Orem will soon have an auto dealership on the southwest side of one of the city's central corners - Main Street and 1300 South.
Following a lively debate and eventual compromise, the City Council approved a plan for Barber Bros. Mitsubishi to operate on the site. Construction could start as early as January, and the company could open in April.The corner has been the center of repeated debates because neighborhoods border the commercial zone.
At Tuesday's council meeting, citizens expressed concerns that the dealership will bring further development south along Main St. The already approved R.C. Willey development on the southeast corner will run further south than Barber Bros.
Neighbors were also concerned about access roads from the business onto 1400 South, which is essentially a residential street. They also preferred a masonry fence to the chain-link fence proposed.
Fred Barber, representing the company, said he only needed two entrances. Planned openings on 1300 South and Main St. would suffice, he said.
Barber also agreed to put in a masonry wall.
Councilman Keith Hunt complimented Barber on his willingness to compromise. He said neighbors had told him privately that Barber had been very good to work with during neighborhood work sessions. The remarks drew applause of agreement from local residents.
The council also helped accommodate the compromise. It told Barber that if the Utah Department of Transportation did not allow an access from 1300 South directly to his property, the council would help provide an entrance from already established access roads on 1300 South.
The council also agreed to use tax increment funds to help pay for the company's masonry wall. Tax increments are the difference between old property tax rates on undeveloped property and the higher property tax rates after it is developed. Essentially, some of the property tax the company pays will be returned to pay for the wall.