Proposed housing development has Edgemont residents concerned

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Some Edgemont residents are concerned with a proposed development they say threatens environmental green space. But the developer, Bob Jones, sees the project as a way to enhance the community and incentivize current residents to stay in Provo.

Talk of development began in May when Jones gathered a group of neighborhood residents to discuss the proposal.

Angela Mourik, an Edgemont resident since 2004, was surprised when she received a notice on her gate explaining the development proposal. Following this notice, she attended a meeting that explained more project details. 

“I was horrified at the nature of what was being proposed,” Mourik said.

Mourik and other residents are concerned about the new residential development having a higher density than what is typically found in the area, especially since the development is proposed for such sensitive land. Mourik explained that there are fire, run-off and seismic issues, and the contour of the mountain causes concern because land in the foothills area is considered sensitive.

Edgemont resident Kaye Nelson also has hesitations about the development.

“There’s no infrastructure, no sewage and no utilities. This development would totally ruin the urban and rural feel of the area,” Nelson said.

Since the plan has been proposed, adjustments to make the development conducive to its surroundings have been made.

Rondo Fehlberg, who is helping oversee the development, said the development is perfectly consistent with Provo’s long-range plans and that the densities are lower than Provo’s long-range density plan for this area.

Although the project has been scaled down in size, residents still worry about the impact it would have on the environment, traffic, taxes, roads and property values.

“We are not anti-development; we are pro-development in the right places for a sustainable environment looking forward,” Mourik said. 

A group of Edgemont residents put together a petition to document those in opposition to the development. The petition has around 1,500 signatures.

The development director believes there have been misunderstandings between the actual development and what Edgemont residents believe is happening.

“Residents are concerned about the development because of the shock of it,” Jones said. “We are building a low-density, nature-sensitive project, with the infrastructure paid for by me, where Provo City hasn’t had the money to do something like this before.”

Jones said he believes this planned development will be a jewel in the city of Provo, providing an upscale area full of natural habitats and water features, which is not something that the city currently has. Jones said this development would bring much-needed infrastructure at no cost to Provo residents and will play a key role in incentivizing people to live in Provo long term. 

“There’s a large amount of young entrepreneurs and business graduates leaving Provo to find the kinds of living circumstances they like,” Jones said. “Providing a much-needed area in Provo will help keep those promising young business professionals in the city.”

The proposed development would cover 168.5 acres, with 58.7 acres of conservation acreage and 190 residential lots. The development would also include homeowners association centers, pickleball courts, orchards and pavilions.

Jones himself is planning to live in the development and become a permanent Provo resident.

“The city has been tough on us,” he said. “We’ve really adjusted the plan from what we originally wanted to do to meet the needs of the community, and we look forward to being good neighbors in Provo City.”

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