A fourth redevelopment district for Provo is one step closer to reality.
Wednesday the Planning Commission approved the preliminary plans for the Provo City Redevelopment District No. 4. Approval by the commission means that the Provo City Redevelopment Agency can move forward to establish the redevelopment district by meeting with property owners in the area and holding a public hearing.The proposed redevelopment area is a 90-acre wedge in south Provo between I-15 and University Avenue. The purpose of the redevelopment designation is to assist in orderly development of the area.
"Adoption of a redevelopment plan for this area would make it possible to assist property owners and developers in developing this area in a planned development similar to the type of development that is taking place in the East Bay area," said Redevelopment Agency Director Ron Madsen in his report to the Planning Commission.
The proposed redevelopment area is across University Avenue from East Bay. East Bay is not a redevelopment district but the South University Avenue Redevelopment District is just north of the area now being considered.
The two other redevelopment districts in Provo are the downtown area and Academy Square.
A requirement for the establishment of a redevelopment area is that the area is "blighted." Madsen's report said, "At the present time, several different zones are represented within this area, and there is a wide variety of uses and development within the area.
"This area represents the main entrance into the city and is the logical site for a large planned industrial commercial project.
"The creation of a redevelopment area will not assure that a planned development take place here. However, it will offer a variety of means of assisting developers and property owners in pulling their resources together and identifying an overall developer and project that can be developed within this area."
The proposed plan was presented to the Planning Commission by redevelopment expert Jean Jacobs. Jacobs is a law professor at Brigham Young University and serves Provo as a consultant.
Jacobs explained to the commission that certain steps are necessary to create a redevelopment district, including specification of participation rules for the people most affected.
He emphasized that no one should start moving from the area, even if the commission and, later, the City Council approved the creation of the redevelopment district.
It is possible that the redevelopment district will be created, but there will be no change, said Jacobs.
An example is Academy Square. Designated as Provo's first redevelopment district 10 years ago, the historic site remains basically unchanged.