Thursday, August 30, 2007

Polling location for Joaquin Residents

Since we very much want you to get out and vote this fall, I think this information will help.

The polling location for Precinct PRO4 and PRO6 will be in the Historic Courthouse Rotunda on Sept 11, 07 for the Primary election.
51 South University Ave. Parking will be an issue for most voters. Center and University Ave will be the best or over at the Health and Justice Building parking garage. The county elections office is also looking for poll workers for the next year. There will be three elections happening next year one in Feb. June, and Nov. The pay is a nice benefit for community service.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Parking Permit Program status report

(Common streetscape in Joaquin: Cars.....)
As all of you know, parking is one of our neighborhood's curses. We have too many cars, and not enough parking spaces for all of them. This is especially true in North Joaquin. Nearly 1 year ago, we submitted a parking permit plan to the City. The Mayor at that point instructed Community Development to begin work. Brent Wilde, one of the City's Senior Planners, began working on the issue. He has done a great deal of work, and frankly, I'm grateful. He has put together a report on the issue for the Mayor and the City Council, and that report contains his proposals for helping us with the problem. The City Council will begin working on the issue this fall. We expect the ordinance will be passed relatively soon, and will go into effect in January. That date may change, but that's my best guess at this point.
This week (Aug 27th to 31st) is our last week of relatively low volumes of cars in the neighborhood. Next week they'll come back in force once BYU resumes classes. The difference in both traffic and cars on the streets is unfortunately very noticeable. We suffer from a few core problems which I'd like to review:
  • Commuter traffic. We have a lot of folks who live further out who enjoy using our neighborhood as their parking lot each day while up at BYU. BYU has now changed its policies to offer free parking to students in most of its lots. Frankly, they have all the parking they need, it just isn't where students want it to be. It is over in the Marriott Center parking lot, and at the Stadium. It takes a good 15 minutes to walk from that end of campus to the south end, where most of the classrooms are. Shuttles aren't provided, so many find it easier to park in our neighborhood and walk up the hill. 800 North in particular is used for this.
  • Students parking on the street instead of in stalls provided by their apartment complexes/houses. Provo City Code has required landlords to provide offstreet parking for all cars operated from that residence since the 1950's. We all know that hasn't really happened. But, many complexes have adequate parking, and it sits half empty while the streets overflow with cars.
  • Maintaining an appropriate balance of parking to keep Joaquin a positive place for owner occupants to live.

The proposal has too many points to be covered quickly, and needs your attention. We will be having neighborhood meetings to cover it. It divides the neighborhood into 2 basic sections, mostly along 500 and 560 North. The "plan" for North and South Joaquin are quite different in many respects. South Joaquin's plan will likely offer all owner occupants at least one free on street permit, and allow homeowner's to purchase one more. All homeowners will be given first priority, and at least a 2 week period of time to obtain/purchase their permits. After that, tenants that live in apartments and houses with a Rental Dwelling License will be able to obtain permits. Brent has calculated exactly how many parking space there are in South Joaquin, and no more than that number will be sold. So, if we've got 2000 parking spots, no more than 2000 permits will be sold. Arrangements for visitor parking, Farrer elementary, local businesses, and churches are all part of the plan.

I encourage each of you to take a look at the plan and "study up." I can provide it to you as a pdf file. Your opinions will be needed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Joaquin's new park

(Picture of land that will be our park)
In 2005, when Joaquin elementary was closed, our neighborhood lost a significant resource. Our greenspace became a demolition zone, and since then has been sold and rezoned for a large new apartment complex. With a population of nearly 15,000 residents, we were very underserved by our city in terms of park space. After the 2005 City elections, George Stewart and Cindy Richards led a push to provide funds for the creation of a new park. By this point, the city already owned the 2 homes on the SE corner of 400 East and 400 North. This land became designated as that spot. The city has since purchased another home on 400 East, and is working to buy a 4th.
This spring, part of that land was cleared, with 2 large Sycamore trees being preserved. The Parks and Rec department started putting in sprinkler system, replaced sidewalks, and we hope to see this land covered in sod this fall. Further development will wait until the last home is bought. Negotiations are currently under way.
We hope to see a wonderful neighborhood resource in the future. A playground, and hopefully, a small ball field will be available, along with a pavillion.

Welcome to the Joaquin Journal

(Knight-Mangum Home on Center Street)
Welcome to the Joaquin Neighborhood Journal! Its our latest tool to help neighbors keep track of what's happening, issues they should be concerned about, and the positive things that are happening in our neighborhood. My name is Kurt Peterson, one of the two co-chairs of the Joaquin Neighborhood.

Our neighborhood is one of Provo's Pioneer Neighborhoods. It comprises half of the Provo Historic District, and sits just NE of our city's downtown. Our boundaries run from Center Street on the South to 800 North on the North, University Avenue is our Western edge, and 900 East is our Eastern edge. Nearly 15,000 people live in our 72 block neighborhood, which is located just South of Brigham Young University. The area we call North Joaquin is mostly populated by BYU students living in different apartment complexes and older homes. South of 500 North is "South" Joaquin, which has a mix of historic homes as well as apartments. Nearly 90% of all owner occupied homes in the neighborhood are in South Joaquin.

Our neighborhood elementary school is Farrer, which serves both our neighborhood and Maeser, which is just South of Center Street. It's boundaries also extend to 200 West in the Commercial Business District, and a piece of the Foothills neighborhood (to the East). The school, built in the 1930's as a WPA project, as been updated and changed many times. The land to the north and south of the School serves as a recreation zone for the neighborhood. 3 playgrounds, two outdoor pavillions, tennis courts, and a basketball area are located on them. It served as one of Provo's Middle Schools until 2005. The middle school which serves our area is Centennial, and our High School is Timpview. Both of these schools are in NE Provo.

Our neighborhood has 2 parks, though one is being developed as I write this. Memorial Park is located in the SE corner of our neighborhood, straddling both sides of 800 East. It is an old park, with large mature trees, and nice walking paths. Many of the evergreen trees planted in the park were put in after WWI, and were planted as a memorial to the soldiers from Provo who gave their lives in that war. A new playground is being put together in this park, tucked between several of these trees. The playground is meant to serve Toddlers and younger children. The other park, known to us currently as Joaquin Park, is being built at the SE corner of the intersection of 400 North, and 400 East. The city has purchased 3 homes for it, and is trying to buy the 4th. The first two that were bought have been torn down, and the land has been cleared and graded. Completion date is unknown at this point.

Provo City has a City Council in which there are 5 districts, and 2 City-wide seats. The district which covers Provo's Pioneer Neighborhoods is represented by Cindy Richards. George Stewart, a former Mayor, and Steve Turley are the City-Wide representatives. Our representative on the Provo School Board is Mary Ann Christiansen, one of our own! Put them to work for you!

If you have ideas, or concerns that you want addressed on this blog, you can email me at I encourage you to let me know about important events and issues that you would like on here. I look forward to your participation.