Ill-advised request...
Sep 05, 2013 | 1039 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Red Rock Partners LLC (i.e. Randy Day) is proposing to rezone a 17-acre parcel on Murphy Lane, across from Old City Park. The proposed zone change would allow up to 137 houses on a parcel that is currently zoned for only 17 to 26 houses.

The Grand County Planning Commission has already voted by a large majority (4 to 1) to deny the zone change request. Randy Day is now asking the Grand County Council to overrule the planning commission.

There are numerous reasons this proposed zone change is a bad idea. I’ll mention just two.

First, rezoning this parcel would trample on the property rights of nearby landowners. One buys a house in a neighborhood because one likes the character of the neighborhood. Zoning ordinances are commitments to residents that the character of their neighborhood is not going to change radically in the future. Changing the zoning breaks this commitment. The proposed zoning change only makes sense if you think that the profits of a small group of developers are more important than the rights of hundreds of nearby homeowners.

Second, rezoning this parcel would set a bad precedent and undermine the Grand County General Plan throughout the county. There’s no point in having a general plan if the county council is willing to engage in spot rezoning for no good reason.

Of course, Randy Day claims that there is a good reason in this case: Grand County needs more high-density housing. But this argument is extremely weak.

There are many parts of the county that are already zoned for higher density housing. If the developer is eager to develop high-density housing, then he should buy a parcel that is already zoned for high-density housing, not one in the middle of a lower density neighborhood. Duh.

I apologize for making this very obvious point but apparently it’s not obvious to some people. I hope the county council will follow the planning commission’s lead and deny this extremely ill-advised zone change request.

—Kevin Walker

Moab

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