the best way possible and make more housing available.

    Such projects include two new student-housing complexes and a new intramural field just north of the current married housing on University Avenue.

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