Thursday, March 27, 2014

Council to consider approval of rezone application for development on 5484 North Edgewood Drive in the Riverbottoms Neighborhood

Applicant David Hunter has requested a rezone of a 7.59 acre parcel of land located at 5484 North Edgewood Drive from its current designation as an “Agricultural” zone, to a “Medium Density Residential” zone in anticipation of a potential condominium development project.

The preliminary project plan for this development shows plans for the construction of 196 dwelling units. A staff report produced by Provo City’s Community Development states this requested rezone is “compatible with the General Plan’s Guiding Principles, Policies and Goals for the Northwest Area and the key land use policies for the Riverbottoms neighborhood.” You can review the city’s General Plan here.

Applicant David Hunter offered a presentation to residents at a neighborhood meeting on Feb. 12, 2014 regarding this proposed development. The presentation included a traffic study produced by Horrocks Engineering, which indicated an area of potential concern with the 5600 N. intersection from the west with University Avenue, which currently scores a failure rating during rush hour traffic. Hunter’s presentation also mentioned plans for the development will include one stall per unit of underground parking, which will free up surface area for the the use of more green spaces and amenities.

A summary of events at the neighborhood meeting was written by Provo Riverbottoms Neighborhood Chair Ben Markham. Markham’s report indicates that preliminary plans include a swimming pool, basketball court, volleyball court and a children’s playground as well as significant green space. See Ben Markham’s report  here. Markham also said in his written report that all three of the proposed buildings which make up the development will be four stories with internal elevators, and the units themselves are two or three bedroom units, with each unit containing two bathrooms. It is anticipated that the project will be built in two phases, one building at a time.

The Provo City Planning Commission voted on March 12, 2014 to recommend approval of the rezone to the Provo Council. You can read a staff report of the proposal, and read a report of action from the Planning Commission here.

If you have comments for the Council about this proposed rezone, you may either comment on this article, or reach your representative directly. Council Member contact information may be found here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Council hears presentation about downtown art gallery Terra Nova

At the Council’s Mar. 18, 2014 meeting, the Council heard a presentation from David Hawkinson of Terra Nova art gallery, which is located in downtown Provo and exhibits the work of local artists.

Hawkinson’s presentation introduced Council members and the public to the art gallery, which provides emerging artists an opportunity to both exhibit their work, and provide them with valuable experience. Located at  41 West 300 North, Terra Nova began exhibiting work in 2003. Since the gallery’s opening, it has hosted more than 90 exhibitions, and included over 3,000 individual pieces of art.

Many of the exhibitions have included subject material from around Provo, and included a variety of mediums, including chalk, photography, and painting. Hawkinson said that having Provo as the center of many of these works was a great way to promote the city and familiarize residents with many prominent Provo landmarks.

Visit Terra Nova Gallery's site online here

Friday, March 21, 2014

Council adopts resolution moving forward with Bus and Rapid Transit Analysis

At Council Meeting on Mar. 18, 2014, the Council adopted a resolution approving a contract for Transportation Engineering Consulting Services to Hales Engineering, LLC in the amount of $95,000.

If you’d like to read more about the history of the Council’s discussions of Bus and Rapid Transit in Provo, consult the Council’s blog. The following posts can help get you started with the more recent history.

You can also watch an video archive of the Council Meeting and action on Provo’s Channel 17 here.

A full text of the resolution may be found here, and other Council documents from the Council’s Mar. 18 meeting may be found here.

If you have comments for the Council on this issue, please consider leaving a comment on this post, or contact your representative directly here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Council approves adoption of Bicycle Master Plan unanimously

At the Council’s Meeting on Mar. 18, 2014 the Council adopted the Bicycle Master Plan as a legislative policy, intent and priority of the Municipal Council.

 The Bicycle Master Plan will be added to Provo’s Transportation Master Plan as Chapter 11. If you’d like to review the master plan, visit this link at to download the full plan. You may also want to check out this recent story on the Council’s blog for a review of the history of the Bicycle Master Plan.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Council hears presentation on City Center Block redevelopment planning from consultant

At the Council’s Work Meeting on Mar. 4, 2014, the Council heard a presentation outlining planning for the City Center Block redevelopment.

The presentation was offered by PlaceMakers, an urban design consulting firm with wide ranging experience in advising cities on best practices of development.  

You can watch the presentation here, beginning at 1:03:15.

If you’d like to review the presentation document directly, visit this link.

A public process to seek input regarding the redevelopment of the Provo City Center Block will be launched in April.

To review their proposals also visit

If you have comments for Council Members to consider about the City Center Block redevelopment, you can reach Council  Members directly here, or comment on this article.

Council to consider proposed Bicycle Master Plan for adoption as policy document at Council Meeting Mar. 18, 2014

At the Council’s Work Meeting on Mar. 4, 2014, the Council voted to consider adoption of the Provo Bicycle Master Plan at the regular Council Meeting on March 18, 2014.

The Bicycle Master Plan will be considered for adoption as a legislative intent, policy and priority of the Municipal Council at that meeting.

As part of the adoption process, the Council will consider inserting a chapter into Provo’s Transportation Master Plan titled “Chapter 11 Bicycle Plan” which will contain a summary of the Bicycle Master Plan’s recommendations. It is also proposed the full text of the Bicycle Master Plan be added as an appendix to the Transportation Master Plan  for the purpose of clarifying references in the chapter.

A brief history of the proposed Bicycle Master Plan
The Council has been engaging in discussions regarding the proposed Bicycle Master plan since 2010. Input for the plan has been sought and received from Provo City Engineering, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Brigham Young University, Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), Provo Parks and Rec Department, the Provo Bicycle Committee, Provo’s Transportation and Mobility Advisory Committee (TMAC), as well as Provo’s Planning Commission. Numerous public meetings were also held to gather public comment on this issue. Alta Planning and Design, a consulting firm with experience drafting bicycle plans for cities and universities, drafted the plan for Council.

Council members last year also took a bicycle tour to view firsthand some of the issues discussed in the Provo Bicycle Master Plan. For more about their experience, see this story on the Council’s blog.

If you’d like to view the Council’s discussion about the Bicycle Master Plan at the Mar. 4 Council Work Meeting, you may do so here. Discussion begins at the 3:18:27 mark.

You may also review Provo’s Transportation and Mobility Advisory Committee's findings about various proposals of the plan from the Council’s Mar. 4 meeting here.

Other useful links

Review the Bicycle Master Plan at this link.

Provo City Engineering, “Transportation, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Planning

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Council issues resolution to move forward Bus and Rapid Transit

At the Council Meeting on March 4, 2014, the Council issued a resolution expressing support for the proposed bus and rapid transit route 4 line.

Bus and Rapid Transit (BRT) option 4. For a closer look, see this link

The Council continues to do due diligence to exercise their fiduciary responsibility for the effective use of taxpayer resources by exploring additional research of the proposed routes. 

Full text of the resolution may be found here.

If you have comments or feedback for the Council regarding Bus and Rapid Transit, please contact your Council member directly here, or leave a comment on this article.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Council to review CDBG to consider possible adjustment to funding balance between nonsocial and social projects

The Council will review Provo’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to consider an adjustment to the balance of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding between social and nonsocial uses of funding at an upcoming Council Meeting.

What is a CDBG?

A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a federal grant program managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These grants fund community development in the areas of affordable housing, anti-poverty programs and infrastructure development.  CDBG funds are allocated by the Council, utilizing the assistance of a citizen committee made up of Provo residents, who review funding requests and applications and then submit their recommendations to the Council.

More information about CDBG funding in Provo can be found here:  
Daily Herald, “What the Heck is a CDBG?” Feb. 2, 2014

What are the “social” and “nonsocial” funding categories?

CDBG funds are divided into two categories, social and nonsocial services. Spending on social services, or “public services” must adhere to guidelines set up by HUD, which specifies such funding may not exceed 15% of the grant. These public services are focused on providing benefit to moderate and low-income individuals and households.

Social funding organizations seeking funding from CDBG must also show that their use of CDBG funds will provide a new service, or show a marked increase in the present level of service above that which has been provided by state or federal funds in the last year. Some examples of social services which could be funded by CDBG include:

“...child care, health care, education, job training, public safety, fair-housing counseling, recreation activities, drug-abuse counseling...”
(Provo City RDA, Community Development Block Grant Overview,

Non-social funding focuses mainly on infrastructure development, economic development, and housing. Some examples of projects which may qualify for CDBG funding include:

“...acquisition of real property relocation and demolition, rehabilitation of residential and nonresidential structures, construction of public facilities and improvements (such as water and sewer facilities, storm drain improvements, street and sidewalk repair/replacement), economic development projects, parking structures, removal of architectural barriers, park improvements and equipment...and overall administration of the grant...CDBG funds may also provide assistance to profit-motivated businesses to carry out economic development activities. ”  
(Provo City RDA, Community Development Block Grant Overview,

Adjusting the Balance

In the Council’s Meetings on Feb. 18, 2014, the CDBG Social Service Committee’s recommendations were reviewed by the Council. These recommendations included a breakdown of possible levels of social or public service spending. The analysis offered a look at funding for social services at levels of 5%, 7%, and 10% of the total grant allocation. The Council asked for an analysis that included an option for a greater amount of social services spending, up to the 15% limit. This information will be presented to the Council at an upcoming meeting on March 4, 2014.

As public service CDBG funding increases, the amount allocated to non-social funding projects necessarily decreases.  Social service organizations also have the ability to raise other funds to provide services, while non-social CDBG projects do not.

Contact the Council regarding the CDBG social and nonsocial funding balance

If you have comments for the Council on how CDBG social and nonsocial funds should be allocated, please comment on this article, contact your Council representative directly here, or attend the Council Meeting on March 4, 2014