Moab residents turned out en masse to a public hearing at the Moab City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 5 to express their views about a proposed annexation on 500 West. The annexation proposes to add 10 acres to the city with a combination of C-4 general commercial and R-4 multi-family residential zoning, angering some neighbors.
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 multi-family residential zoning for seven acres and C-4 general commercial zoning for three acres on its eastern side, near 500 West. The requested zoning would result in a new commercial zone next to a city residential zone.
Most residents spoke in opposition to the commercial zoning, emphasizing the need for more affordable housing in the community. Shumway and one other resident spoke in favor of the annexation and proposed zoning while ten residents spoke in opposition of the requested C-4 zoning.
Several more spoke in support, generally, of affordable housing.
“The General Plan does not include an affordable hotel plan, it includes an affordable housing plan,” said Allison Brown, who is member of the Moab City Planning Commission. During the public hearing Brown spoke as a resident rather than as a commissioner, adding, “Anybody who you talk to is going to say, we need more housing and this is the council’s chance to bring land into the city and treat it as housing and not as another commercial development.”
Maureen Clapper also expressed concern about the requested commercial zoning.
“There needs to be a buffer between commercial and residential ... we’re growing faster than what our town can sustain,” Clapper said. “I’m up for growth. We need to have growth in a positive way to be able to see the future and that sustainability with it.”
Kelly Shumway, who owns the property in question, and one other resident spoke in favor of the proposed zoning, noting that the property is currently a commercial industrial zone in Grand County.
“Our property is commercial industrial right now. The use is commercial industrial and we have the option to continue to use it in Grand County. So the R-4 [multi-family residential zone] that’s requested, that accommodates the high-density [housing]. An increase in affordable housing is necessary to stabilize property values and high-density workforce housing is not even possible without the appropriate zone,” Shumway said.
The City Council will consider whether to annex the property with the proposed commercial and residential zoning at their Dec. 12 meeting.