Saturday, July 4, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

79 F
Moab
More

    San Juan County delays action on SITLA’s Spanish Valley plans

    Further study required after residents speak against proposal

    Featured Stories

    At 99, Moab man is knighted by France

    “The French people will never forget his courage and devotion to the great cause of freedom,”

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 4: ‘A year in the land of eternal spring’

    Though I planned to return someday, whether as a Peace Corps volunteer or not, this experience proved that even the best-laid plans go awry.

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 3: Sudden departure came with painful goodbyes

    Men donned wooden masks and numerous layers of sweatshirts and ponchos then proceeded to hit each other with whips as they danced around the town square.

    Leaving Guatemala Part 2: There wasn’t enough time to say goodbye

    To say I woke up on the Monday morning of the evacuation...

    Ignoring own standards and experts, Utah commission pushes reopening

    The COVID-19 model from the CDC predicts an increase in deaths from the coronavirus from Utah in the coming weeks, and key indicators predict more hospitalizations are to come.
    Submitted
    Submitted
    Public submissions to The Times-Independent can range from press releases to obituaries to feature stories and news. All submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.
    The view of the southern part of Spanish Valley, at the county line of Grand and San Juan. File photo by Carter Pape

    By Bill Boyle
    Special to The Times-Independent

    San Juan County Commissioners on Tuesday tabled a recommendation by the county planning commission to approve a “preliminary community structure plan” for more than 5,000 acres in Spanish Valley that is held by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

    SITLA plans to develop their significant holdings in the area, which sits adjacent to the fast-growing community of Moab.

    The plan suggests that thousands of “units” could eventually be developed in the new project, including residential, commercial, and industrial components.

    SITLA officials stress that the plan includes the maximum development potential of each area of the project and is not likely to reach the maximum levels.

    Regardless, the project could have a significant impact on the entire Moab area, in addition to San Juan County.

    At the maximum, the potential growth in Spanish Valley alone could nearly double the current population of San Juan County.

    Elise Erler, with SITLA, explained June 23 that they followed the Spanish Valley zoning ordinances that were approved in November 2019. “It is a very thorough and lengthy process,” said Erler. “We are willing to undertake that. This is step one of a full process.”

    San Juan County Administrator Mack McDonald said SITLA “has complied exactly with the ordinance” and received the recommendation of the county planning commission. Commissioners asked San Juan County Attorney Kendall Laws to write a legal opinion on the matter.

    McDonald said that after hearing the public comment portion of the meeting, he realized there is a lot of confusion and he recommended the commission table the proposal for further study. “We want to make sure everyone is on the same page,” said McDonald.

    For the first time in more than three months, traditional public comment was taken at the meeting.

    Ten residents of Grand County and northern San Juan County expressed concerns about the development of the SITLA land in Spanish Valley.

    They included Sheila Canavan, Marlene Huckabee, Dave Erley, Carolyn Dailey, Monette Clark, Larry Witt, John Weisheit, Liz Thomas, Kevin Walker and Jennifer Weisheit.

    The concerns expressed included questions about water rights, the implications of development agreements, and the eventual incorporation of Spanish Valley.

    Carolyn Daily suggested that the proposal on the agenda would give SITLA free reign to develop the entire 5,000-acre area at once. She said, “It is naïve to give SITLA carte blanche to begin developing all of their land anytime and anywhere.”

    Grand County resident Kevin Walker asked for cooperation with Grand County, adding that 90% of the Grand County population lives within five minutes of Spanish Valley, and the vast majority of San Juan County residents live 45 minutes or more from Spanish Valley.

    Administrator McDonald said that the proposal is just the first step on the project.

    The plan would add all 5,000 acres of SITLA holdings in Spanish Valley into the Planned Community Development (PCD). Approximately 87.5% of the SITLA holdings are in the current PCD. He said the SITLA request would help to facilitate careful planning. “This application will take the project through the steps to create a master-planned community,” said McDonald.

    The preliminary plan creates zones for a neighborhood center, central development area, perimeter development area, flex development area, highway commercial and open space. The project would leave 40 percent of the land in open space.

    “The next portion of the process would be the development of a community structure plan,” said McDonald. “And that would come back to the commissioners.”

    Boyle is the editor of the San Juan Record.

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    GOP’s Cox, Reyes move on to General Election

    If the figures hold, Cox will face off against University of Utah law professor Christopher Peterson, a Democrat, and Libertarian Daniel Cottam, a surgeon, in November’s general election.

    Man pleads guilty to double manslaughter

    He faces up to 15 years apiece for the deaths of Vilsar Camey, 45, and Camey’s 10-year-old son, Israel on Feb. 9.

    Eklecticafe was cramped but quaint. Then the virus hit

    “It’s so sad to say that, even though there’s a relief for me, but the COVID thing… I just couldn’t sustainably reopen."

    500K facemasks headed to Utah students, teachers

    The state procured the masks from H.M. Cole and Totopazi and will be distributed to school districts in the “greatest need."

    After three years and a tripled budget, Seekhaven has new director

    My main goal is to stabilize our current programming and fortify our working relationships with the first responders in our community.