City PC approves plan for townhomes on 400 North
by Laura Haley≤br≥≤i≥Contributing Writer≤/i≥
May 16, 2013 | 3596 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Moab City Planning Commission has approved a concept plan for the construction of several new townhomes that will be located at 720 West 400 North, despite concerns from several members of the commission.

The Entrada at Moab Master Planned Development will include 45 townhomes, a clubhouse and a pool, according to Moab City Planning Director Jeff Reinhart. It will be mostly surrounded by the current Orchard Villa neighborhood. Reinhart said the plan includes private streets, additional landscaping along 400 North and two-story tall buildings. Reinhart said he anticipates there will be nightly rentals in the development.

“There will be overflow parking for large rigs,” he said. “There will be no on-street parking. All the units will have sufficient parking ... and there is additional space for parking in between.”

Planning commission member Jeanette Kopell said the development plan reminds her of the townhomes on Williams Way. “I understand the off-street parking, but the first thing you see ... is a garage door,” she said. Kopell said she believes the design of the neighborhood is a setup for nightly rentals.

Commission member Wayne Hoskisson agreed.

“It’s a business plan,” he said. “I don’t think there is a market for residents that would fill this.”

Hoskisson said he was surprised that the density of the development meets Moab City municipal code. “It’s interesting that it meets our requirements.”

Kopell said she is reluctant to see another piece of property go to nightly rentals when so many residents are struggling to find places to live.

“I’m a little disgusted ... It’s just another piece of property that’s going to possibly be ‘condoed’ out again and way overpriced,” she said.

Kopell said that doctors moving to Moab can’t find places to live because it’s so hard to find long-term rentals.

“I don’t know if that’s really what we’re looking for,” she said

Commission chairwoman Kelly Thornton said while the property would be a good place for affordable housing, the city hasn’t come up with any incentives to encourage developers to go that route.

“If the market will bear it, then that’s what we get,” she said.

Despite some members’ personal opposition, the commission voted unanimously to approve the concept plan. Reinhart said the project will be done in phases, and the Planning Commission will have additional opportunities to review the plans before each phase is implemented.

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