Dates set for overnight accommodation discussions

Five months left to develop long-term plan

The Grand County Planning Commission set and proposed dates for public discussions regarding restrictions on future development of overnight accommodations in Moab during a meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26.

As the clock ticks down on the six-month moratorium on such projects, the commission is likely to discuss at each meeting, in some capacity, a long-term plan to restrict construction of new hotels, motels and other vacation housing.

The commission, which meets twice each month, historically has designated time before each proceeding for members of the public to address the commission regarding planning- and zoning-related matters, particularly those on the meeting’s agenda. Commission members said Tuesday they felt it was important to also schedule open houses, as designated time for the public to address planning and zoning staff and commissioners about the long-term plan.

As such, the commission circled a date for the first open house regarding overnight accommodation restrictions: 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 in the County Council Chambers.

Commissioners said during the meeting Tuesday that it would be a time for the public to provide input early in the process of developing the long-term plan, which must be passed by the county council by the first week of August at the latest according to Community and Economic Development Director Zacharia Levine.

The commission also plans to hold an open house in May, when a clearer plan for vacation housing has been developed. From there, the commission will vote on potential changes to the land use code, which will then be sent to the county council for review and finalization.

Once the county council has received a recommendation from the planning commission, it faces a review and finalization process that is likely to take at least one month, according to Levine.

In addition to the two public houses, the planning commission also proposed April 2 as a date to meet with county council before its regularly-scheduled meeting to keep them updated on the planning process and relay input gathered during the first open house.

Planning commissioners have convened for two meetings since the moratorium was passed. They now have eight more to develop and finalize a plan.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us, ladies and gents,” said Chair Gerrish Willis.