The Orem City Council voted to amend the city's master plan to accommodate a new shopping center, but not without reservations.
After changing the master plan and zoning for the site from residential to regional shopping, a question remains about the flow of truck traffic in and out of the development.According to the current plan, truck traffic would flow from Main Street and from 200 East behind the complex and then out on 1450 South through a residential area.
Councilwoman Lucile Steele said she would vote for the amendment in the master plan if developer Dee Livingood and his associates would earnestly take time to look into alternative plans for truck traffic.
Fred Johnson, who lives at 1446 S. Main and was representing some residents of the area, said, "We are not saying that the project can't happen, we just want to look into other alternatives."
But the basic site plan must be approved by the Orem Redevelopment Agency, which is directed by City Council members, before any development can begin.
Mayor S. Blaine Willes said, "I don't believe that the proposed 10 extra trucks a day is a major safety issue, and I'm not sure I see an alternative plan."
Richard Turnbow, a vice president for RC Willey, said the people on 200 East don't want to see the extra traffic any more than the people on Main Street, but he would "love to see someone give them a better alternative.""It's really less than 1 percent of the total traffic flow," he said.
Several other members of the council also wanted to look into alternative plans before the final decision is made.
Councilman E. Keith Hunt was the most vocal against the proposal and voted against both the master plan amendment and the rezoning.
According to Hunt, the traffic study that Livingood presented that evening did not answer the pertinent questions. Hunt said he does not believe the developer looked into how it would affect the neighborhood.
Councilman Kelvin C. Clayton said he believes the master plan of a city is sacred and it is difficult for him to vote to change it.
"But I think that this development is a good idea." The traffic change will really not be that big, he said.
Johnson emphasized that although the neighbors are concerned because the road to be used by trucks is an access road for residents, they understand the importance of the development.
"We see things happening in our section of town that we are excited about," he said. "This kind of development is necessary."
But residents were concerned because there was no further dialogue with the people in the area after the Planning Commission gave initial approval, he said.