Orem City Council votes to approve new student housing project

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Rendering shows potential student housing. Photo courtesy of Palos Verdes student housing project

The Orem City Council voted 5-2 to approve a rezone that will allow the construction of the Palos Verdes student housing project, east of UVU.  

The vote came at 11:30 p.m. Feb. 13 after residents and students voiced their opinions regarding the housing project.

The site is designed to be used as private student housing that will include 450 units. This will provide four single-occupant bedrooms and four bathrooms per apartment, for a total of 1,605 beds.

A main concern from the neighbors and residents who surround the area is the parking issue. In order to prevent unwanted parking in the neighborhoods surrounding UVU, PEG agreed to include more stalls for visitors, resulting in 93 parking spaces. An Uber and Lyft location and a bike share program will also be included at the location.

The development will be walking-distance from campus and will provide a pedestrian underground walkway that connects to campus grounds.

“The fact of the matter is that we need housing that is closer to campus. We have needed it for years,” said Allison Northcott, an elementary education junior and Foundation Ambassador.

Northcott said that her main concern with her current living situation is parking. The PEG development is providing .8 parking stalls for each student, meanwhile her current apartment only allows two cars to be parked per unit. The complex does not sell the unused parking permits so she often has to park far away from her apartment.

“I recently had an experience of being followed home by a middle-aged man,” she said. “I was scared. I was scared walking to my own apartment because my complex won’t allow me to park in empty places that are available.”

According to Cameron Martin, vice president for university relations, UVU supports Orem City Council’s recent action approving to rezone.

“It will lighten traffic in the Orem area because students living there will walk to campus and as it is convenient to [use] UTA’s mass transit system, students will use their unlimited access to FrontRunner, all bus lines and the new BRT line to access community services and events without the need of a car,” Martin said. “It meets the growing demand for additional, affordable student housing.”

The Palos Verdes website states that about 3,500 beds are available to the 37,000 students at UVU and that this project will provide the much needed student housing.