MD’s Moab City Council Meeting Preview 2020-02-09

[Editor’s note: Both Mike Duncan and Rani Derasary have graciously agreed to let MADAR reuse their regular email updates to constituents. Despite the overlap, we are running both versions of the MCC previews. Readers can choose to read both, either or neither of the previews.]

You can write City Council (anytime, on any subject):

Regular session starts at 7 PM:

You can watch the meeting via YouTube on the City’s YouTube channel. From, you can also search for “moab utah city council meetings” If you’re youtube’ing, be aware this stream can be seconds or minutes behind real time.This is a big source of confusion if you’re also doing CTBH via Zoom, which is real time!

Citizens to Be Heard (These comments typically take anywhere from 0 to 15 minutes). We are receiving public comments by phone and online through Zoom. Citizens are limited to two (2) minutes for comments. 

Phone Dial: 669-900-9128     Meeting ID:  874 1483 6737    Passcode (if needed):  454810

Zoom Link:

Please note that when joining the meeting, you will be placed in a waiting room and will be added to the meeting by the moderator. Your comments will be recorded and on YouTube.  See the warning above about youtube streaming time delays!

To have your written comments considered for the Citizens to Be Heard portion of the electronic meeting, please fill out the form found here: You must submit your comments by 7:00 PM on the date of the meeting. Please limit your comments to 400 words.

Staff reports: (Expect 30 minutes . . .)

  • City Manager Updates
  • COVID-19 Updates
  • Finance Update
  • Retreat Update
  • Water Ordinance Public Engagement Plan Update
  • Utah 100 Communities Update

Mayor and Council reports: (These (6) reports typically take at least 20 minutes…)

Public Hearing – Western Spirit, 478 Mill Creek Drive, zoning change request from R-2 Residential to C-5 Neighborhood Commercial Zone.

  • We are receiving public comments for this public hearing portion by phone and online through Zoom, using the same Zoom link described for Citizens To Be Heard above. Again, see the warning above about confusing youtube streaming time delays!
  • Also, to have your written comments considered for the public hearing portion of the electronic meeting, please fill out the form found here: You must submit your comments by 7:00 PM on the date of the meeting. Please limit your comments to 400 words.
  • Western Sprit Cycling, on the N side of Mill Creek Dr just E of Dave’s Corner Market, is operating as a legally non-conforming business. They wish to replace their building with a new one that provides office space, storage and employee housing. To do so, they must rezone the parcel to C-5 Neighborhood Commercial Zone, as is Dave’s Corner Market, Milt’s and other properties farther N on 400E. “The C-5 neighborhood commercial zone has been established …  where people who live in the surrounding neighborhood can obtain daily household goods and services conveniently… characterized by stores, shops and establishments situated in landscaped surroundings that are maintained in harmony with amenities of adjacent residential development.”
  • One complication is sewer service to the area, which suffices now but has little reserve capacity for increased future demand. Also there is an R-4 manufactured housing area just W of this parcel which provides affordable housing, an “amenity” in sore need in this town; the subject rezone could leave the R-4 park more susceptible to future C-5 requests. There is a competing notion that with future Lionsback and Abbey subdivision traffic, a migration from residential to commercial might make sense.

Approval of Minutes (brief)

ATV Noise, a Temporary Land Use Ordinance, Nora Shepard, Planning Director

  • At the last meeting, hung up by whether or not to permit existing businesses to expand their fleet during the proposed moratorium (aka Temporary Land Use Ordinance), Council tabled the issue. Now it’s back, and my prediction is that it will pass this time. The ordinance would “Prohibit… for a Period of 180 Days, the Development and Expansion of Vehicle Sales, Rentals or Leasing, Commercial Outdoor Recreational Uses, Commercial and Recreational Tour Companies, Outfitters and Guide Services as They Pertain to All Terrain Vehicles, as Defined by Utah Code …” This gives Council a window to decide what we really wish to do.
  • Besides possibly permanently taking new or expanded ATV sales/rentals out of the commercial zones, there are a number of other “reduce noise” options under consideration. Clif Koontz, Ride with Respect Executive Director, kindly spent an hour showing us how to do SAE J1287 stationary tailpipe noise test on several vehicles lent by local businesses. Afterwards, Clif and city and county officials debated what to pursue, with a variety of opinions. I’m guessing that checkpoints will be part of the plan. Clif is advocating a 92 dB limit (as opposed to 96, the industry standard), thinking most vehicles will pass this value while the really noisy ones won’t, and that we can enforce this with manageable pushback from users and the state legislature.
  • If that much doesn’t significantly help, there’s the possibility of still lower dB limits likely requiring retrofits to exhausts. There’s the possibility of pass-by test as a means to stop vehicles and then cite them against stationary test, or just cite them with pass-by test, particularly if we backed it up with  professional certified audio/noise consultant design. We could require existing businesses to periodically cert their fleet. And more. All these methods have their drawbacks, including more pushback. I’m happy to report though that Clif and rental shop owners recognize we’ve got a problem and something needs to be done. 

Declaring Certain (Police) Property Owned by the City of Moab as Surplus

  • Cool stuff here, from gun cases to cages to radios. Unfortunately, it’s headed to other public safety orgs.

Western Spirit, 478 Mill Creek Drive, zoning change request from R-2 Residential to C-5 Neighborhood Commercial Zone.

  • This is discussion and vote on the zoning change request itself.

Changes to define “formal initiation of land use code changes”, and to move noise code from Chapter 17 – Zoning, to Chapter 8 – Health and Safety

  • This somewhat arcane discussion is intended to make it legally clearer when the City wishes to “formally” enact a Temporary Land Use Regulation or a Temporary Land Use Ordinance. This point determines precisely when the city can begin enforcing changes in land use described in Temporary code. We also wish to move existing noise code into a more logically appropriate Health and Safety chapter. This will make it easier to amend if we subsequently add ATV noise related code.

Mike Duncan, Moab City Councilmember