ORDINANCE – Moratorium

AN ORDINANCE BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF OREM ENACTING A TEMPORARY LAND USE REGULATION PURSUANT TO UTAH CODE SECTION 10-9A-504 PROHIBITING THE  ERECTION, CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION, OR ALTERATION OF ANY BUILDING OR STRUCTURE OR ANY SUBDIVISION APPROVAL IN THE CITY  CENTER  DISTRICT ZONES, THE HUB DISTRICT ZONES, THE CANYON CROSSING DISTRICT ZONES, THE ARTS DISTRICT ZONES AND THE NORTH VILLAGE DISTRICT ZONES FOR A PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS

WHEREAS the City Council originally enacted the State Street District zones (including the City Center District zones, the Hub District zones, the Canyon Crossing  District  zones,  the  Arts  District zones and the North Village District zones) on June 19, 2018; and

WHEREAS the submission of a recent application for development in the North Village District (NVD) zone and a recent application for development in the Arts District zone, both of which proposed developments consist of commercial uses on the main floor and several levels of high density residential development on the floors above (the NVD zone development having a height of 70 feet and five levels of residential units above the main floor (47 total residential units in first phase) and the Arts District development having a total height of 80 feet with six levels of high density residential development above the main floor (335 total residential units)), have alerted the City Council to previously unanticipated, serious negative impacts that will result from such developments as well as negative impacts that would result from potential future developments that are permitted under the current standards of the State Street District (“SSD”) zones; and

WHEREAS the City Council is particularly concerned that the SSD zones do not have a maximum building height limit (with the exception of the NVD zone in which the City Council established maximum building heights on July 27, 2021) and that the SSD zones have a relatively low parking requirement (as compared to other zones in the City) which allows for the overconcentration of high density residential development in the SSD zones and inadequate parking to serve such developments; and

WHEREAS the City Council is also concerned that the additional traffic resulting from the overconcentration of residential development in the SSD zones will cause significantly greater traffic congestion on State Street as well as on neighborhood streets that currently primarily serve residential neighbors and significantly decrease safety for vehicles, pedestrians and other users of all of said streets; and

WHEREAS the City Council finds that when the SSD zones were enacted by the City Council, the State Street Master Plan contemplated that a bus rapid transit (BRT) system would be implemented on State Street that would reduce vehicular traffic trips on State Street and would allow State Street to accommodate the increased traffic that would be generated by high density residential development in the SSD zones; and

WHEREAS a BRT system has not yet been built on State Street and a BRT system is not going to be built on State Street for many years which means that State Street does not currently have the capacity to handle the substantial additional traffic that would be generated by the high density residential development that is being proposed in the two recent development applications and the additional development applications that may be made in the future under the current standards of the SSD zones; and

WHEREAS the City does not currently have adequate or proper infrastructure on State Street to handle the substantial additional traffic that would be generated by the two recent development applications or for other development applications for high density residential developments that are allowed under the current standards of the SSD zones; and

WHEREAS the two recent development applications in the NVD and Arts District zones have generated substantial opposition from residents both who live in the vicinity of the NVD zone and the Arts District zone and from residents in the City at large who believe that the unlimited building height allowed in the SSD zones, the relatively low level of parking required (as compared to other zones), and the high concentration of high density residential development allowed will have serious negative impacts on surrounding areas including traffic and safety impacts and other concerns; and

WHEREAS a substantial number of neighbors in the vicinity of the NVD and Arts District zones have expressed vehement opposition to the proposed two developments in the NVD and Arts District zones (as well as to future development under the current standards of the SSD zones) based on their fears and concerns that the proposed and potential addition of hundreds of additional residential units within a small area will (1) substantially increase traffic on their neighborhood streets which will create greater safety hazards to both local resident traffic and pedestrians, (2) substantially change and diminish the character and quality of their residential neighborhoods due to the increased traffic and the incompatibility of unlimited building heights and overconcentration of residential high density development in proximity to their homes and (3) diminish their overall quality of life in their current homes; and

WHEREAS when the State Street District zones were enacted, the City Council was unaware of the high level of opposition that residents in the vicinity of the State Street District zones as well as other residents of the City would have to the type of development currently allowed in the State Street District zones;and

WHEREAS the City Council believes that some level of residential development is still appropriate in the SSD zones, but that the high concentration/density of residential development currently allowed by the absence ·of any building height limit and the relatively low parking requirement in four of the SSD zones currently allows a level of residential density in the SSD zones that will lead to the substantial negative impacts referred to above; and

WHEREAS the City Council desires to take the time needed to study and reevaluate what the appropriate development standards should be in the SSD zones particularly with respect to height limits, parking requirements, and allowable residential density in order to prevent development that will have an unacceptably high negative impact on traffic and safety and to prevent development that would be incompatible with existing, residential neighborhoods in the vicinity of the SSD zones; and

WHEREAS the City Council finds that there are compelling, countervailing public interests justifying the imposition of a temporary land use regulation prohibiting the erection, construction, reconstruction, or alteration of any building or structure or an subdivision approval in the City Center District zones, the Hub District zones, the Canyon Crossing District zones, the Arts District zones and the North Village District zones in order to allow the City Council time to study and reevaluate the appropriate development standards for the SSD zones including the following:

  1. The substantial negative impact that the overconcentration of high density residential development currently allowed in the SSD zones will have on traffic congestion on State Street and neighborhood streets such as 400 East which don’t have the capacity to handle this additional level of traffic. Such developments will cause significantly greater traffic congestion on State Street as well as on neighborhood streets that currently primarily serve residential neighbors and will significantly decrease safety for vehicles, pedestrians and other users of all of said streets. The City does not currently have adequate or proper infrastructure on State Street (including a BRT system which is still at least several years away) to handle the substantial additional traffic that would be generated by the two recent development applications or for other development applications for high density residential developments that are allowed under the current standards of the SSD zones.
  2. The previously unknown, unanticipated and substantial resident opposition to development under the current standards of the SSD zones based on residents’ concerns regarding the negative impact
  3. that such development (allowing unlimited building heights, relatively lower parking standards and high residential density) will have on traffic, safety and their quality of life.

3. The emotional stress to neighbors from the increase in traffic congestion on State Street and neighborhood streets in the vicinity of the NVD and Arts District zones as a result of the two proposed developments in those zones and to neighbors in the vicinity of the other SSD zones as a result of potential future developments in the other SSD zones.

WHEREAS the matter having been submitted and the City Council having fully considered the matter in a public meeting on August 9, 2021, as it relates to the health, safety and general welfare of the City; the orderly development of land in the City; the effect upon surrounding neighborhoods; and the special conditions applicable to the request.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF OREM,

UTAH, as follows:

  1. Based on the finding of a compelling, countervailing public interest as set forth in the recitals above, which recitals are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth herein, the Orem City Council hereby enacts a temporary land use regulation pursuant to Utah Code Section 10-9a-504 prohibiting the erection, construction, reconstruction, or alteration of any building or structure or any subdivision approval in the City Center District zones, the Hub District zones, the Canyon Crossing District zones, the Arts District zones and the North Village District zones. This temporary land use regulation shall be in effect for a period of six months from the effective date hereof.
  2. If any part of this ordinance shall be declared invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this ordinance.
  3. This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon passage and posting in three public places within the City.

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