Apr 14, 2014

Neighborhood Meeting Report from March 29, 2014


I confess, my favorite meetings are the ones where fights break out. Preferably physical fights, but I haven't had the good fortune to witness that yet. Joking aside, the neighborhood meetings are great because we are a group of people that are passionate about the same thing; I walk away feeling that I have become a part of something bigger than myself: a neighborhood and a community.

At this meeting, we talked about the proposed Neighborhood Plan. Please look at it and give feedback on parts of it you like, hate, or want tweaked. Email Provo City planner Bill at bpeperone@provo.org with feedback. This plan is not the official neighborhood plan yet, but the Joaquin Improvement Association hopes to get the plan approved by the City Council with our help.

Notes I took:
  • The concept of North Joaquin, (everything north of 5th N to BYU), as an area geared towards students and building high-density student housing. Our neighborhood is an attractive place to live for ages 18-25, we should re-zone everything north of 5th at one time instead of piecemeal like it is being done now, to allow for building for this demographic.
  • The concept of South Joaquin, more geared towards families and homes rather than singles' apartments.
  • An official neighborhood meeting has to be called by the neighborhood chair, who hasn't called one in 3 years. This group, the Joaquin Improvement Association, is therefore a concerned citizens' group rather that an official group. There were a large assortment of city planners there and about 40 people though. They are serious about their plans.
  • This is a time to focus on what we agree on and work together, not get sidetracked by emotional neighborhood issues. If we don't plan for the direction we want our neighborhood to go, someone else will, and we probably won't like their plan. (Cue jabs at the city).
  • Some good advice from our friendly city planner Josh Yost: "The city is not the evil enemy glowering over your homes." I have noticed a trend towards caricaturizing the city as a heartless entity that wants to demolish our neighborhood and fill every block with variations on "The Village." Josh is right, we need to work with the city to accomplish our vision of what our neighborhood could be.

  • To join in the fun, you should come to the next neighborhood meeting!

    The tentative next date for this meeting is April 26th, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. at the library.

4 comments:

Sage

Thank you for a great overview of the meeting! As a neighbor and attendee , I am a little saddened to see the two jabs directed at specific individuals. Let's focus on coming together as a neighborhood and welcoming rather than alienating those who are passionate!

e.a.s.

Thanks for the comment, I realize that I should clarify that while this blog is meant to showcase the positive aspects of the neighborhood, it is not an advertisement or a representation of any official position.

Celeste

An item of clarification
"Then there was the lady who digressed about how there are a lot of UVU students living in the neighborhood, and maybe if Orem wasn't such a lame city with no city center/personality that the students would stay there instead of invade our neighborhood"

There is more to this then a person new to the neighborhood would know. At one time we were told that the reason some of the big lots with good looking houses were being grabbed up for development even though BYU had maxed out its student enrollment numbers was because UVU students wanted to live here. AND there was some "sympathy" from the Institutions of higher learning, which at the time was more than we were getting from the lack of clear city zoning laws. Now, I think you would find that there are many in the neighborhood that have made some great relationships with students at Both BYU and UVU and I for one am very glad to have some of the talented UVU folks added to the talented BYU folks. And our downtown is cooler.

Celeste

Regarding our Neighborhood Chair, his name is Leo Lines and he has lived in the neighborhood for decades and knows the area. He is a developer, he goes to many of the city meetings and is an involved citizen. He has held neighborhood meetings since he was Chair, but they all have been developement project driven. And the developer was required to have a meeting and work with Leo to obtain neighborhood input. We have not had a meeting where we just talk about the neighborhood, just meetings responding to proposed developments. Please correct me if you think I misspoke on any of those facts.

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