Lakewood Neighborhood - What do you think about the proposed zone change for Osprey Townhomes?
27 registered statements
Bill Peterson ½ to 1 mile
Tom Scheidt within ¼ mile
To whom it may concern, I write regarding the September 10th. 7:00 PM Neighborhood Meeting Osprey Townhome Presentation
I would like to introduce myself for a quick second. I am a licensed CPA who now works as a Property Manager for 57 residential rental properties including single family homes, condominiums and apartments in the States of Nevada, California and Arizona. I have owned several homes in CA and UT over the past 20 years and currently reside in Provo. Traveling to the various homes I have seen well done developments and ones that are a problem.
With this email here are some of my concerns.
I am a bit confused as the Master Plan appears to show the property as Low Density Residential (“LDR”). The definition I found on this is as follows: “Low density residential zones are locations intended for housing that include a lot of open space. These zones are meant for a small number of residential homes, and exclude large industries, apartment complexes, and other large structures”. Multifamily houses such as condominiums, apartments are usually not permitted and LDR neighborhoods are typically quiet and private with little traffic, perfect for kids. This development fails in this regard as it is being pushed by a developer who wants to simply pack the units in to generate high returns. As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune Higher density means higher profits for developers and builders. They can minimize the amount they invest in development costs and fees while maximizing the units and square footage they can sell. The map I have seen on this project looks more like a High Density Residential development with packed in townhomes and not in line with the Provo General Plan.
It was reported that in Holladay, residents resisted a high density development proposed for the Cottonwood Mall indicating it would detract from the town’s village-like atmosphere. In Herriman, residents also helped derail a development which was there times more dense than neighboring neighborhoods. The closest neighborhood to this DR Townhome project I believe has 4 homes per acre while this proposed project proposes approximately 11 homes per acre.
Perhaps a mix of housing types, single family, duplexes, townhomes would be a much better option with less number of homes.
Why the rush to re-zone?:
In the current state of the economy (Covid-19) a development of this size should be set aside until a better understanding of where Provo and State of Utah are at in the next 12-18 months. What if this developer simply sits on the property for years? My concern is they begin to develop and simply quit mid process leaving vacant land with half finished-basements, lots, etc. which would be a significant liability for the City. Many builders came and left during the last crisis situation.
It has been heard that the developer lobbied hard for their project, this is understandable they wish to gain significantly but should that be at the expense of the other areas in the vicinity? Time spent and lobbying efforts should not supersede what is best for Provo and surrounding communities.
When this developer acquired the property I’m sure they were well of the current zoning. Some of us who purchased homes near this property were aware of the current zoning which impacted our purchase decision. Many are concerned about the sewer, water and losing of farmlands.
The City needs to be careful as lawsuits can be brought if the zoning policy is simply changed which negatively may impact many homeowners for the benefit of a large developer.
Safety should be a big concern for all. All of my children are adults but we are concerned for those who have small children in particular who live on 730 West where several large families live with many, many young children. Each day you can see several SunRoc Trucks speeding down Lakeview Parkway, would 730 W be any different? Having construction vehicles go down 730 West each day is a recipe for a disaster. If this project is approved I would suggest that all involved in the construction enter from Lakeview go slightly North on 500 and enter from that access street in that area there are no homes.
Townhomes close to the expanding airport would be ripe for VRBO/AirBNB investors creating short term rentals which would likely increase crime and make this a more transient neighborhood. This situation impacts the Cities hotels, restaurants, trash services, taxes, etc.
Another big concern should be traffic with about 210 new homes my guess is there will be another 420-630 cars driving onto 500 West or 730 West each day. As we know 500 West is already getting busy and in emergency situations it will be really tough to get in or out with only two exit points. Why not consider a access point at Lakeview Parkway? Perhaps where the Volleyball court is planned? An access point there might slow traffic on the Parkway currently cars and construction vehicles are speeding along the Parkway at dangerous speeds.
As other cities have experienced fires can wipe out entire areas quickly. From a KSL article in October 2018 Utah wildfires burned 485,989 acres in 2018 more than double the amount 220,000 of 2017. In August 2018 Deseret News reported that Utah fires as of August 2018 had seen the greatest loss of property in 15 years. Packed in housing can be catastrophic take California for example in 2018 there were 8,527 fires which caused more than $3.5 billion in damages. Another concern should be flooding and rising water, this year for example directly across the street on the other side of Lakeview Parkway water levels were very high.
The Development Itself/Parking:
I believe that the parking will ultimately be a problem as the guest parking is likely planned to be the minimum required. Simply look at the last Townhome project built by DR Horton in the area in Orem off Sandhill Road you will see cars lining the side streets. A big concern is that traffic and parking issues will spill into the surrounding neighborhood. The plan does not provide nearly enough open space. Further, this is different in concept from the existing nearby neighborhood a mix of housing types would be much better.
The revised map of the development has several Private Streets, are these going to be one-way streets? gated? Further, there was just recently a new map of the homes it appears the open space has decreased from 5.5 AC to 3.61 AC, the pool and clubhouse were also removed. (FYI: The Open City Hall City of Provo Website still shows the Old map)
What consideration has been given to our local schools I assume those buying will or already have children who will need to attend schools in the area. Are the schools ready for the large number of new students? Is Provo trying to build to rapidly to satisfy safety, water, sewer, education and other needs? And if the economy does falter it will be really rough. Is the City ready to handle all this? Inspections, security concerns, sewer and water, crime, etc.
Water Supply/Sewer Capacity:
Water and Sewer are other concerns as shortages of water will become a concern in the future that should not be ignored. Is the developer considering recycled water for any of the landscaped area? I have also heard of the high priority sewer issue needs dealt with and is very important. I don’t have great knowledge on this but from what I read Provo has an aging wastewater plant and has only a few years to get into compliance and Provo’s system is at capacity.. I might be wrong but this to me is a huge concern.
To sum it up here are my concerns:
Number of homes LDR
Need to evaluate the Covid-19 impact on Provo
Water Supply/Sewer Capacity
Thank you for your time.
Matt Peterson more than 2 miles
This seems like a reasonable way to bring higher density homes to the west side of town where there are few current options. It's also in an area that is prime for additional development and the increase in population in this area may encourage developing of sorely needed amenities like a west side grocery store.
My biggest concern is about the lack of robust transit options. I prefer to see high density developments installed year transit corridors. I'm also not sure how how much excess capacity center street has available to absorb the increased commuting load from large scale west side development.
Adam Carmack more than 2 miles
Please approve these changes. Density in sensible places is needed in order to add housing supply to our area.
Being right by the freeway and a major arterial road (Lakeview Parkway), I believe this is an extremely sensible location to add density.
This will help with affordability and help preserve the neighborhoods where people enjoy and want to maintain their single-family housing.
David Bailey within ¼ mile
I am very much in favor of building new row homes, townhomes, condominiums, and apartments along the South 500 West and Lakeview Parkway corridors especially east of 1600 West. As you're aware, Provo is in desperate need of more housing, and low-priced housing is extraordinarily rare. If we do not build more high-density housing in Provo, we will drive most young families and professionals into neighboring communities. This is causing Provo's own residents to lose having their children and grandchildren live nearby.
Miles Miller more than 2 miles
The issue of density is not what is important to me. It seems like a good spot for some higher density, being close to the highway and stores in South Provo. What does concern me is that it appears to completely turn its back to Lakeview Pkwy - contributing nothing to its street design or feel. Nor does the development create more connectivity for 730 west and anyone who might be trying to access Lakeview Pkwy from it on foot or bike.
Becky Bogdin within ¼ mile
On the zone change:
The zone requested meets the South West Area Plan in having a Low Density Residential zone. However, the written portion of this plan has yet to be completed. I have heard from members on this committee that the written portion should include 3 different housing types in each LDR node. It will also include things like limited access to the Lakeview Parkway. I think it is important to have this document in place before any zone change is allowed.
Currently, we have had no contact with the developer for a neighborhood meeting. I feel this is really important where there are several concerns from the neighbors. Some have expressed them here, while others have not. I have had concerns from residents that live along the dike in the 1970-80 built homes that are very concerned with what will happen to the property behind their homes where and how high those dwellings will be and what this all means for them. I feel like having a conversation with the developer and hammering some of those things out will help with future neighborhood relationships.
As a chair, I have had concerns brought up about only 2 egress/ingress points on the plan. Some have suggested another egress at 570 west and some have suggested an egress at the Lakeview Parkway.
In discussing things with staff. We looked at 500 west...where one egress resides on this concept plan....anything closer to the Parkway would be a safety hazard. Provo City would allow an egress at the Lakeview Parkway; however, if the state took control over the Lakeview Parkway...they would NOT allow the egress.
Personally, I look at this development as
1. According to staff, fill needs to be brought into this project to bring it out of the FEMA flood plane. This is almost to the top of the dike on the northern boarder of this parcel. The dike is still needed to protect properties along it. So I appreciate the fact that the developer has made the dike into a trail system. However, this was the case with the Osprey Development and because there was no development agreement at the time of the zone change, that trail system never happened. I would like to see a development agreement made for the trail system so that it will both insure the dike's survival and give the community something they can use other than a big berm eyesore. Making the dike system function for something other than keeping the homes from flooding, I feel will be a great asset to the development.
2. While I do see the need for another egress point, if a trail system is on the dike, I do not see it as smart to add another egress at 570 west. From what I understand, the less traffic to cross a trail system, the better.
3. If we look at the future of the west side, I understand the need to keep the Lakeview Parkway with limited access points. I am hearing that we do not want to have another Geneva Road. If the goal is truly to have the state take over the Lakeview Parkway, then we do need to follow how they would plan it and make it limited. Truly limited. a 45 mile/hour road with limited stopping points is and will be a great asset to our city in the future. Especially knowing this will be a dominate way to access both the airport and the sports park and the I-15 freeway.
4. I love the vision of the west side planning committee in promoting different housing types within an LDR development. If I am not mistaken, I think this was the vision in creating the zone, something that would be more flexible to builders where they could create more than one product. I understand that some builders only create one type of housing; however, Horton does create different types. I would like this to truly show the vision that the committee had and mix things up a little more in this parcel.
Thank you for your time and understanding.
Colby Clark within ¼ mile
I feel it’s very important for residents/those with an interest in the zone change to note that IF the zoning is changed to become the “Low Density Residential” zone, this will allow the builder to build the maximum number of dwelling units permitted by the zoning, in large part regardless of the wishes expressed by those in the neighboring communities and irrespective of what the builder “says” they will/won’t do in “proposals”. The Low Density Residential zone permits a maximum of 15 dwelling units per gross acre. The minimum twin home/duplex lot size is 8,000 sq ft (which is 4,000 sq ft per dwelling unit, or .09 acres - more than doubling the density of dwelling units in a given acre when compared with the neighboring Osprey Point neighborhood). https://maps.provo.org/home/, https://provo.municipal.codes/Code/14.10.020, https://provo.municipal.codes/Code/14.14A.020
I strongly oppose changing the zoning of the land into anything that would allow dwelling units to be more densely packed than the adjacent R1.8 zoning (8000/sqft/.18 acre minimum lot size). The proposed higher density zone (even though it’s named “Low Density”) would introduce a significant increase on the already-present strain on local resources - sewer, schools, roads, etc. I and my family moved to the neighborhood adjacent to the parcel of land in question to get away from the higher density housing present in other parts of Provo and the problems that come with such proximity - increased danger for pedestrians, pets, children; higher crime rates; lower overall sense of community; a “transient” feeling among the residents; increased vehicle traffic (and the noise associated with such traffic); etc. Introducing higher density housing right next to a single-family neighborhood, will decrease the overall value of the neighborhood as some of the perceived “transient” feelings associated with higher density housing bleed into the existing neighborhood. Provo, and our neighborhood specifically, should be a place that people want to make a home and live, not a place full of transient dwellings, where people are constantly looking to the moment when they can finally “move on” to bigger and better things.
Additionally, though anecdotally to the main issue - regardless of the change in zoning, having the ingress/egress points for the new neighborhood be within the Osprey Point neighborhood is annoying at best, and dangerous at worst. Such a proposal is painful to even consider, given the fact that other, better, options (500 W, Lakeview Parkway) for the ingress/egress points exist. Consider for a moment one of the more positive outcomes of the zone change where the zoning is changed to match that of the neighboring area. The new land would provide space for approximately 72 more dwelling units. If each unit had on average 2 vehicles, this would be 144 additional vehicles using the Osprey Point roads - roads which are frequently used by pedestrians, children, pets, and others. If each car leaves and comes back once a day (which is probably low) that’s 288 more opportunities for our children, spouses, pets, friends and relatives to be involved in car accidents (accidents which generally prove harmful/fatal for those not protected by one of the vehicles). If the vehicles leave and return once a day (again probably low) that’s an average of an additional car potentially striking a loved one along a neighborhood road every 5 minutes (and that’s averaged over the whole 24 hour period in the day, 2.5 minutes if the evening/nighttime hours are excluded). Even if none of those drivers were ever distracted, intoxicated, rushed, tired, etc, the odds of literally or figuratively running in to one of these vehicles greatly increase. Now, consider if the zoning was changed to “Low” density residential - more than doubling the number of dwelling units. In the outlined proposal (210 units), if each unit had 3 cars on average (not unlikely given that higher density housing is generally rented to more than “single families”, legally or otherwise), there would be 630 more cars. That’s nearly one car per minute, if averaged over daytime hours. Certainly not a neighborhood I’d feel safe letting my kids play in the front yard in (and that’s only considering the probability of being struck by a car - not the other considerations that come with strangers driving by in cars).
To conclude, if anyone is in favor of changing the zoning to the so-called “low density” housing, please realize that this doesn’t mean the builder will abide by anyone’s wish to have fewer units on the land than the builder has proposed - it likely means that they’ll pack the maximum number of units onto the land as allowed by law (take a look at the Osprey Point neighborhood which was built by DR Horton, where houses are mere inches within the legal setback requirements). I am in favor of whoever owns the land being able to build on the land; however, changing the zoning to allow dwelling units more densely packed than the neighboring zones is tantamount to stealing from landowners in neighboring zones by detracting from the value of property in the neighboring zones. Additionally, more homes (whether single family residential, or “low density” residential) introduce a myriad of infrastructure and safety issues that should be concretely addressed before anything “final” is done - let’s fix problems we have now, before creating new ones.
James Speirs ¼ to ½ mile
I understand the need for different housing structures in the city. I would prefer that this were zoned for R17 or R18, but if the decision is made to make this LDR then I have the following suggestions.
- Don't add any access roads into Osprey Point's single family residential neighborhood. There are a lot of small kids in this neighborhood who ride bikes, play basketball in the road, etc.
- Add two access roads on 500 West.
- Add an inlet for westbound traffic off of Lakeview Parkway
- Reduce the number of units.
- Add additional parking.
- Add a walking path to the Osprey Point single family homes at 730 West
Michele Sekaquaptewa within ¼ mile
I am in agreement with many of the other community members here. Our neighborhood is currently a family neighborhood with many, many children outside playing and riding bikes, scooters, etc. It would not be a good idea to put an access road through any part of our neighborhood nor do I want a zone change to put town homes in. I would ask that all factors be taken into consideration here when deciding on a zone change. The biggest could be that it will bring in many families and if they have children, that will put a huge strain on our local schools. I feel that there are many other options for use of this land and that we can work together to get a zone change for something other than more high-density housing and that will benefit and protect our children. I am not okay with the proposed zone change.
My feeling about this item is that the designation of low density housing does not meet the design for this project. This has high density housing with very little green space. Either change the zoning to accommodate this project or change the density of the housing in the project. I would like to see lower density and more amenities for the area included. Perhaps a grocery store included here.