County restricts B&Bs to commercial zone
by Rose Egelhoff
The Times-Independent
Dec 07, 2017 | 2847 views | 0 0 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Grand County Council voted Tuesday, Dec. 5 to restrict bed and breakfasts to the commercial overlay zone. The change has been the subject of public discussion for months. Many residents showed up at a Nov. 21 public hearing to voice their opinions, mostly in favor of restricting bed and breakfasts to the zone.

The alternative option, which the council did not pass, would have strengthened existing regulations on bed and breakfasts, mandating that they are owner-operated and owner-occupied, would limit them to a maximum of two bedrooms or four guests per night, and require that the owner be present when guests are present, among other stipulations. It would also have required a buffer zone between bed and breakfasts to limit the density of overnight rentals occurring in any given residential area.

Instead, the council approved the measure restricting bed and breakfasts to the overlay zone in a six-to-one vote, with Council Member Jaylyn Hawks opposed.

“I will state that I am a bed and breakfast owner ... I think that this could be worked out without taking this drastic measure,” Hawks said. “I realize that I am viewed as having a conflict of interest. I want you to know that had I ever been voting in favor of a solution that would benefit my business, I would have recused myself. My votes have been in favor of a solution that would actually add competition to my business.”

Council Member Curtis Wells expressed his reasons for restricting bed and breakfasts to the overnight accommodation overlay zone.

“Grand County is headed down a path where there’s ample commercial opportunity for lodging accommodations and if we don’t work … to protect residential quality in certain areas, I think it would be a big mistake,” Wells said. “I think [the alternative] adds an unrealistic depth to our ability to enforce and creates a bit of a bottomless pit of detective-type work to enforce that bed and breakfasts are following the rules. It’s important to me that 50 years from now, as Moab continues to trend towards a resort community, that folks are able to be protected from commercial activity in residential areas.”

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.