STATE STREET Master plan

Welcome to Imagine Orem: State Street, a place to learn more about the State Street Master Plan which was adopted in 2015 and updated through the Imagine Orem public process in 2018.

Orem’s Mayor and City Council held a couple of open houses where they collected feedback and we’ve heard from hundreds of people online.

The City Council is now in the process of reviewing and processing the feedback.

Unable to Attend the Open Houses?

View the Presentation Boards below:

In 2015 the City Council adopted the State Street Corridor Master Plan, which established the vision for the future of State Street. The Plan identified five distinct “districts” that are centered around major intersections (1600 N., 800 N., Center Street, 800 S., University Parkway). The strategy behind the districts is to allow for new types of development (such as mixed-use developments) that contribute to a vibrant downtown atmosphere. At the same time, the City’s goal is to limit high-density residential developments in other areas that are not within these districts.

This strategic approach to growth management will both protect single-family neighborhoods from high-density encroachment, while also providing a downtown place where denser developments are appropriate and where the infrastructure is better suited to handle it. Given the current housing shortage, this is an approach to both fill the immediate housing need, while also protecting well-established neighborhoods from drastic or sudden change.

From 2015 to 2018, the City has engaged with the public to take the “district” concept from the Plan and to create zoning laws for new developments within the districts. This process has involved multiple stakeholders, including Orem residents, business and property owners, elected officials, private consultants, and Orem City Staff.

A crucial part of this project involved an extensive outreach effort through the newly-formed “Imagine Orem” campaign. The goal of this campaign has been to provide multiple opportunities for the public to weigh in. Additionally, the City updated its approach to public meetings, with more activities for kids, interactive presentations, games, competitions, and free food. Where previous meetings would typically have a dozen or so attendees, the “Imagine Orem” events had several hundred (see the “Imagine Orem” webpage to learn more about these events).

In June 2018, the City Council passed the “City Center District” ordinance, which laid the groundwork for the remaining four districts. At the same time, the Council passed an ordinance that restricted Staff from accepting any applications for residential “PD” (Planned Development) zones in an existing residential zone (PD zones are what have traditionally been used for high-density apartment developments). This means all single-family zones are off limits to high-density housing.[1]

Over the second half of 2018, Staff focused on working with the public to find out what elements should be specifically tailored to each remaining district. For example, the “Arts District” has a separate art component not found in other districts. This will make the Arts District unique and identifiable as new art pieces go up.

Finally, in October 2018, the City Council passed ordinances for the remaining four State Street Districts, which means we now have all five districts officially adopted!

So what happens next?

Let’s keep this clear: EXISTING DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO CHANGE (this came up as a repeated concern.) The new zoning laws only apply when a property owner is ready to redevelop their property. Any existing buildings that do not meet the new ordinance are allowed to continue to remain standing and function indefinitely. It is only when an owner decides to re-build or build a significant expansion onto their building (more than 15% of their square footage) that these ordinances kick in. Properties can be sold to a new owner, and that new owner can keep things as they are as well. Additionally, any existing permitted uses (such as a restaurant or car dealership) remain permitted under the new ordinance.

How will this roll out over time?

Over the next decade or more (depending on market conditions), we will likely see several properties in these districts start to redevelop (a full redevelopment of all districts will most likely take more than 20 years.) Incrementally, we will see the formation of little downtown areas, with identifiable landmarks and amenities in each district. We will see new types of signage (such as monument signs) replacing pole signs, buildings brought up close to the street (shielding their parking lots from view), separated sidewalks with street trees lining the corridor, and little spaces for the public such as dining plazas, pocket parks, and outdoor seating. This new, attractive corridor will foster successful businesses, create a healthy and beautiful downtown center, and be a safe environment for people using several modes of transportation. At the same time, our single-family neighborhoods will not see the same degree of redevelopment.

We can now move forward with a much greater sense of predictability for State Street and the overall development of the city. You can read through each of the district ordinances by visiting the links below. Feel free to reach out to Staff with any questions.

On behalf of the City of Orem,

Thank you for contributing your input and for helping shape the future of your city!

[1] A few things to note:  this does not apply to “PRD” zones, which still allows medium-density townhomes/rowhomes in residential areas. Also, existing PD zones with residential uses will be allowed to continue to operate and develop, but they cannot expand into a neighborhood. There are also a couple developments that have been “grandfathered in” due to having applications submitted prior to this ordinance.

Join the Conversation

As Orem reaches 100,000 residents, the demand for housing is growing. As current buildings and infrastructure age, how do we update State Street to accommodate new development while maintaining Orem’s heritage?

The State Street Corridor Master Plan, adopted in 2015, is intended to be a road map for the residents of Orem to embrace and implement a family-friendly vision for the future of the State Street corridor.

The Imagine Orem VR Experience
the goals of the STATE STREET plan
1. Protect Neighborhoods

Protect single-family neighborhoods by concentrating density around major corridors

2. Transit

Plan density around future transit stops to maximize potential ridership and efficiency

3. Retail

Keep our retail core competitive as the whole retail experience changes

4. Safety

Making State Street more pedestrian-friendly and safe

5. Design

Establishing detailed design standards and mixed-use requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

The State Street Corridor Master Plan is an offical planning document created in partnership between residents, business owners, and City Staff. The Orem City Council adopted the Plan in 2015 as part of our Orem City Code. The Plan outlines the five districts we are now working to formally establish via zoning ordinances. It provides the general framework guiding this effort. We are implementing the Plan on the ground now!

There are many ways you can get involved! Only have a minute? Fill out our brief online survey. You can also submit comments directly here (see our form below). You can attend any one of our free events and speak directly with staff. You can also call or email staff (Contact: Christian Kirkham, Long Range Planner, 801.229.7267,

“Imagine Orem” is the platform for all major planning projects in Orem. Staff wants to know your “big picture” ideas for what you imagine for the future of the city!

Everyone! The events are open to the public and there will be activities for all ages. Refreshments are provided.

We are holding multiple free events to give people an opportunity to play an active role in shaping their city! There are still many decisions that need to be made, and Staff needs to know what is desired by the general public. The events will provide opportunities for people to learn about how planning works in the city. There are also fun and educational activities for children and teens that should make it easier and more appealing for families to attend!

Staff aims to consolidate the ideas and feedback from these events in drafting new ordinances that will help achieve the City’s vision. Over the years as properties redevelop, these ordinances will frame the type and quality of new development in Orem.


Coloring Page

Have your kids show off their art skills and imaginations! Download this page, color it in and drop it off at the Orem City Library for a free DVD rental at the Library and a chance to have yours featured at one of our upcoming events!

Minecraft Contest

Due to popular demand, we’re opening up this contest again and accepting submissions. 

Welcome to the 2018 “Imagine Orem” Minecraft Competition! This is a building competition open to all ages. The goal is to create downtown Orem how you envision it in the future! You can choose to focus on a few buildings at a specific intersection, or if you’re feeling extra ambitious you can create a whole downtown district!

Contact us

Please fill out the form below with any questions or comments you have. Want to check out other planning projects in the city? Check out