Utah Officials OK Short-Term Rental Moratorium (2/8/2019)
Story by Woodall's Campground Management
Pumping the brakes on fast-paced development in the Moab, Utah, area, the Grand County Council unanimously voted to begin a six-month moratorium on hotel and overnight rental development, according to the Moab Sun News.
Dozens of community members showed up at the council’s chambers on Tuesday (Feb. 5) as it considered the motion.
The move is like hitting the pause button, people at the council meeting said. Real estate project developments underway, as well as “completed applications” filed with the county will continue to rightfully proceed, but new land use applications are prohibited.
Utah Municipal Code says “A land use application is considered submitted and complete when the applicant provides the application in a form that complies with the requirements of applicable ordinances and pays all applicable fees.”
Summarizing the council’s motion and decision, Grand County Council chair Evan Clapper read aloud the clauses that the council feels substantiates its decision to implement the halt on new development for six months. Perhaps the most urgent reason given is that the Moab valley has less water — 11,000 to 13,000 acre feet — than a previous estimate of 18,000 to 20,000 acre feet.
Clapper also said that the number of residential homes has not increased along with the number of overnight rentals and a lack of housing means there are 250 unfilled jobs in the community that have been vacant for 30 days or longer.
With standing room only at the council meeting, citizens spoke into a mic individually to council members on the proposal before the vote was taken. Nearly 100 people signed a petition submitted to council urging the moratorium on new short-term rentals.
Reed Pendleton, the owner of Moab Rim Campground, is hoping to expand and said, “I am here kind of against the moratorium, in a sense.”
Campground permits are very specific, he said, and are only on property zoned as highway commercial. He said he’s spent two years trying to find more property to expand his campground.
“The price per acre for highway commercial is now close to a million an acre,” he said.
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