Castle Valley Comments
by Ron Drake
Mar 14, 2013 | 1285 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Twenty-five Castle Valley residents attended the monthly meeting of the town’s planning and land use commission to weigh in at a public hearing on proposed amendments to Ordinance 85-3.

The ordinance, if it goes into effect, would prohibit home and premise occupations that include auto body and/or fender repair shops, manufacture, assembly or repair of heavy equipment, major appliances, or engines. The ordinance would also prohibit junkyards, mortuaries and crematoriums.

Commission chairwoman Mary Beth Fitzburgh said the commission received 34 letters favoring the restrictions and 11 letters against, which are on file at the town clerk’s office. Fitzburgh read portions of all of the letters before hearing from those who attended the meeting. During the meeting, four people spoke in favor of the proposed amendment and five voiced their opinions against it.

Those in favor cited their desire for the peace and tranquility of a residential/agriculture area and the fear of contaminating the aquifer. Some people against the amendment favored people being able to make a living in the valley and having a diversified population with cottage industries.

After reading letters from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 and Utah Open Lands officials, both favoring limiting industrial businesses, the commission members voiced their views on the subject. Fitzburgh said she really made it her goal to research all aspects of the issue. She added that the planning commission can’t limit the number of allowed business permits to just one repair business and would have to approve all requests if the town adopts regulations allowing industrial use. She said the town can’t afford to clean the water if the aquifer gets contaminated and has a responsibility to protect the water.

Commission member Laura Cameron said she found it difficult to be on the commission and have to make a decision, but in the end said she probably wouldn’t be happy with an auto repair shop next to her home. She said she heard from a lot of neighbors who expressed concerns about the issue and she had to think about all these things when making a decision. Commission member Marie Hawkings said that the commission is not going to make everyone happy with their decision. She added that if she was guaranteed that only Dave Rhoads, who is applying for a conditional use permit, would have a repair shop there would not be a problem, but her number-one concern is the aquifer.

The commission approved the proposed amendments to the land use ordinance and will forward the decision to the town council, which will hold another public hearing during its regular monthly meeting next Wednesday, March 20.


According to a news release from Ken Davis, project information coordinator for the Colorado River Pathway Project, the full nighttime road closure on state Route128 is nearing.

“Nightime closures will take effect starting April 1 at 11:30 p.m. Nightly closures will continue Sunday night through Thursday night for three weeks. Hours of closure will be from 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.”

The news release also states that there will be no construction work on March 16 to accommodate the annual half marathon and five-mile race, which uses the river road corridor beginning at approximately mile 11 and ending at Swanny City Park in Moab. Construction work will also stop from March 23 to March 31 to accommodate the annual Easter Jeep Safari.

In the meantime, work continues on the bridge abutments and columns and trail construction near Negro Bill Canyon as construction of the river pathway progresses down the canyon. Work on the pedestrian tunnel and transit hub is continuing, as well as the one-way traffic signals that travelers have endured for the past several months. This project is expected to last through most of the summer.


The open-burn season is now in effect in the county and residents can now legally burn their piles of limbs and brush that have been accumulating since last fall. Before striking a match, however, a call to the Grand County Sheriff’s dispatch office at 435-259-8115 must be made to receive permission to burn. A clearing index of 500 feet must exist before a permit will be issued and the sheriff’s office will have that information

Common sense should also dictate whether you burn or not. A windy day is definitely not a day to burn, as the burning embers can travel great distances and start a fire downwind. The pile of debris should also have an ample clearing around it to eliminate the spread of fire.

With the switch to Daylight Saving time, it is also advised to change the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they are working properly.


Thirty years ago this week, the property owners association’s board of directors was informed by the town’s road chairman that the road leading into the River Ranchos from Castleton Road would be realigned so that it meets the paved road at a 90-degree angle. The road was not a legal entrance because of the angle.

The new road, which is on BLM property, was to turn to the east approximately 100 feet beyond the mailboxes. The realignment work was necessary for the county to qualify for state funding. The county road crews began working on the new entrance as well as widening the lower part of Pace Hill.

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