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Orem high-density development plans receive pushback from residents

Posted at 10:03 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 00:06:20-04

OREM, Utah — An Orem developer plans to build dozens of condos and townhomes on a plot of land at 1600 North and 400 West.

The plan, called the Lofts at 16th, would construct a mix of 47 condominiums and townhomes.

Longtime residents fear it will create a parking nightmare and traffic hazard.

“The architect and the developer have underestimated how the public feels about this,” said Jill Barrick, an organizer of a petition against the development. “It is not great in this location on this little, tiny street.”

The plan was presented to the neighborhood at a public meeting led by the architect and owner-developer.

“I am disgusted. This has nothing to do with what the residents want,” said Kathryn Christensen, whose family has lived in the neighborhood for generations. “We want to be in charge of what can go here, and not who has the most money and who can throw things up.”

During a heated question and answer period, residents voiced their concerns. At one point, a woman asked if the owner would sell the land to the community to maintain the status quo.

“It’s not up for sale. It’s not up for sale,” said owner Dennis O’Brien. “We are going through with the development.”

The architect for the development told the residents the plan meets all the current zoning requirements, including accounting for 1.7 parking spaces per residence.

According to 2019 population statistics, Orem is the most densely populated city in Utah County with 5,308 residents per square mile.