Proposed South Downtown CDA
PROPOSED SOUTH DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AREA
The area of Downtown Provo south of Center Street and north of the Provo Towne Centre Mall has great potential to be Utah County's leading transit-oriented urban neighborhood. Adjacent to the dining, cultural, and employment opportunities of Center Street, the outstanding regional access offered by Frontrunner, and the stable traditional neighborhoods to the east and west, this area is in some ways the future of Provo - the place best suited to welcome new residents in coming years.
It is with all this potential in mind that the Provo City Council, in its role as the board of the Redevelopment Agency of Provo City, is considering the creation of the South Downtown Community Development Area (CDA). The Redevelopment Agency has scheduled a July 1, 2014, public hearing to consider adoption of the South Downtown Community Development Project Area Plan. This Plan outlines general standards to guide community development in terms of:
- General character
- Building orientation and facades
- Pedestrian issues
- Open space
The Plan also states five main objectives:
- Enhanced employment
- Access to goods and services
- Improved tax base
- Housing opportunities
- Reinforcing downtown as the center of Utah County
Creating this Project Area is the first step to Provo using tax increment financing (TIF) in this part of Downtown (Area Map). Currently, there are no formal requests to use TIF in this Area, although people have indicated interest in it. However, as specific development projects come along in the future, the City, partnering with Utah County, Provo City School District, and Central Utah Water Conservancy, could consider using tax increment to help make such projects possible. This will be of great long-term benefit to the community and the local economy. Without a taxing entity's consent to a specific project at that point, the tax increment may not be employed in this way.
Some crucial points about CDA's that often concern people:
1. The CDA could not force anyone to sell their property to a developer. Utah law doesn't permit forced sales like this. Any property sale would be strictly voluntary on the part of the seller, just as it is now.
2. No one's property taxes are raised by this, except as a property owner may increase the value of the property by improving it with new, larger buildings, etc.
3. As the draft CDA Plan talks about, the CDA is about helping people improve their properties, including a possible incentive to new development to take advantage of being near Frontrunner. The Plan is also careful to specify that new development would likely be more intensive in the traditionally commercial parts of the area, but intensity would transition down as one gets closer to the existing residential areas on the fringes.
There is more that could be said about this. We would be happy to meet with property owners in the proposed Area, or visit by phone (801-852-6160, Mon.-Thurs. 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.), to explain more and answer other questions. Or email anytime to firstname.lastname@example.org.