The Grand County Commission considered several development applications at its June 21 meeting. The body unanimously approved the final plat for a subdivision called Desert Sol on Spanish Valley Drive. The 42-lot subdivision is being planned under the county’s High Density Housing Overlay, which allows for increased development density in exchange for 80% of the units being deed-restricted to Grand County workers.
The commission unanimously denied a request from Kane Creek Development and Preservation, LLC to provide sanitary sewer service. The company owns a parcel of land along Kane Creek Boulevard and has described preliminary plans to develop a high-end neighborhood with commercial nodes there.
“As the attorney clarified, Grand County isn’t a sanitary sewer service provider,” said County Clerk Gabriel Woytek. “Essentially this is just kind of a hoop to jump through so this developer can proceed with a petition to create a local district.”
There was more discussion surrounding a proposed development called Tin Roof Cabin Resort in the northeast part of the La Sal Mountains, above Castle Valley. The campground/resort would have 12 cabins on a 17-acre parcel, operate seasonally, and support two employees. The property is zoned for range and grazing; the applicant, Jick Taylor, sought approval for the overnight accommodations overlay to be applied. The plan includes a septic system for waste water, and for potable water to be hauled to a cistern.
Commissioners were split on the Tin Roof application. Those in favor said they prefer to support local developers over out-of-town interests; that the resort is small and will have a relatively low impact; and that it’s far from Moab, so is unlikely to impact the traffic and pressure in town. Those against expressed concerns about the location of the proposal in an area at high risk for wildfires. The commission’s agenda packet included three written comments on the Tin Roof Resort, two against and one in favor.
Commissioner Mary McGann reminded the commission that when they changed approval of overnight accommodations development applications from an administrative process to a legislative process, local officials worked with state officials who warned that the move could not be used as a block against all development.
“They were pretty adamant that we could not say ‘no’ all the time,” McGann said. “I lean towards any time I see a development that I think is pretty good… I just want to make sure that the state legislators don’t see us as ‘no, no no,’ because my fear is that they’ll come in and take away some of our rights.”
Commissioner Trisha Hedin abstained from voting on the issue because she’s a friend of the applicant, but she did remind the commission that they earlier approved a similar proposal near Westwater that is not run by locals, and she encouraged her colleagues to take into consideration the fact that the applicant is a longtime local.
Commissioner Sarah Stock voted against the application based on concerns about wildfire danger. Commissioner Evan Clapper also voted against the application, even though he said he likes the project.
“I see the value in supporting locals… it’s outside the valley… so a lot of those pressures, I don’t feel that this adds to,” Clapper said. However, he said, he’s still not comfortable allowing the ratio of overnight accommodation units to residential units to further worsen in the face of the housing crisis. Clapper noted that he hasn’t voted in favor of any new overnight accommodations.
“Although I do like your project, I don’t think the time is right for me to approve it tonight,” Clapper said.
The Tin Roof application was approved 4-2, with Stock and Clapper voting in opposition and Hedin abstaining.