What’s the purpose?

Studies help guide land use policy

In this week’s edition, two stories contained references to economic studies completed since early 2018. Two of these economic studies were executed by BAE Urban Economics and one by Lewis Young Robertson & Burningam, Inc. (LYRB). They were all commissioned for separate purposes.

The first was delivered in March 2018 as part of an evaluation commissioned by Grand County and the City of Moab to study their assured housing ordinances. A related study was released two months later, and both the city and county passed assured housing ordinances in late 2018.

The assured housing ordinance established what is known as an affordable housing impact fee. This is a fee that overnight accommodation developers must pay to the city or county, depending on where they are building, to offset the impact their business has on the community—namely, to offset the cost of housing for local workers. The fees are assessed during project development.

The third study was delivered May 3, 2019 as part of the city and county’s efforts to develop land use ordinances to control the growth of overnight rental businesses in Moab. Landmark Design, the firm working with the city and county on the project, hired economic consulting firm LYRB to execute the study.

This study illustrated the strong link between Moab’s economy and local spending on overnight accommodations. The study illustrated in detail the dependency Moab’s economy has on tourism, and how visitation to Moab is growing faster than the workforce to support it.

The following are download links to each of the studies: