On Thursday, Aug. 10, the Moab City Planning Commission considered the annexation of a 10-acre parcel from Grand County to the City of Moab. The property, located at 936 and 1001 North 500 West, is currently a rural residential zone in Grand County.
The owners have requested the property receive R-4 multifamily residential zoning for 7 acres and C-4 commercial zoning for 3 acres on its eastern side, near 500 West.
The commission was divided as to whether to recommend that the Moab City Council approve or reject the application and requested zoning. Planning commission chairwoman Laura Uhle and commissioner Joe Downard voted in favor of a positive recommendation and commissioners Jeanette Kopell and Wayne Hoskisson voted for a negative recommendation.
Commissioner Allison Brown recused herself from the vote, as she lives in the neighborhood adjacent to the property in question and signed a petition, along with other neighbors, protesting the request for C-4 commercial zoning and requesting R-3 or R-4 multifamily residential zoning instead. A dozen residents attended the unusually busy planning commission meeting.
The property lies to the north of an R-2 residential city zone and to the south of a city commercial zone. West of the property is a county resort commercial zone.
The annexation would eliminate a peninsula of county land that currently extends into the city. Rachel Stenta, the city recorder, certified that the annexation meets the necessary legal requirements as of July 31, said Moab City Planning Director Jeff Reinhart.
Uhle asked whether the city had any suggested zone for areas being annexed.
“That’s exactly what we need to have developed … a future land use map,” Reinhart said.
“This one is difficult because it is surrounded by residential,” Kopell said. “500 West is ... an artery to [highway] 191. Therefore it is set up to be a commercial byway. Whether we like it or not, it’s set up as a commercial byway. So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.”
“I’d rather take baby steps … do it slowly and make sure all of our I’s are dotted and our t’s are crossed before we go ahead and make this huge decision at this point.”
Hoskisson suggested recommending that the city work with a developer to find a zone other than R-4 multifamily residential.
“Legally I think it would be hard to say no [to C-4 commercial zoning],” he added.
“The R-4 is debatable,” Uhle said. “I think it’s a great idea because you’re bringing in the possibility of employee housing and that kind of thing. So I think that’s great and I think it’s the right thing for the city but I don’t really have any problems with the C-4 either.”