Moab City Council Meeting Report 2021-01-12

Workshop-Travel Council. At the 6:30 workshop Elaine Gizler, Economic Development Director for Grand County, gave an update on the Moab Area Travel Council. They have been adjusting their messaging to be even more educational, per the direction of the Grand County Commission. Destination stewardship, as opposed to just destination marketing, with leave no trace type messaging embedded in their outreach across multiple media types.

Covid-19 Update. A COVID update from Brady Bradford, Health Director of the SE UT Health Department, was moved in front of Citizens To Be Heard since he was on the line and ready. Much of what he reported was already detailed in RD’s meeting preview. They’re getting as many vaccine doses as the state will give them, and administering the vaccines as fast as they can. Please go to for vaccine info, to sign up for email vaccine updates which is what they recommend to stay informed. And to check out the local case count. 

Citizens to be Heard. The Council received ten written comments for citizens to be heard, nine of which were supportive of doing something about the ATV noise. A few people participated live via Zoom; some were just listening, and one decided to  just write by the time they were heard.

  • So, apparently this isn’t as clear as it could be—if you just want to listen/watch the meeting, please do so on the City’s youtube page.
  • If you want to make a live comment at CTBH (which this author recommends for maximum influence), you won’t be able to tell what’s happening if you’re just hanging out in the Zoom waiting room waiting to be admitted. So, while you’re in the queue, open up the live feed on youtube.
  • And, if you choose to write, we’re more likely to read your comment carefully if you submit it at least a day before. Things can get kind of hectic in the hours leading up to the meeting.

Staff reports

  • Design work is happening on Walnut Lane.
  • About a third of the allocated funds backing the Buy Local Bucks has been spent. Don’t wait to spend your bucks!
  • Sales tax revenue continues to outperform 2019.
  • Work is happening on 191 North, but cold weather has shut down paving, so the progress won’t be as visible for a bit.

ATV discussion. The Council had a discussion about next steps about ATVs.

  • As you may recall, in October 2020 the County and City legislatures simultaneously adopted a resolution which (I think) most of us thought imposed sort of a pause (effectively a moratorium) on site plan approvals, among other things.  Staff were now seeking to clarify that, as far as I can tell, that action was ineffectual, and, do we want to do a moratorium?
  • The state law which underlies this issue is worded in a confusing and ambiguous way, and most of the discussion time was spent getting clarity on that question.
  • Most of the Council did, in fact, want a moratorium on land use approvals for ATV related businesses while the City Code is amended to better regulate them, in ways to be determined.
  • Lest the ATV-weary reader despair at the apparent lack of progress on this most vexing issue, take heart! Behind the scenes planning and legal staff are researching the laws, and they and some council members are vigorously debating the technicalities and feasibility of direct enforcement of a noise code, as well as potential land use code changes.

BENM and ROTR letters. The Council approved a letter to President-elect Biden encouraging him to prioritize restoring Bears Ears National Monument to the boundary established by the Obama proclamation. And approved a letter to the San Juan County (SJC) Commission thanking them for not leasing the old Spanish Valley airstrip to Rally On The Roads Rocks for the trade show component of that heinous event.

Board assignments. The Council did the annual formalizing of which staff and council members represent the City on the couple dozen local boards and districts we engage with.

Legislative Committee. We created a new Legislative Committee to track, analyze, report on, and at times respond to state legislation. Over the 45 day winter legislative session hundreds of bills are introduced (more than 900 in 2020).