Argument "FOR" Proposition #5
The “PD-48 student housing zone” was approved by Orem City Council to provide 1,604 UVU student- housing beds on Campus Drive. During 18 months of collaboration between the developer, adjacent neighborhoods, Orem City, Alpine School District, and Utah Valley University, the project was scaled back and refined to incorporate feedback from them. In the end, the approved project received sign-off from the Alpine School District, UVU, and neighbors willing to work collaboratively to a positive result. The Orem City traffic engineer remarked, that from his perspective, “student housing [was] the best thing to happen on that site”.
As you weigh your decision on whether to vote “For” the PD-48 zone, we offer you a few key points to keep in mind.
- Every traffic study and engineer that has studied the project has concluded that the student housing will improve traffic in and around Orem. Giving students the opportunity to walk to and from class potentially removes 1,604 commuters off Orem streets.
- UVU students are in desperate need of student housing. Right now, less than 13 percent of UVU students can live in designated student-housing complexes. As a result, students are forced to commute to and from school around one hour per day on average. Students desire to live near their campus and have a traditional college experience.
- When students don’t have to spend an extra hour commuting every day, they have more time for school. Student housing developments, in walking distance to campus, have been shown to improve student success. The close proximity results in more class hours, higher GPAs, retention, and graduation rates.
- The student-housing project is surrounded on almost all four sides by UVU owned ground and is located on UVU’s Campus Drive. The project is effectively “on-campus housing”, but privately owned and operated.
- The PD-48 zone will provide more parking spaces per resident than any other project in Utah County. All parking is required to be offered free to residents. Visitors to the project will be permitted to park on site during the day and then utilize up to 120 guest parking spaces on UVU property after 5:00 pm. This was done to assure that residents and visitors would not park in the adjacent neighborhood.
- The student-housing project will pay for and install a new traffic light at 400 W and 960 S. This was a key item necessary to get the Alpine School District support. This new traffic light will provide protected crosswalks for Lakeridge Junior High students.
- This project is being done at no cost to Orem taxpayers with no subsidies or cost reimbursements. Additionally, as a private project, full property taxes will be paid. If UVU were to purchase the land, Orem City and Alpine School District would receive no property taxes going forward.
This is a responsible, thoughtful, and needed student-housing project that will be a benefit to UVU and Orem City. Respectively submitted
Mayor Richard Brunst
Orem City Councilmember Tom Macdonald
Orem City Council Member Dave Spencer
Paul Washburn, Orem Resident
Val Peterson, UVU Vice President
Argument "AGAINST" Proposition #5
It is time to push back against high-density housing, and to say "No!" to developer buy-and-demolish opportunism. This is not a fight against student needs. It is a fight against developer expansionism. Palos Verdes was a peaceful neighborhood. After developers tore the neighborhood down, the City approved a zone change to convert it to high-density housing called Palos Verdes Village. Petitioners have brought the issue to this referendum. If approved, Proposition 5 would ratify the City’s approval. You should vote
on Proposition 5. Here’s why:
- Palos Verdes Village would increase traffic. The proposed complex would be the size of the Aston at University Place (north of University Mall). With a capacity of more than 1,600 renters, there will be room for 1,300 cars filling the extensive parking lot around the development as well as the four-story parking garage on 400 west and adjacent neighborhoods. According to the city’s own estimates, the development will add 5,378 car trips per day in this already busy Orem neighborhood.
- The development represents a threat to safety. A key exit from the proposed development feeds directly across the street from Lakeridge Junior High School. The impact of vastly increased traffic in that neighborhood poses a threat to the safety of students walking to and from school along a street that was never designed to accommodate those numbers. The proposed complex is in the wrong location.
- The development is a high-density venture designed to profit from wealthy students. Proponents have argued that UVU students need affordable options for housing, but this development is not that! Instead, the high-end single-bedroom single-bathroom apartments will go at a premium price.
Many other reasonable options already exist for UVU students. There are 17 housing complexes within one mile of campus and 16 more between one and two miles. There are always vacancies in these existing developments. This zone change would set a bad precedent for developers to buy and destroy neighborhoods, expecting zone changes from the City so they can build their lucrative high-density complexes.
A more reasonable option would be for UVU and the State of Utah to approve the building of low-parking, low-cost student dorms on the UVU campus, away from residential neighborhoods, as has been done on the campuses of all other state-owned universities. Such a move would resolve the traffic issues, make housing more affordable for students, and provide a true on-campus living experience for those who desire it.
Orem is at a turning point. Residential zones are now virtually filled with homes, commercial zones are maturing, and our commuter college has blossomed into a full-size university with 39,000 students. Thousands commute to UVU from throughout Utah and Salt Lake Valleys. We should be proud of our university. But as a city, we are overstretched.
Let's put the brakes on unfettered growth, limit the traffic, and protect our neighborhoods. Send a message to City Council and developers: We have enough high-density housing. Let’s preserve our family city.
on Proposition 5.
David D. Busath, M.D., Debi Carlisle, Murray Low, Marcia Parrish, Mark Tippets
Rebuttal to Argument "FOR" Proposition #5
The City Council ignored arguments from citizens against the Palos Verdes Apartment Complex and approved an unacceptable zone-change. Developers always scale back in response to government pressures; that is routine. The pro-rezone arguments lack substance, because:
- Projected improvement to traffic around Orem is a fantasy. The project will primarily draw renters from outside of Orem and produce 3300-5400 extra car trips per day.
- Apartment growth has kept pace with demand, as demonstrated by year-round vacancies in 41 other nearby housing complexes, 18 within walking distance of UVU.
- Dorm life may help to improve student performance but not a high-density apartment complex masking as a pseudo-dorm.
- What’s to stop developers from buying out other neighborhoods near UVU? Don’t nice homes nearby make a better setting for the university?
- The high parking ratio demanded by the City is necessary because renters who can afford high-end apartments would also have cars. With real dorms, there would be no need for a 5-story parking structure near 400 West nor a high parking ratio.
- The stop-light requirement demonstrates how much traffic the project will really produce. The crosswalks are unnecessary, as there are no junior high students left in Palos Verdes to use them.
- The property taxes are being loaded onto the renter’s backs, as they are inevitably passed through to the rent.
This is not a responsible, thoughtful project. We have added enough high-density apartment complexes in Orem. Vote “Against” Prop 5.
Respectfully Submitted, David D. Busath, M.D., Debi Carlisle, Murray Low, Marcia Parrish, and Mark Tippets
Rebuttal to Argument "AGAINST" Proposition #5
Proposition 5 is a fight over the Orem City Council’s vote to allow student housing next to UVU. It is not about high-density housing in Orem neighborhoods.
UVU must use its limited resources to build academic buildings and programming. For this reason, UVU President Matt Holland, the University, the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Regents approached the private sector to build desperately needed student housing. After much research and collaboration, stakeholders – including the Orem City Council – decided Palos Verdes is the most responsible way to provide that housing at no cost to taxpayers.
Claim #1 – Increasing Traffic?
Orem City actually estimated the new project will add only 3,772 car trips per day. The property will never again have single family homes. Compared to other alternatives for this property (parking lot, academic building, etc.), studies show student housing will have the smallest traffic impact.
Claim #2 – Threat to Safety?
Both the Alpine School District and Lakeridge Jr. High School disagree. Per the developer’s agreement with the district, the developer will pay for a new traffic signal and protected crosswalks for Lakeridge students.
Claim #3 – Designed Only for Wealthy Students?
This project is designed to provide housing to students at comparable prices to the other projects in Orem and cheaper than comparable university-run student housing options at other state universities.
Claim #4 – Seventeen Student Housing Projects within 1 Mile?
student housing projects serving UVU. Only 3,300 student housing beds for 39,000 students.