MD’s Moab City Council Meeting Preview 2021-09-28

[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.]

4 – 6 PM: Special Session outside on  Moonstone Patio (in front of City Office building)

Market-based Solutions Accessible for Sustainable Cities – Drawdown Fund CEO Erik Snyder. Mr. Snyder, who lives in Park City, is an entrepreneur involved with projects that sequester or reduce CO2 emissions. I assume that’s what he’ll talk about, even if I’m not sure how Moab City fits into this.

Electric-Ready Building Code Letter of Support – Mila Dunbar-Irwin, Sustainability Director. Utah Clean Cities Coalition (UCCC), formerly Salt Lake Clean Cities, was the 16th coalition in the nation to join the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Clean Cities Program in 1994. Since its establishment UCCC has grown into a statewide, 501(c)3 nonprofit with a robust network that spans the state and the nation. UCC is soliciting support for an application to amend the Residential 2021 International Energy Conservation Code to include electric-ready provisions. These would include requiring all new buildings to have wiring and plugs for major appliances and electric vehicles. It does not specify which appliances must be used, simply that the wiring and plugs be installed at construction so the homeowner may choose at time of sale and into the future. It’s not clear if gas connections would even be part of the building code. The idea is to install plugs and wires at the time of construction when it will be cheaper than retrofitting after construction.

Streetlight Conversion to Dark Sky Compliant Lighting (RMP) – Briefing and possible action. In anticipation of the up-coming end to the five-year amortization period, Rocky Mountain Power is prepared to change over all City streetlights from high-pressure sodium, non-compliant heads to compliant, LED cobra heads. There are 419 of these lights within City limits. This will not include the decorative lights on Main Street, any privately owned lights, or County lights. The work could be done within the next few months and has already been contracted for by Rocky Mountain Power with crews ready. The cost has been budgeted for and will be recouped in 3 years due to the lower cost of power for LED lightbulbs.

Regular session starts at 7 PM

You can write City Council (anytime, on any subject): This meeting is live in City Council chambers. Masks and Social Distancing will be required. I have not included non-controversial agenda items here. Please see the full agenda at for full details.

Citizens to Be Heard. To have your written comments considered (on any subject) 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.


  • Canyonlands Health Care Special Service District Presentation
  • Presentation by Patricia Trap, Superintendent of Southeast Utah Group Area National Parks

Acting City Manager Updates – Carly Castle. Stemming from two separate recent incidents where bodycam video/audio played a significant role, police procedure/conduct is front and center at the moment. While for the most part I personally support officers’ professional conduct under difficult circumstances, there are places where both procedure and resulting conduct could certainly be improved. I eventually anticipate carrots and stick. Carly will report on on-going processes intended to restore trust.

Mayor and Council Reports

Special Event Permit, Trunk-or-Treat. At Swanny Park (not Spanish Trail Arena as in past years) ; 2 – 5 PM Saturday Oct 30. A great event, but watch for lots of little kids crossing streets to get into the park.

Dispersed Parking Cooperative Agreement with UDOT, Chuck Williams, Chief Engineer. This HotSpot project has been awarded funds in conjunction with two other projects: a trail in Spanish Valley (no city involvement) and a Transit Pilot project. The City will oversee design and construction of approximately 188 stalls of dispersed, on-street parking on 10 existing downtown paved streets using asphalt. Also as part of the Agreement, Emma Blvd will be modified in use with the parking portions paid by UDOT and the roadway portions paid by the City. The City set aside $400,000 for its share of the Emma Blvd improvements in this year’s approved budget. The Agreement commits UDOT to reimburse up to $5,715,000 toward the project. This is the Economy version of Dispersed Parking – basically posts + plain paint stripes on asphalt; in years to come we’ll want to make it more pleasant/ped friendly with planters/ trees/ shrubs/ colored concrete, but this is what we can afford right now.

Transit Pilot Cooperative Agreement with UDOT, Chuck Williams, Chief Engineer. This HotSpot “Microtransit” project establishes annual funding obligations and administrative roles between the City and UDOT for the development and operation of a shuttle service. UDOT has had a consultant prepare a Moab Transit Shuttle Study, which the City has reviewed and approved. UDOT will reimburse the City for up to $1,585,000 towards the project. City financial obligation will be ongoing as long as the shuttle remains in service. There is some route flexibility built into the proposed design; the objective of course is to get residents and visitors to use it and thereby reduce congestion. There will be a learning curve; there always is.

Brewpubs, Microbreweries and Distilleries added to commercial zones, Nora Shepard, Chief Planner. As The Week magazine might say, it’s a Good Week for beer lovers. These proposed text amendments to the zoning code define and permit their use in certain commercial zones. The amendments add as permitted uses:

  • Brewpubs to C-2 Residential-Commercial, C-3 Central Commercial, C-4 General Commercial and RC Resort Commercial Zones. Note that C-2 contains many existing short-term rentals (although currently no new ones since late 2019) which are sometimes mixed with residences; for that reason allowing brewpubs here might be considered controversial.
  • Microbreweries and Distilleries to C-4 General Commercial and I Industrial Zone.
  • Breweries  to Industrial Zone.

Discussion regarding City Attorney Replacement &Discussion regarding City Manager recruitment process

  • As many of you know, we’ve recently lost our City Attorney as well as our City Manager to resignations. This discussion should help chart a path forward. In part in response to residents’ complaints that the City is too top-heavy, I asked Carly, the acting city manager, if it makes sense to replace our staff attorney, where the assumption had been made that we’d get better service at less cost rather than contracting to an outside attorney as we’ve done in the past. Her opinion is yes it does make sense, despite the fact that the city will still contract to certain specialized legal firms for specialized issues. We also wish to narrow the path as to how we move forward with replacing the City Manager and what other key employees, if any, might be involved.

Hope this helps,

Mike Duncan, Moab City Councilmember