‘Metropolitan monstrosity’ hurts longtime residents


Hello, Good People of Moab. Behind that charming new hotel with the Walmart lighting (“Wingate” by Wyndham) on South Highway 191, our Grand County Planning Commission has approved a high-rise apartment complex – four stories, 224 units.

The development was approved without having any description of what the buildings will look like. Perhaps 45-foot-tall aluminum foil spaceships? Maybe a Folsom Prison theme?

This metropolitan monstrosity is to be slammed in the face of a dozen or so long-term or lifelong residents. These residents represent a cross-section of The Old Moab – small business owners, affordable rental owners, retired cops, teachers, artists, and pillars of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not to mention a local country singer.

The land they live on until recently had been zoned Rural Residential, one house per acre. This zoning was tossed out by our leaders under some High Density Rezone Overlay Thingamajig. In other words, they changed the law when they didn’t like the old one. Frankly, that stinks.

Sure, they allow public input. Gee, thanks. Three minutes at some meeting to beg them not to ruin your neighborhood, your property, your water, your town. Doesn’t mean they care, but you’ve had “input.” Some folks seem determined to complete Moab’s transformation from a cool small town into another ugly, suburban, soulless jungle populated by servants to the adventure-hungry vacationing masses. Like any big theme park, you gotta have your servant’s quarters. Well, maybe so, but they should find another place for this particular ghetto; whether they care about us or not.

Here’s just one reason why: From the spot in question, you must turn left to go to Moab. It’s already perhaps the most dangerous left turn in the county. There is no Highway Patrol here. They’ve told me it’s too hazardous to pull anyone over here.

So we have four lawless lanes of highway traffic, two of them rapidly accelerating out of town from the north and two screeching in from the south. Now add two mergers – Holyoak Lane and 400 East – all coming together in one spot. In the midst of this Indy 500 is a single desperate little turning lane. All five lanes must be assessed before the turn is attempted. It can often take several minutes. Now their plan is to put 300-plus more vehicles turning left?

The Grand County Planning Commission wants to make UDOT responsible for fixing the death trap they’ve approved. But really, isn’t anyone in government who approves such an obviously absurd project at least partly responsible for what is bound to happen there? At the least, watch those new hotel guests turn left before deciding.

Dear friends on the Grand County Council, I would suggest that you probably don’t want to put your name on this mess. Thank you.

– Sand Sheff