Grand County Council members reached the consensus this week that the county-owned property should remain off limits to commercial development.
Members of a transit hub working group previously discussed the idea of generating revenue through concessionaire or commercial sales on the property. That revenue, they said, could have been used to fund long-term operating and maintenance costs at the site, which is located at the southeastern junction of U.S. 191 and state Route 128.
But Grand County Council members Gene Ciarus, Lynn Jackson and Jim Nyland agreed on Feb. 18 that the property is too small to accommodate both cars and concessionaires.
Jackson raised questions about safety, given the relative lack of space on the property.
“I don’t think it’s a good area for commercial business,” he said.
He did, however, leave open the possibility that a commercial shuttle service could operate there and potentially generate some revenue for the county.
Indeed, that kind of business is exactly what the transit hub’s designers had in mind when they began to work on the project.
The hub aims to support alternative transportation to the area’s attractions, including Arches National Park, the Moab Canyon Path and the largely-completed Colorado River Path that runs to Negro Bill Canyon and the Porcupine Rim Trailhead parking lot.
The site currently boasts 43 short-term parking spaces, as well as a loading and unloading area, a waiting area and restroom facilities.
Working group members, including representatives from the county, the city of Moab, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Moab Trails Alliance, are now hoping to establish policies that could guide future activities at the site.
“The initial intent of the whole effort was to be ahead of the curve,” Moab Trails Alliance Executive Director Kim Schappert said via conference call.
As it is, the recently completed hub is home to some unwelcome activities, according to Grand County Council Administrator Ruth Dillon.
“We’ve already had some uses we don’t want, which (include) people parking there and staying overnight,” Dillon said.
In response, the county plans to post signs that inform visitors of its “no overnight parking” policy.
In the future, the county will also prepare an updated plan of development for the area, as requested by the BLM.