Mayor Message | What’s New in Orem? – March 2022

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What’s new in Orem? Quite a bit to say the least.

As your new Mayor and City Council we have definitely hit the ground running. I ran on the promise that I would listen to you, the citizens, and would use my best judgement to lead Orem forward into the future. I’ve said many times that we are at a critical juncture. Making the right decisions now will directly effect the environment in which our future generations live.

My commitment to you is to put in place policies that guarantee the residents of Orem will always be heard and will have a strong voice in the future of their community. My over arching goal is to ensure that the people of Orem, the City Council, and Orem City Management are completely aligned in this vision of our future.

At the top of our new agenda, the most pressing issue facing us was the State Street Master Plan Moratorium. That was put in place last fall before we were even elected. That current Master Plan called for 9,400 apartments and 20,000 to 30,000 people living on State Street, in the coming years. With Orem already at 43% rentals and traffic increasing significantly many residents are very concerned about what Orem’s future might be.

On February 22nd, myself and our new City Council passed measures repealing the State Street Master Plan 5-0 with two City Counselors absent. We voted to change the zoning back to where it was prior to the State Street Master Plan. This significant change allows ONLY Service, Retail, and Office Commercial Projects on State Street. The 9,400 apartment units in the original plan were eliminated. At the same time, the beautification aspects of the prior plan were left in place. These business-friendly changes required a significant effort by the new City Council and City Management. We worked together in order to make them happen in the very short time frame we had to work with.

We are excited for the future and have big plans for State Street going forward. After it being talked about for years, we will put a new plan in place in to work with Orem businesses and investors to revive and upgrade State Street.

It’s only been seven weeks. We will continue to work towards making Orem the best place to live in the State!

I’ll see you next month.

– Mayor David Young

Mayor’s Message | Feb. 2022

This message was featured in the Feb. 2022 edition of the City of Orem newsletter. You can view the newsletter by clicking here.

“Do you wonder what is going on in Orem’s new City Government?  

In my first 28 days, I’ve already experienced some very “interesting versions” of what is going on in our administration from the local media. Let me share with you what we have accomplished in our first month and where we go from here.

In my campaign I ran on the promise that I would listen to you, the citizens, and I would use my best judgement to lead Orem into the future. I believe that making the right decisions now is critical and will determine the environment in which our future generations live.

I’ve lived here for 31 years. We are at a tipping point. Are we going to continue to be a community built around home ownership with single family homes, townhomes and condos?  

Or are we going to move further down the path of becoming a rental community by increasing our rental properties beyond the 43% they are at now? Do we really want a much more crowded community with more traffic, more high density and more high rise rental apartments? 

The vast majority of the people I spoke to during the campaign were very adamant that they wanted Orem to remain a family-focused community based on family values. The voters gave us an overwhelming message that they want RESPONSIBLE GROWTH going forward.

We are working hard to make that happen. As your legislative body, we hired our own legal counsel to perform research and provide legal advice on the legislative issues and projects that we are working on. Our attorney does not replace our excellent City Attorneys but works with them, to help us, in our efforts to represent you.

Next, we changed the selection process for the Planning Commission so that a much broader base of applicants could be appointed to that service opportunity. We made some changes to the commission to guarantee that our efforts to implement a positive solution to the moratorium would not be derailed. 

Our primary focus in these first 30 days has been to successfully navigate the high density housing moratorium that ends on February 8th. If we fail to make a smooth transition then the consequences for the City could be very negative. We now have all of the puzzle pieces in place to move forward past the moratorium in a very positive way.

Keep doing your part to make Orem a great place to live! Tune in again next month!”

Mayor David Young