Moab City Council Meeting Preview 2020-10-13

You can view the agenda and packet here. You can watch the meeting via YouTube

Workshop starts at 6 PM

Moab Area Housing Overview; Jenna Whetzel, MAHTF Chair.This presentation will introduce the MAHTF, provide a brief housing data update, and outline several policy suggestions the City and County can implement to continue to support affordable housing development in the Moab community. Many of the suggestions are quite reasonable, but a few are more controversial such as increasing housing and parking density.

Results of Utah Wellbeing Survey, by Dr. Courtney Flint, Sociologist at USU.Dr. Flint will present the results of a “well being” survey of 25 Utah towns. Most interestingly to me, most Moab residents thought the area’s population and economic growth were “too fast.” 

Regular session starts at 7 PM

You can join the meeting using the zoom. Meeting ID: 862 5103 4811  Passcode (if needed): 062674 Or by phone: 1-669-900-9128. Meeting ID: 862 5103 4811  Passcode (if needed): 062674

When joining the meeting, you will be placed in a waiting room and will be added to the meeting by the moderator. Once you are added to the meeting, please state your name for the record. 

Submitting written public comments:To submit written public comments, please use this form. Or email City Council (anytime, on any subject)

I have not discussed all the agenda items in this note; please see the complete agenda summary and packet for more info.

Invitation for Bids (IFB) for Manufactured Units at Walnut Lane, Kaitlyn Myers. As I’ve mentioned before, many of the trailers at the existing Walnut Lane trailer park are dilapidated. This has led the city to consider an interim step of replacing them with manufactured or modular homes instead of repairing them, hoping to recover much of the manufactured/modular homes’ cost by re-selling them a few years later when the final units are built. Kaitlyn reports that this is an expensive proposition complicated by Covid-induced manufactured home shortage. At least one Councilmember has expressed reservations about this expense, and I’ve wondered if this “temporary” solution could simply be the final solution. Kaitlyn will discuss the responses to her IFB.

Update on Progress of the Arches Hotspot Region Coordinating Committee (AHRCC).Only a few residents participated in a Zoom meeting presenting AHRCC recommendations to the public last week 10/7. The AHRCC will present them to Council ahead of a second public meeting Wednesday 10/14. I encourage you to participate in that meeting – this is a big deal for the downtown area, a big change in off-Main-Street street parking, an effort to relieve Main Street congestion. Besides this so-called “dispersed-off-Main-Street” parking concept, a pilot transit system and partial construction of a shared-use (bike) path along the north portion of Spanish Valley Drive are under consideration as well. 

Off-Highway Vehicle (aka OHV,UTV, SxS) Noise Mitigation Options, presented by Laurie Simionson, city attorney, and Bret Edge, Moab Police Chief. A hot topic lately (well, it’s always been a hot topic); Laurie and Bret will discuss the following options:

  • Lobby the state legislature to require quieter vehicles or remove them as street-legal use as they once were. [I’m doubtful of success here any time soon – the city’s lobbyist tells us there is a powerful UTV user group working against such.]
  • Moratorium on new UTV rental businesses. [This doesn’t address a wealth of existing rentals nor visitors who bring their UTV’s with them.]
  • Designated routes. [The city and rental businesses already attempt such.]
  • Require vehicles rented locally to meet a noise standard without which their business license would not be renewed. [This would not retroactively apply; and would not apply to visitors’ vehicles which may be the larger part of the problem.]
  •  Metering. To ensure legally valid “noise” citations, Bret thinks periodic checkpoints will be required, with attendant complications and officer and material expenses. I’ve argued that metering can be done out a patrol car window by a single officer as long as non-target noise sources (usually other vehicles) are a reasonable distance away. [I note that SAE J1287, (96 dBA at 20 inches or equivalently 72.5 dBA at 25 feet) muffler standard applied to motorcycles and ATV’s requires only that ambient noise be at least 10 db quieter than the noise produced by the target vehicle.] Either way, the trick is to set a noise standard that can be reasonably implemented and results in significantly quieter vehicles. It can be applied to rented and visitors’ vehicles, as well as motorcycles, cars and trucks. Mufflers (OEM or aftermarket), transmissions (often the distinctive Continuously Variable Transmissions) and tires are all factors.

Sidewalk Inventory – Discussion for future policy considerations.While city code requires sidewalks everywhere, not all areas of the city have them, and installation of them has been inconsistently enforced over the years. An argument can be made that not all areas of the city need them. This discussion will present a map of where they are and aren’t, a good database from which to guide any policy change.

Hope this helps, 

Mike Duncan, Moab City Councilmember