Moab Under Canvas upscale campground wins approval from Grand County Council
by Rudy Herndon
Staff Writer
Oct 03, 2013 | 1930 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Luxury camping is coming to Grand County, but it won’t be here in time for the rest of the 2013 tourist season.

The Grand County Council voted unanimously Sept. 17 to approve a conditional use permit for a privately owned seasonal campground on U.S. 191 north of Moab.

Developers Sarah and Jacob Dusek initially hoped to open the 87-structure Moab Under Canvas site this year. But in order to win final approval for the project, they had to bring their plans in line with the county’s vision for the highway corridor.

That process took longer than expected, and according to the company’s website, the campground is now set to open on March 28.

Grand County Council Member Lynn Jackson thanked the developers and their representative for working diligently to address the county’s concerns.

As an aside, Jackson noted that there doesn’t appear to be any public outcry about the 32-acre project, which is situated on the east side of U.S. 191 about one mile north of the junction with state Route 313.

No one from the public came forward on Sept. 17 to speak out against the revised plan.

Nearly all of the feedback that the council received came from the Grand County Planning and Zoning Commission, which ultimately voted to recommend approval of the conditional use permit.

Among other things, planning commissioners raised concerns about the potential visual impacts that the campground could have on the scenic U.S. 191 corridor.

The developers initially planned to set up white canvas tents and teepees on wooden platforms during the tourist season.

But that color scheme clashed with the county’s General Plan and zoning regulations, which call for the use of earth-toned colors and non-reflective surfaces that blend in with the surrounding landscape.

Project engineer and representative Jeff Pillus of Durango, Colo., told the planning commission last May that white fabric was the only option available.

But in a July 29 memo to the county, he said the campground can use a tan- or sage-colored blend for all its tents and teepees. As a short-term alternative, it may cover the tents and teepees with earth-toned rain flaps until its custom-ordered materials become available.

Planning commissioner David Tubbs said he believes the developers made an honest and “probably expensive” effort to meet the county’s requirements.

“I don’t know what else they can do,” he said during the planning commission’s Aug. 28 meeting.

In other concessions, the developers agreed to move four parking sites away from the highway’s visual corridor. They also assured the county that three RV units, which will serve as restroom and kitchen facilities, will not be visible from the highway.

In terms of its water consumption, the campground is proposing to use a reduced daily average of 12 gallons per person. Potable water will be trucked in from the city, and wastewater will be hauled off-site for treatment elsewhere.

All of the campground’s energy needs will come from two gas-powered generators, while each camping site will be lit by battery-powered LED lights and solar path lights.

Campground guests will have a variety of “glamping” – or glamour camping – options to choose from, including deluxe suites that come equipped with king-size beds, lounge areas and private bathrooms.

Guests who are looking for a more affordable alternative to cabin-style safari tents may opt to stay in furnished teepee tents.

For more information about the campground, go to: www.moabundercanvas.com.

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