Moratorium for south Spanish Valley stalls

A bid by San Juan County Commission Chair Kenneth Maryboy to pause commercial development along Highway 191 in Spanish Valley, possibly impacting plans for a Love’s Travel Stop in the area has stalled.

Maryboy brought before the commission on Tuesday, May 7, a resolution that attempted to put in place the moratorium, effective immediately and lasting up to six months.

Maryboy told The Times-Independent that the intent of the resolution was to give people in Spanish Valley a chance to provide feedback about commercial planning that is proposed for the highway corridor, including the truck stop that has received much criticism from locals.

However, as explained by San Juan’s County Attorney Kendall Laws, the resolution, had it been passed, would not have achieved Maryboy’s intended goal of stopping development applications from being accepted by the county.

Utah code specifies that temporary land use restrictions, like the one proposed by Maryboy, must be enacted by ordinance, not resolution.

After Laws explained this to the commission, Maryboy cast blame to Laws in the matter, saying he was supposed to have drafted an ordinance that was to be ready at the meeting.

Laws responded that he had received no such instruction.

“I don’t have a problem with drafting it,” Laws told the commission. “I had just never been asked to draft it.”

Maryboy and Commissioner Willie Grayeyes said that they wanted the ordinance prepared for next meeting, when a moratorium on commercial development along Highway 191 in Spanish Valley may actually be passed.