Friday, March 27, 2015

Zoning Enforcement
Gary Millward from Provo City's Legal Department recently presented some information at a Council Work Session. Hal Miller, Council Chair at the time of the meeting, requested that the information be shared here on the blog to help Provo residents better understand the process of zoning enforcement.

Zoning enforcement is a two edged sword because the City must balance on one hand the people’s private property interests and on the other hand compliance with zoning ordinances. In Zoning Enforcement, compliance is the main goal. Enforcement efforts apply pressure to bring people into compliance. Most people come into compliance early in the process. The zoning officers are very responsive to any calls that are made concerning zoning issues.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Citizen-Initiated Legislation Provo City Council has officially opened the first phase of the Provo People’s Lobby, an
innovative program that allows Provo residents to generate legislation to be presented to the City Council for consideration. This creates a groundbreaking opportunity for citizen involvement in the legislative process by generating proposals from a grass roots level.

Provo residents of voting age will be able to submit their own ideas of issues to work on as well as give feedback and lend support to the ideas of others. This first phase will continue until April 15, 2015, at

Monday, March 23, 2015

Update on Vote by Mail

Last month we asked for your input on the possibility of bringing a vote by mail program to Provo and you really responded! Council staff gathered public comments from this blog, the Council's Facebook page, the online comment form, the Mayor's blog, and other public posts on Facebook. These comments and the results of the online survey were presented to Council Members at the March 17 Work Session.

Although most Provo residents who responded were in favor of adopting a vote by mail program, Council Members and the Mayor still had concerns about the budget impact it would have as well as the potential for confusion since this would only change elections run by Provo City. Elections run by Utah County (every other year) would revert back to the system that is currently in place.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Energy Complex

Provo Power's current energy campus was built in 1939 to serve a population of 18,000, with additions such as the office and power substation added over the years. After 75 years Provo's population has grown to 120,000 and changes need to be made to address the growing population as well as the condition of the facilities.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Summary of the March 17 Meetings

In the Work Session

Retail Strategy Study:
Retail Strategies presented the much-anticipated retail strategy study for Provo City. They were very positive about the potential for attracting new retailers that would be a good fit for Provo. The full study is available here.

Vote by Mail:
Council Members received public comments submitted via email, blogs, and social media and heard a presentation on the results of a survey regarding voting by mail. While there appears to be a lot of support for voting by mail, it would require efforts to educate citizens on the process. Concerns were expressed on the election cost doubling and deciding how to fund it as well as the potential confusion with Provo City doing voting by mail while elections conducted by Utah County every other year being handled traditionally. Council approval is not required to enact the program but the administration prefers to have their support. No decision was made to move forward with it at this time but a recommendation was made to encourage more citizens to vote with a mail-in absentee ballot to show interest and participation in this type of process.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Types of Meetings

The City Council holds a variety of meetings to get its work done. Most people are familiar with the
regular meetings, generally held on the first and third Tuesday of each month, where Council Members vote on ordinances and resolutions and hold public hearings for land use items. There are also other regular meetings that play a part in getting things ready for the regular meetings.

Work Meetings

Work Meetings or Work Sessions are usually held earlier on the same day as the regular Council Meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to give Council Members the opportunity to gather more information and publicly discuss present and future policies, receive reports from the Mayor and Council Executive Director, make assignments, and consider issues pertinent to the Council's mission.

Monday, March 9, 2015

2015 Provo City Council Leadership - Gary Garrett

From Gary Garrett, 2015 Council Chair:

I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve as Chair for the Municipal Council this year. As a city-wide representative I have enjoyed being able to focus on the entire city. My wife, Jana, and I have lived in Provo for over 25 years, and I am currently the vice president for corporate relations at Nu Skin Enterprises. I'm also a Brigham Young University alumni, having received a Master's in Public Administration from the Marriott School of Management.

There are many great ways to be involved in our community and I've been able to serve with organizations such as United Way of Utah County, Downtown Provo Alliance, Transit-Oriented Development Task Force, and the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce. One highlight for me was being a subcommittee chair for Provo's Vision 2030 project because we were able to shape the strategic vision for the city.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Summary of the March 3 Meetings

In the Work Session

Neighborhood Program Purpose:
The Neighborhood Advisory Board has been evaluating the Neighborhood Program and has recommended some changes to the purpose statements to better reflect the way the program currently functions. They also wanted to clarify that neighborhoods don't always need to go through the City to accomplish their goals. Council Members will vote on adopting the updated language at a future Council Meeting.

New Energy Complex:
This year marks the 75th anniversary for Provo Power and the beginning of their transition to a new energy campus. Current facilities need replacement and the smokestacks would not withstand an earthquake. Demolition begins Monday on a smaller building. Abatement and demolition will continue in stages through September. Two sites for the new campus were considered and the Council was shown plans for construction on the current property that would incorporate historical and educational elements.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Provo City Council Work Session - March 3, 2015

Agenda  (Times have been added to the ends of the individual agenda items to help you find them in the video)  If you are struggling with the sound from this broadcast, a clearer audio recording is available here:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Neighborhood Program Role in Land Use Items

Provo's Neighborhood Program provides a unique opportunity for residents to give input on land use matters. This is outlined in Provo City Code and neighborhood meetings held regarding development applications are crucial for providing feedback to Community Development as well as City Council Members. Neighborhood Chairs (and Vice-Chairs) are notified about land use applications submitted to Provo City and are the representatives for their neighborhoods in this process.

For more details on this process as well as links to online forms, go to the Neighborhoods - Land Use page.