Immediately upon moving back to Moab I became aware of an R-2 Single Family and Two Family zoning issue in my neighborhood. Any homeowner in this zone who thinks their investment is protected by Moab City’s Municipal Code needs to pay attention to what has been playing out over the past year with regard to the application for a conditional use permit for a B&B at 100 Arches Drive.

The R-2 zoning code states that the objectives and characteristics of this zone are residential.

That word is used six times in the first paragraph to describe the essential characteristics of this zone. The code then goes on to say that “Other public facilities are allowed when an approved conditional use permit has been granted by the city as required under Section 17.09.530” which states:

 Bed and Breakfast facilities… may be allowed as a conditional use permit where applicant can show evidence of compliance with outlined standards and procedures and where there is clearly minimal negative impact on adjacent residential properties and neighborhoods.

I highlight the word “may” because MAY does not indicate MUST; and I highlight the word “and” with what follows after that word, because it is the part of the code that protects the property rights of homeowners.

The public record shows the City Council followed due process for reviewing the application for a conditional use permit and decided to deny the permit based on written law. The applicant disagreed and sued the city.

On December 15, 2015, when oral argument was presented in district court, both the judge and the attorney for the applicant focused on the language in the first part of 17.09.530.

Section 17.09.530 clearly states that both parts of Section 17.09.530 must be met before a conditional use permit may be approved by the City Council.

Hopefully, the judge will become more familiar with Section 17.09.530 before making a ruling in favor of the applicant, and overturning the decision of the Moab City Council.