Explore the datasheet we used. A note: a workshop held on May 24 is not included, as the audio file posted by the city has low quality.
In November 2021, Moab elected a new mayor, Joette Langianese, and two new councilmembers, Luke Wojciechowski and Jason Taylor. Wojciechowski and Taylor joined Councilmembers Rani Derasary, Tawny Knuteson-Boyd, and Kalen Jones.
The Moab Sun News took a look at what the council accomplished in a year: what topics members spent time discussing, who they heard from during meetings, and how often locals chimed in during “citizens to be heard.” There were 20 regular meetings this year (regular meetings took place every second and fourth Tuesday of the month), seven special meetings, one emergency meeting, and five workshops, for a total of 33 meetings. The average length of the regular meetings was two hours and 26 minutes.
In January, council meetings took place online due to COVID-19 precautions. That month, the council discussed board appointments, police technology, and two housing projects: a development along Kane Creek Boulevard and the long-standing Walnut Lane project.
The council approved a rezone for the Kane Creek development, with the condition that the developer committed at least 33% of the units to “Active Employment Households.” This was the first time this year the council discussed the real possibility of requiring that any new developments set aside units for Moab locals.
For the Walnut Lane affordable housing project, the council agreed to return a $6.5 million Sales Tax Revenue Bond from Zions Bank, which had been intended to fund Phase 1 of the project, because the project had no clear path forward.
In February, the council discussed the possibility of building new pickleball courts at Old City Park, to the dismay of numerous citizens who said the sport was too loud and would ruin the park; by the end of the month, the project was discontinued.
On Feb. 8, the council invited Jason Glidden, the housing development manager at Park City, to speak with the council about Park City’s successes in building affordable housing for its workforce. In attempts to make moves in Moab, the council further discussed the “Active Employment Households” code amendment and hired Cory Shurtleff as the city’s planning director.
In March, the council decided to move forward with the Walnut Lane affordable housing project by pursuing a public-private partnership, in which the city would long-term lease the property to a developer who would manage, complete, and operate the project. As of December, the city has not yet hired a developer for the project.
The council also discussed how to regulate “bunkhouses,” a term the council used to describe housing situations in which employers provide housing to their employees, following a few citizen complaints.
In April, it became clear the city’s proposed “Active Employee Housing” ordinance was under legal threat from real estate agents and members of the Utah State Legislature.
The city faced another legal threat as well. In late April, the council agreed to enter a joint defense agreement with Grand County against claims made by the BlueRibbon Coalition and local ATV businesses that the city and county’s noise regulations caused $1 million in damages.
The council also denied the Scots on the Rocks application to host the annual event at the Center St. Ballparks in a 3-2 vote (Taylor and Knuteson-Boyd dissented) following complaints that the event was too loud.
Carly Castle was hired as Moab’s city manager.
In May, the council heard updates on the city’s visioning project, led by Future iQ. The city also hired Jared Garcia as the new police chief; he joined a city council meeting to discuss his imminent goals, which included hiring and retaining more officers.
The city also defined its capital improvement projects list. The projects listed with the highest importance fell under the streets, sewer, and stormwater categories.
In June, the workforce housing (“Active Employee Housing”) ordinance appeared briefly before the council “not for any action, but to let the public know we’re working on this,” Langianese said.
The council also decided to allow Scots on the Rocks to host its event at the Center St. Ballparks in another 3-2 vote, following a few event changes that would cut down on noise. There was also significant pushback against the initial denial from locals—a petition against the event denial received over 1,500 signatures. Derasary and Jones dissented; Derasary said she voted against allowing the event at the ballparks because she believed the event would be too loud, even following changes.
“You can try and fling things at me, saying I don’t like bagpipes, but you’re going to have a hard time making that stick, because I do like them, and that has nothing to do with it,” she said.
In July, the council discussed adding a line in event applications asking organizers to rank their events by expected noise volume and intensity. They also again tabled the workforce housing ordinance due to the ongoing legal threats it faced.
The council heard a few project updates from inside and outside of the city: traffic project updates from City Engineer Chuck Williams, and an Arches National Park timed entry update from parks staff, who said reviews were positive.
In August, the council approved its workforce housing ordinance: all new developments in R3 and R4 zones are required to set aside 33% of their units for members of the local workforce. The city also dealt with millions of dollars in infrastructure damage following a particularly volatile monsoon season.
In September, the city hired a new sustainability director: Alexi Lamm. Councilmembers also heard an update from Williams concerning the city’s dispersed parking project—Moabites who have been here before September will remember when 100 E. didn’t have extra parking spaces in the middle of the road.
The council also continued discussions on flood recovery.
In October, the council heard from Nathaniel Clark, who works within the police department as the victim assistance unit manager. Between July and September, he said, he served 73 victims of crime.
The city also conducted a survey with current residents of Walnut Lane and found that most tenants didn’t want to be displaced, even if that meant new units could be built faster.
And the city’s future vision project, “Moab Tomorrow Together,” conducted by Future iQ, was finalized.
November and December
November and December each had only one city council meeting due to the holiday schedule. These months, the council discussed flood mitigation projects and purchased a duplex in town to provide city employees with temporary housing. The council also decided to devote more funds to paying a state lobbyist, with Castle saying she expected a fight during the 2023 legislative session.