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Orem developer wants to do more than minimum on 800 North project

Departing from what's considered the usual mode, a large-scale developer in Orem wants to more than meet the existing standard on a project.

Randy Deschamps, representing the EsNet Management Corporation, told the City Council and Planning Commission at separate meetings this week that the development firm wants permission to do more in the current PC3 zone than is required.Specifically, the developers want to put in more extensive landscaping and voluntarily limit any intrusive on-site lighting on property located along 800 North adjacent to the new Timpanogos Regional Hospital.

Deschamps said the company also wants to add uses such as those allowed in the professional-office zone - offices for doctors, dentists and lawyers, and perhaps an assisted-living center.

In return, he is asking that EsNet not be required to supply a large anchor tenant but rather have the option to build a project with smaller shops and offices.

He offered to landscape 800 North in a manner dictated by a resident advisory committee, using meandering berms and trees along the corridor including trails and bike paths.

Initially the PC3 zone - which exists only in two areas in Orem - was designed for large-scale commercial projects like the Smith/-ShopKo shopping center on the corner of State Street and Center Street.

It was assigned to the land now under discussion when a mall or regional shopping center was envisioned there.

Director of Development Services Stanford Sainsbury said the uses for the 30-acre parcel between 300 West and 700 West have changed somewhat since the hospital opened.

The parcel is one of the few large properties open for development left in Orem, Sainsbury said. Four owners have an interest in the development.

Sainsbury said the city could apply the hospital overlay zone, making medically related uses fit within the area or rezone the property to commercial shopping or professional offices. However, the most practical option seems to be to modify the PC3 zone since it exists only in two areas.

Buildings in the PC3 would still need a 40-foot setback for a 31-foot height or 70 feet for a 48-foot-high building.

Neighbors complain that the property was on the master plan for residential development when they bought their homes.

"They changed it on us," said resident Robert Raymond. "The PC3 is only resident-friendly because we threw such a fit."

Others said they're OK with EsNet's plans if the city keeps 400 West and 600 West closed to through traffic.

A public hearing on the PC3 zone changes related to this project is set for Feb. 24 at 6:40 p.m. before the City Council.