The Board of San Juan County Commissioners met virtually for their regular biweekly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 18. Chairman Kenneth Maryboy was absent, tending to his family in the Navajo Nation; Vice-Chairman Willie Greyeyes and Commissioner Bruce Adams voted on all meeting items.

Returning to ongoing discussions about a planned State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration development in Spanish Valley, Planning and Zoning Director Walter Bird recommended updating zoning map to reflect requested changes, including designating 1,000 feet on either side of Highway 191 as a commercial zone, redesignating critical infrastructure and sanding gravel areas, and changing other parcels of personal property to residential zones.

Marlene Huckabay’s property is in the commercial zone, but asked the commissioners to zone the property as residential.

“I hope that everyone will respect that,” Huckabay said on Tuesday. “It seems silly to switch [the property] to commercial, and then I have to apply to have it residential. Can’t we just have it residential now? We just keep chewing on the same fat over and over again.”

Several residents of Spanish Valley spoke during the meeting, including Carolyn Daley, San Juan County Commission candidate Monette Clark, Liz Thomas, Ann Austin and Huckabay. Many echoed Huckabay’s criticisms of numerous split zones.

SITLA representative Elise Erler urged the commissioners to approve this zoning map and make smaller changes later.

Commissioner Adams expressed his desire to accept the map “with a recommendation that the map be adjusted to allow Marlene Huckabay’s property to remain residential.” He then made the motion for the map to be approved, but Commissioner Greyeyes did not second this motion.

“We as commissioners cannot force [a change in] land status,” said Greyeyes. “Those have grown roots over the years, and here comes a company that wants to change the profile. I don’t agree with that.”

“I don’t want to make decisions that would negatively impact the people that live [in Spanish Valley],” Greyeyes continued.

With only two out of three commissioners present, the motion to approve the latest Spanish Valley zoning map failed due to lack of a second and majority vote.