Grand County Planning Commission Meeting Report 2020-10-26

Citizens to be Heard. Several B&B owners attended the meeting to comment on the current designation as B&Bs as legal non-conforming uses.

B&B discussion

  • The County Attorney responded to B&B owners comments/concerns noting that legal non-conforming use designation is a designation for a permitted use that existed at the time of a Land Use Code change, and that the use doesn’t expire if existing owners sell their businesses as long as the business license has not lapsed.
  • She noted that Castle Valley has a pretty comprehensive process where the B&B owner enters into a contract with the Town of CV – and Grand County could consider that IF B&B owners wanted an additional layer of assurance and would pay for the additional time and labor of the various county departments (planning, building, attorney) that would be involved to draw up the detailed contract.
  • Also, business license issued by the county are a privilege, not a right, and business licenses could be conditioned on various health/safety criteria or other things if the county wanted to do so.

Several PC members summarized the history of the B&B discussion:

  • A few years ago there was an explosion of B&Bs in residential neighborhoods, and many residents complained at numerous meetings that their neighborhoods were being inundated by nightly rentals for tourists, with associated increases in noise, traffic, illegal parking, campfire smoke, lost tourists, safety concerns, etc. Many residents work in the tourism industry and wanted their homes and neighborhoods to be an escape from tourism. There were also concerns that air B&Bs (purchased by non-resident investors) were driving property values up, and were essentially limiting long-term rentals and driving up the costs of L-T rentals for county residents.
  • To address the issue, PC began drafting an ordinance (which was included in today’s packet), which addressed density, on-site owner/manager, serving breakfast, etc. However, the ordinance was never approved, as the County Council enacted a moratorium on all OAs, including B&Bs.

The PC generally agreed:

  • it did not want to approve new B&Bs in residential areas;
  • adding more tourist lodging was not helping to diversify the economy;
  • the legal non-conforming use designation is not problematic and that, with 1 or 2 exceptions, the legal non-conforming use designation protects existing B&B owners’ investment, livelihoods, etc.; and
  • if owners have concerns, they can bring individual concerns to the County Commission and/or County attorney.

Environmental Education Centers. Mila and staff will review and summarize info from various places that have environmental education centers and draft recommendations/alternatives for PC to review. This will be a county-wide ordinance, while being mindful of fitting with the Hwy 313/191 Small Area Plan.

Conditional Uses. PC started a process about 1.5 years ago of reviewing the LUC’s use table and weeding out the conditional uses due to a likely misunderstanding of what CU means. Staff and county attorney do not think it’s necessary to get rid of CUs from the use table, but PC should take a hard look at what CUs are allowed and then make relevant recommendations. A google doc will be set up for input by PC members, with broader discussion after members have provided input to the google doc.

Economic Diversity and how PC and Travel Council work toward same goals, Director, Elaine Gizler. Elaine noted that TC does not advertise and promote UTV recreation and is focusing education and on “stay on the trail” messages. TC has done such a great job at education promotion that the state of UT is copying GC’s ads. TC wants to preserve and protect the area for generations to come and want families to visit for extended stays. Have advertised in “drive” markets in Sept. and Oct.

SITLA lands near Hwy 313/191 area. Mila reported that SITLA has approximately 1600 acres in this area and that it is developing “concept plans” and would appreciate PC and public input. Mila will share SITLA’s concept plan documents with the PC and presumably make them public for citizen comment as well. Bob reminded PC of Castle Valley’s land trade with SITLA – SITLA got lands that were more “developable” and CV got scenic lands it wanted to protect from development.

Hwy 313/191 Small Area Plan. Grand County Commission approved a resolution at its Oct. 20 meeting to approve a 6-month moratorium on applications for development in the Hwy 313/191 SAP area: TO FORMALLY INITIATE PROCEEDINGS TO AMEND THE PERMITTED USES, DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS, AND PURPOSE FOR THE RESORT SPECIAL ZONE IN LUC SECTIONS 2.12 AND 3.1 AND CREATE A SCENIC RESOURCE PROTECTION AREA IN NEW LUC SECTION 4.8. This puts the public on notice that new regulations and zoning are being drafted, in compliance with Utah statute for amending land use codes.