Concerns over city’s revamped housing laws
Dec 06, 2018 | 646 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Please attend the Moab City Council Town Hall on Dec. 11. This may be your best opportunity to voice concerns regarding the proposed high-density overlay – PAD – recommended by the mayor and City of Moab Planning Commission.

In the following text I have included some of the chapter and verse from the new definitions proposed by the P&Z. As presented this has become complex and confusing. There will be sweeping changes to the R2, C1, C2 and C3 zones. These changes affect the majority of the land inside the city limits.

According to Proposed Ordinance 2018-19, 17.68.030 Permitted Locations and Housing Types, PADs will be allowed in residential zones R-2, R-3, R-4, MH/RV-1 zones and Commercial Zones C1, C-2, C-4, and C-5. Housing types for a PAD development shall conform to the types permitted in the underlying zoning district, except that apartments or multi-family housing types shall be permitted in PAD developments in the R-2 zoning district.

In addition, 17.68.040 Minimum Project Area; Subdivision Lot Sizes: Provided that all requirements of this Chapter can be met, there is no minimum project area required for a PAD development; and there is no minimum lot size for lots within a PAD subdivision.

17.68.10 Purpose B. states: As applicable to PAD developments, the provisions of this Chapter supersede any conflicting or inconsistent provisions which may be found elsewhere in the Moab Municipal Code.

To understand what is happening, look at both the zone you live in and how the PAD impacts that zone. The new use definitions could cause an R2 property owner to lose the right to object to and stop high-density development right next door.

Recent changes to the R-2 zone do not differentiate between homeowners and homes purchased by commercial businesses to use for employee housing. There is no limit to the number of employee houses in an R-2 zone, and over time, this could lead to your neighborhood becoming housing for seasonal low-wage, transient workers who make up the bulk of the hospitality industry in this town. Transient workers do not have the same ties to community as permanent residents do in a neighborhood.

If these new rules are approved as they currently read, impacts will be unavoidable. Residents in R2 could have multi-unit, minimally spaced complexes built next door. Traffic and parking problems will increase and neighborhood infrastructure, including water and sewer lines that were built for one and two family home neighborhoods, could become insufficient for the added population density.

Affordable housing is a serious issue in Moab. And I commend the effort put forth to date. But the zoning code change to R2, C1, C2 and C3 zones and the proposed PAD ordinance are incomplete as they are currently written to protect the interest of the citizens, homeowners, and taxpayers of Moab.

The mayor, Planning and Zoning, and City Council members need to hear from you. No matter whether you are for or against these changes, please get informed and involved and come to the Town Hall.

–John Hartley


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