The large turnout was reminiscent of the three previous attempts by Red Rock Partners to change the zoning of that particular property.
The council heard the comprehensive report prepared by the county’s planning and engineering staff, which concluded that the proposed zone change is not consistent with the county’s 2012 General Plan, and does not meet the 11 criteria listed in the county Land Use Code that must be considered in a zone change request. The planning department’s report emphasized that the General Plan is a tool to defend against a legal challenge of spot zoning, and provides for orderly development in the county, including the infrastructure needs of future development. The council was further informed that its non-partisan planning commission voted to recommend that the zone change be denied.
The council should follow the recommendation of its appointed planning commission, and rely on the professional expertise of its planning and engineering staff when it votes on this proposed zone change on Oct. 1. Failure to do so negates the hundreds of hours of citizen volunteers’ time and professional planners’ guidance. The job of the planning and engineering department and the non-partisan Grand County Planning Commission is to shoulder the weight of doing research and analysis to provide elected officials with objective and professional recommendations.
We are not opposed to growth in the county but disregarding the planning staff’s evaluation and the planning commission’s recommendation will lead to development that does not benefit the community. If the council believes the General Plan is broken, then they should use a public process to fix it.
A council vote on a drastic zone change proposed by one very persistent developer does not fix anything.
—Sue and Mike Kirkham