City council updating conditional use regs
by Doug McMurdo
The Times-Independent
Sep 06, 2018 | 658 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Moab City Council is slowly reworking its ordinance regarding permitted conditional uses in residential areas.

Since most conditional uses in neighborhoods involve activities that come with state oversight, such as daycare centers, the council hasn’t added too many new regulations, during a pair of informal workshops.

“How specific should we be?” asked Mayor Emily Niehaus last week. “State code is specific, so we want to keep it general.”

City of Moab Development Services Coordinator Sommar Johnson suggested making it clear that no conditional use would be permitted unless an applicant can show that he or she has been licensed or certified by the state.

Daycare centers were clearly the most important topic at those meetings, with issues such as drop-off and pickup points, traffic circulation, off-street parking, landscaping, buffering and odor – all those dirty diapers – and noise to be considered.

Group homes, defined as homes for people with disabilities who require some level of care, also are regulated by the state. The council informally agreed to limit eight people to a home in the R-1 zone, 12 in R-2, and 16 in both R-3 and R-4, which is multifamily housing. The number of supervisory employees who will live onsite were exempted from the count.

The size of a church was limited to 30 percent of the lot size, with the remainder allocated for parking and landscaping.

The wicket got a little sticky when the subject of people buying homes for their employees was raised. There are no current regulations, and the condition of front yards and parking has become an issue in some neighborhoods, said Council Member Rani Derasary.

The council has no real means to comment on schools, other than as they regard traffic impacts and off-street parking.

Boarding houses also fall under businesses regulated by the state, but parking is an issue that could fall under city oversight. The council informally agreed to mandate one parking space for each bedroom in the residence.

The city council will take up discussion on conditional uses in commercial zones at a 5 p.m. meeting Sept. 10.

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