Dear Editor:

As a lifelong member of this community, and with a 107-year family history here in Moab, I am appalled and disgusted at what the county council has done. It’s my understanding that the city intends to follow suit. If so, then it’s my opinion that they will be guilty of the same tyrannical acts as the county.

I own property in the city and the county. You will not and cannot legislate property owners into building what you want. You claim to be considering this new ordinance on behalf of the residents of Moab; stop insulting our intelligence, please. If that is the case then maybe you would like to tell me, of those pushing for “no more motels, stop the corporations,” blah blah blah, how many even own property in the area? And of those that do, how many are negatively affected by this ordinance? Anyone care to answer? Didn’t think so. That appears to be the only voice you have been willing to listen to throughout this entire process.

It has become obvious to me in meeting with city and county employees that there is an incredible bias when I’m admonished by a county employee who thinks he’s God, for implying that I should have more rights than someone else and being told of his vision for my property. There is obvious bias and conflict of interest. I had a similar experience with a city employee telling me “this is nothing more than an ‘eat the rich’ witch hunt.”

I should absolutely have more rights than someone that doesn’t own property and lives here part time. Most of them are on BLM land for free. How much have they contributed ?

To approve this ordinance would be to punish anyone wanting to develop their property for overnight lodging, almost entirely because of the transgressions of those who came before. You know who I’m referring to, and so do the county and city employees that I’ve spoken to; this is because of their animosity toward them. You allowed them to get away with it! I have been a landlord here for 30 years, I understand the need for affordable housing. But you cannot force property owners into building it; most of my experience with lower-income tenants has been very bad. I promise you I will never build long-term housing. I would sooner see my property sit empty until I’m gone. I assure you I will take whatever legal measures I can to ensure that it won’t happen after I’m gone. So there is the result of trying to force something. This property has been undeveloped for 107 years, 100 more makes no difference to me. This will only serve to further divide this community and will not accomplish your goals.

Robert Hines