Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald
Orem has long been considered the commercial center of Utah County. How the current city council responds to a new economic development division will determine whether this designation will be the case in the future.
For now, city council voted on Tuesday to defer approval of an economic development plan to another meeting so it can make adjustments.
These adjustments came from Councilman Terry Peterson who is uncomfortable with the reference to high and medium density housing, transportation and a walkable city.
Peterson noted the changes the council made in January regarding the elimination of high-density housing along State Street. He is also concerned about the buses he sees running empty, saying they should be filled before new ones are added.
Councilor Tom Macdonald wants to make it clear that the plan is only a guide and not the rule.
Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald
In 2015, the Economic Development Division created a new Economic Development Strategic Plan, which has served as a guide for the economic development of the Town of Orem over the past seven years.
Over the past year, a full and comprehensive update of the EDSP has been completed. The EDSP is a guide for the economic development of the town of Orem for the next five to ten years.
The general plan is a written guide for the future development of the city.
The consulting cost by Thomas P. Miller and Associates for the plan was $118,768 and was paid for entirely through the Defunding Revolving Loan Funds of a federal community economic development program. None of the charges came from the city.
According to Kathi Lewis, manager of Orem’s economic development division, Chapter 5 of the plan outlines the city’s intention to maintain a healthy working relationship with the economic development division, in order to achieve the most desirable results. in economic development activities.
“This plan is full of usable strategies that we’re excited to implement,” Lewis said.
The consulting team followed a structure set out by the International Economic Development Board to develop a plan that includes:
- A realistic assessment of available resources, constraints and opportunities;
- A formulation of a clear mission and a shared vision;
- The development of achievable and measurable objectives;
- Formulation and implementation of project action plans to achieve these goals and identify who will champion them;
- The design of clear indicators of success.
“Thomas P. Miller and Associates (TPMA or the project team) used an integrative methodology to develop the strategic economic development plan for Orem,” Lewis said. “The project consisted of three interconnected activities including analysis, alignment and action.”
The analysis phase of the project involved an in-depth and comprehensive review of historical planning documents, quantitative data analysis and analysis, retail gap analysis, best practices research and numerous engagement sessions stakeholders to gather feedback and input from a wide range of community leaders, according to Lewis.
To generate the alignment, the project team took into account the existing physical infrastructure and resources. Finally, the project team, informed by the results of the analysis and alignment phases, has developed strategies and courses of action that the City must consider in the short, medium and long term to achieve a shared vision. of Orem’s economic future.
“I am thrilled to have the EDSP as a guide to working with Orem businesses and building a stronger business community,” said Nate Prescott, Economic Development Analyst.
Recommendations were made by the planning commission to modify the economic plan.
The plan currently reads in part: “Engage in intentional and consistent dialogue with landlords and residents – ensure key city departments collaborate to address concerns appropriately.”
The next line of the plan that the planning commission recommended to the red line, “In targeted and strategic locations, consider revising and reducing restrictions on duplexes, quadruplexes and townhouses. In targeted and strategic locations, Strategically consider zoning changes that will better facilitate medium density development.
These were the red-edged deletions where Peterson wanted clarity.
Suggested to keep in the plan was the line after, which said; “Continue to support and consider allocating resources to the Neighborhood Improvement Team and updating neighborhood plans.”
“All we’re saying is Orem is open for business,” Macdonald said.