Despite overwhelming public support, a proposed ordinance to remove overnight lodging as a use by right – meaning they could not be developed, at least temporarily in Grand County – failed to pass after council members voted 3-3, in the absence of Member Jaylyn Hawks, at Tuesday’s July 16 Grand County Council meeting.
In a letter sent to Moab City and Grand County officials, State Rep. Carl Albrecht, R-Richfield, expressed concern with proposed ordinances that would remove lodging as a protected use in and around Moab, which is part of District 70.
The Moab City Council reviewed a draft ordinance from the city’s planning commission at a meeting on Tuesday, July 9, that would remove lodging as a protected use inside city limits, protect existing lodging operations and set a soft deadline for developing new regulations by the end of the year.
Grand County residents can witness the Utah Court of Appeals in action Oct. 18 when judges take up an appeal of a lawsuit filed over a controversial plan to build a resort on state land in the Sand Flats Recreation Area.
Members of the public, including two candidates for Moab City Council, spoke at a public hearing of the Moab City Planning Commission on Thursday, June 27, expressing mixed sentiments about plans to continue curtailing lodging developments within city limits.
The Grand County Council on Tuesday heard from both sides during a lengthy public hearing on a potential ordinance banning future development of overnight accommodations – at least for awhile – after the planning commission that advises it voted 6-1 to recommend doing so last spring.
“It’s good news for some other county in Utah who applies, because that money goes right back into the pot.” – Elaine Gizler, executive director of the Moab Area Travel Council
“This is a movement to educate tourists on how to respect the land, and our locals know how better than anyone.” – Elaine Gizler, executive director of the Moab Area Travel Council
Members of the Moab City Planning Commission recently backed a plan to pass a temporary ban on lodging developments to create time over the coming months to formulate a long-term solution to regulating lodging developments.
During a discussion of future land use plans regarding lodging in Moab, multiple members of the city staff expressed concern with an idea among the Moab City Council and public to remove overnight rentals as a protected use within city limits.
People who own highway frontage, manage overnight lodging operations, are property rights advocates – or are all of the above – showed up en masse to oppose a fulltime prohibition against developing overnight accommodations in Grand County. It might have been a case of too little, too late for a majority of Grand County Planning commissioners, who in a series of votes following a public hearing Tuesday sent a recommendation asking the Grand County Council to enact legislation that would implement the ban on new lodging developments.
Grand County Attorney Christina Sloan in a sharply worded letter to State of Utah Auditor General Kade Minchey disagreed with a report claiming Grand County inappropriately spent Transient Room Tax funds a couple of years ago.