City reveals draft density policy

The Moab City Council is considering a draft ordinance to provide affordable, deed-restricted housing in Moab. They discussed the ordinance in a workshop at their July 10 meeting.

The proposed ordinance would allow higher housing densities than are currently allowed for approved Planned Affordable Developments (PADs). They would require 30- to 50-year deed restrictions for housing constructed as a PAD.

“The ordinance is a serious attempt to increase the number of housing units to realize a level of affordable density in Moab, states an agenda summary of the ordinance. “With a possible lot area of 1,000 square feet per dwelling, the city could realize housing of 36 to 40 units per acre. This is in line with the recently conducted Housing Feasibility Study that suggested this density range was necessary to begin addressing the housing issue.”

The ordinance was announced Tuesday evening, at the same time the county was holding an open house on their high-density housing overlay proposal. The proposal would, like the city ordinance, allow denser housing. However unlike the city ordinance, the county proposal contains no requirement for affordability.

Under the draft city ordinance, up to 20 percent of the units could be market rate, the idea being that that would be sufficient to allow developers to make a profit on the developments. The rest of the units would be deed-restricted to be affordable for a variety of income levels.

It is expected that the ordinance will evolve, said City Attorney Chris McAnany, as the planning commission continues to work on it. The commission will hold a public hearing on the PAD proposal and make adjustments and then the proposal will go back to the city council for approval.

ByBy Rose Egelhoff

The Times-Independent