Monday, July 28, 2014

Council Passes Mobile Food Vending Ordinance

The Council recently passed a Mobile Food Vending Ordinance to regulate mobile food businesses in Provo’s Downtown area.
The Council focused on the following areas for clarification before the ordinance was unanimously adopted, with Council Members Miller and Garrett excused:
  • Background checks
  • Clarification of “Restricted Area” for Food Trucks in Downtown Provo
  • Clarification regarding Public Parks
  • Exemptions for operating in the food truck area to be handled by Mayor’s office
  • Clarification regarding multiple food trucks operating in the same block face
  • Clarification regarding property owner’s designee as authorized representative in granting permission for food truck to use power or water
The full text of the ordinance can be read here.

The Council’s Work Meeting discussion can be viewed here.

You can learn more about Council’s deliberative process with this ordinance here.

If you have questions or comments for the Council, please either leave a comment on this article, or contact your Council Member directly here.

Council Passes Joaquin Neighborhood Plan

The Provo Council recently passed the Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan. A public hearing regarding the plan and its presentation to Council was held several weeks ago. To read more about this presentation, see this post.

The Joaquin Master Plan is the first Neighborhood Master Plan to be adopted as an exhibit to Provo City’s General Plan as set forward in Vision 2030.

"Identify exceptional areas that would benefit from area specific master plans, where the city would conduct a detailed land-use analysis. The objective is for a plan for every neighborhood."--Vision 2030, Objective 2.1.1
You can watch the Council’s adoption of the plan, including public comment on Provo’s Channel 17 here.

Full text of the adoption, as well as the plan itself, can be found here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Planning the Future for Joaquin Neighborhood

The Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan was recently presented to the Council in preparation for final approval at the Council’s Meeting to be held July 15, 2014.

Provo City’s Vision 2030, a process for defining a future vision for the Provo community, provides the goal for each Provo neighborhood to have its own master plan. The Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan is the first to complete this process.
Identify exceptional areas that would benefit from area specific master plans, where the city would conduct a detailed land-use analysis. The objective is for a plan for every neighborhood.
- Vision 2030, Objective 2.1.1
Provo City Community Development Assistant Director Bill Peperone presented the plan to Council, and described it in further detail.

“The Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan is a planning document which will outline how the Joaquin Neighborhood should develop over time, and also how to move ourselves forward with that vision,” Peperone said. “The plan includes sections on land use, zoning, parks, open spaces, urban design, parking and historic preservation.” 

This neighborhood plan also provides details for the development of the Joaquin Neighborhood beyond what is included in Provo City’s General Plan. If the Council approves the plan, it will be added to the General Plan as Appendix H. 

The plan has been reviewed by the Provo City Planning Commission in two hearings, as well as presented in a public neighborhood meeting at the Provo City Library in May. 

A draft version of the plan has also been available on the Provo City Redevelopment Agency’s website on for public input and comment for nearly a year. Peperone said the latest draft of the plan reflects input gained from those public meetings, and from public comment given in this period. Peperone said the comments had been overwhelmingly positive.

What Comes Next?
“What comes next is a two-step process,” Peperone said. “The first step is for the Council to approve and adopt the plan, and the second step is for the planning staff to bring to the Council zoning changes and zoning text amendments as tools to allow for the completion of the plan.”

Neighborhood Feedback
The Council heard comment on the plan from neighborhood chair Leo Lines, who focused his remarks on how he hoped the plan would help improve neighborhood safety and ease traffic flow and mitigate traffic speed concerns.

Comment and Feedback
If you’d like to watch the presentation, you may do so on Provo’s Channel 17 here.

What are your thoughts about the Joaquin Neighborhood Master Plan? If you’d like to comment, you may contact Council Members directly here, or attend the presentation of this item at the Council’s Meeting on July 15, 2014.

Council Gives “Go Ahead” to South Downtown CDA

The Provo Council recently adopted a proposed South Downtown Community Development Project Area Plan by ordinance. (Full text can be read here).

This Community Development Area designates a zone of downtown Provo as eligible for Tax Increment Financing to promote development in the area.

Boundaries of the Area
The approximate boundaries of the Community Development Area are from 100 south to Provo Town Center Mall, with a western boundary at approximately 300 west, and as the boundary moves farther south, 500 west. An eastern boundary exists west of 100 east. The Provo Frontrunner station lies at the heart of the area.  
(See map below for details.)

Key Points from Public Hearing Presentation
The Council also held a public hearing prior to adoption of the ordinance. Several key points were discussed to clarify frequently asked questions about the proposed Community Development Area. Here are a few of the most prominent. You can watch full presentation on Provo’s Channel 17 here.

  • The adoption does not mean property taxes in the zone will increase
  • The adoption does not mean property owners can be forced to sell their property
  • Provo has created 5 other Community Development Project Areas in the past
  • In cases where Tax Increment Financing is proposed for development projects, each of the taxing entities in the area (Provo City, Utah County, Provo School District and Central Utah Water) must agree to a development deal.
  • Future development proposals will be expected to follow current general plan and zoning policies unless developers go through a public process to amend them with subsequent City Council support

For More Info

You can read more about “What is a Community Development Project Area?”, “What is Tax Increment Financing” at this post. More information is also available on here, and at Provo Redevelopment’s site here.

If you have comments or questions for Council Members, you may either leave them as a comment here, or reach your Council Member directly here

Joining Forces - Council Considers Interlocal Municipal Commission

The Provo Council recently discussed the advantages and disadvantages of joining several nearby cities in participating in a proposed interlocal municipal ethics commission to review complaints or issues which may arise in the city relative to the state’s Municipal Officers and Employees Ethics Act, which makes it illegal to:

1) Improperly disclose or use private, controlled, or protected information
2) Accept gifts, compensation or loans when prohibited
3) Requiring donation, payment, or service to government agency in exchange for approval when prohibited
4) Offering donation, payment, or service to government agency in exchange for approval when prohibited
5) Receiving compensation for assistance in transaction involving an agency - filing sworn statement
6) Disclosure of substantial interest in regulated business
7) Participation in transaction involving business as to which public officer or employee has interest - exceptions
8) Conflict of interests prohibited
9) inducing others to violate the act
The proposed interlocal municipal commission would be composed of three city attorneys chosen randomly by participating cities. Complaints would then be reviewed by the commission, which would submit findings and recommendations to the Municipal Council for appropriate remedy, which may include censure, reprimand, ethics training, or removal from office. 

As Provo City has not joined or formed its own commission, the city currently defers to the state established commission in matters of ethics concerning city officials. (Utah Code § 11-49-201). 

Some of the examples of advantages and disadvantages to an interlocal commission discussed by the Council, and drawn from background materials provided to Council Members are listed below. (For the full document, see here).

  • Control over the complaint process – the participating cities would be able to keep all ethics investigations “in-house” and control public access to any investigations
  • Distribution of cost among the participating cities
  • Review of complaints by a group of individuals (3 city attorneys) familiar with the applicable laws and procedures
  • Jurisdiction over alleged violations of City ethics ordinances
  • The state commission may choose to not address the complaint
  • Disadvantages
  • Cost (city staff time and resources) 
Other Questions discussed by Council Members
  • Composition of members of the commission
  • Difficulties regarding maintenance of the commission
  • frequency of use of the commission

What Comes Next?
The Council will continue their discussion of the proposed advantages and disadvantages of both the statewide ethics commission and the proposed interlocal municipal commission at a later Council meeting.

Do you have questions or comments about the possibility of Provo joining an interlocal municipal commission?

You may leave your comments or questions for the Council as a comment on this article, or reach them directly here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Council in the Grand Parade

If you missed the Council's appearance in the Freedom Festival Grand Parade, check out some photos of Council Members and their families here. The Council hopes you had a great July 4.

Council's Banner on Thanksgiving Point Institute's Trolley

Council Members and their families

New Provo Temple and Council

Council in Grand Parade

Before the Provo Library

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mobile Food Trucks in Downtown Provo

The Council recently discussed possible regulation permitting the use of Mobile Food Trucks in downtown Provo. 

The Council was presented a detailed analysis of possible Mobile Food Truck regulations in downtown Provo, including the results of an informal online survey which solicited input from residents about mobile food vending at a Council Work Meeting.

The Council also heard views of parties which will be directly affected by proposed regulation; the mobile food truck community and brick-and-mortar restaurant owners. Entrepreneur Christian Faulconer offered some thoughts on behalf of mobile food truck vendors, and Dean Judd, the owner of Guru’s restaurant in downtown Provo, also offered the perspective of the Downtown Restaurant Organization.

The Survey 
The informal survey was posted to the Council’s blog , and also shared by Provo Mayor John Curtis. Roughly 800 responses were gathered, with a general consensus of survey respondents indicating their desire to see more food truck vending in downtown Provo. To review the highlights presented at the Council’s work meeting, see here.

The Council also discussed the following issues and questions regarding Mobile Food Trucks: 
  • Time/Location Restrictions
  • Distance Requirements (Restaurants, other vendors, residential)
  • Parking requirements
  • City Parks requirements
  • Background check requirements
Several policy questions were also presented and discussed by the Council. These included: 
  • Do food trucks pose a threat to existing downtown businesses?
  • Is Provo downtown vibrant enough to support mobile food vending on top of existing brick and mortar restaurants?
  • Should Provo allow some “trial runs” to see if there is interest in food trucks in downtown Provo?
  • How does the City remain loyal to those who have invested in the downtown through brick and mortar while also offering a service that residents want?
The Council continued this item to July 15, 2014 Council Work Meeting and regular Council Meeting for further discussion and the presentation of additional findings related to this issue. 

If you’d like to watch the presentation and discussion, you may find the video recording here

You can review the text of the proposed ordinance here.

What are your thoughts about mobile food vending in downtown Provo?

You can share your comments with the Council by either commenting on this post, or by directly reaching out to Council Members here

Clear the Air - Together

The Provo Council recently issued a joint resolution with the Provo City Mayor supporting a Clear the Air Challenge initiative sponsored by Utah’s Division of Air Quality and its partners in UDOT and other agencies.

The Clear the Air Challenge, which runs from July 1 to 31, encourages Utah residents find alternative means of transit for trips to and from school, shopping, and work by utilizing public transit, walking, and biking. The goal of the Clear the Air Challenge is to assist Utahns to drive less, drive smarter, to reduce traffic congestion, conserve energy, and improve air quality.
Residents wishing to participate are encouraged to minimize vehicle use by chaining together essential trips, or carpooling when necessary. This will minimize CO2 emissions from vehicles which contribute to pollution.

Why it’s important? 
The summer smog season is nearly upon us, and the residents may see the effects of pollution and its impacts on the environment, health, public welfare, and safety of those living in this community. The Clear the Air Challenge also encourages wise energy use, and reductions of traffic congestion.

If you’d like to read the full text of the resolution, please see here

To find out more about the Clear the Air Challenge, or to join, visit their website here.

Do your lungs a favor, and sign up now.