If Orem were to expand its world - notifying neighbors within 500 feet of any given development request - it would put such costs into the stratosphere, city officials say.
The price for notification would jump 211 percent to an additional $13,964.22 above the annual cost of approximately $6,000.To expand to 300 feet, the city's costs would increase 53.7 percent; to 400 feet, the costs would be 126.9 percent higher.
Director of Development Services Ed Stout, told the City Council recently that Orem already "voluntarily" notifies people within a 200-foot radius of any development activity.
State statute simply requires a published and posted notice 24 hours prior to any action.
Stout and his staff prepared the cost estimates on expansion because a number of residents have complained that they either didn't receive a notice or were just enough outside the 200-foot limit to not be noticed, yet were still impacted.
Councilman Stephen Sandstrom said he didn't believe any amount of notification would make much difference. "Even with 500 feet, we still would get people complaining."
The council voted not to increase the amount of money spent on mailing notices after Stout explained how expensive the additional mailings would be.
Of 355 items considered by the Planning Commission during 1995, 129 required notification under Orem's 200-foot policy.
The notification costs for the commission totaled $3,545.53 and for the city council, $3,071.74.
Stout said the development services department does not have the funds to support any of the expanded scenarios or to hire the additional manpower it would require to prepare larger mailings.
At the same time, the staff looked at publishing meeting agendas in two area newspapers, the Daily Herald and the Deseret News.
The total yearly cost for publication in both papers would reach almost $11,000 for 34 regular City Council meetings, 24 Planning Commission meetings and 12 Board of Adjustment meetings.
The council decided to forego that move as well.