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Provo extending master plan study

Housing project sparks protests from Y. students

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Like most acronyms used by the government, the sound of this one either induces sleep or further study.

The Provo Council opted for further study Tuesday night. SCAMP (South Campus Area Master Plan) is the controversial plan to create a pedestrian-friendly student village on 30 square blocks south of Brigham Young University. The council will take another two months to study the issue and discuss it again April 2.

The decision shouldn't come as a surprise — the city has spent two years studying the SCAMP proposal and the City Council has been holding public discussions for nearly a year.

Several BYU students at Tuesday's meeting said they hope SCAMP never becomes more than an ambitious idea.

Their beef?

The plan would require many students living in the village — which will include shops, parks and other amenities — to live without a car. That's impossible, says BYU student Janeal Thornock.

"If they can't provide parking for the students who live there, they need to create a mass transit system that works. Until that happens, we can't support it," said Thornock, who leads a school-sponsored group that meets with the city council.

City planner Richard Secrist, a SCAMP supporter, asked the council to continue the study until April to address the concerns.

Several council members said they support the delay because BYU has not revealed its housing plan for the area. BYU officials say there are plans to build housing on 800 North, which would fall within the SCAMP boundaries.

Secrist also wants time to revise the SCAMP concept in light of a council decision Jan. 8 to limit student housing in the South Joaquin neighborhood, which is adjacent to the SCAMP area. Many residents there complained student housing has overrun their neighborhood.

"If South Joaquin is successful, students will be displaced and need a place to live," said Chief Administrative Officer Bob Stockwell.

Stockwell said one purpose of SCAMP would be to give those displaced students a place to live.

E-mail: jhyde@desnews.com