At the May 7 Kane County Commission meeting, representatives from the National Forest Service presented the updated Kaibab National Forest Land Resources Management Plan to the Kane County Commissioners for their review, questions and comments.

Forest Planner Ariel G. Leonard summarized the proposed plan, which will modify stand structure and density of ecosystems toward desired conditions and restore historic fire regimes. The mechanical thinning associated with the restoration of ponderosa pine and frequent fire mixed conifer ecosystems would provide the wood supply needed to sustain a harvesting and utilization industry. Leonard said the Forest Service Land Office determines when to use mechanical removal vs. fire removal. It depends on the terrain and costs.  

Leonard explained the Kaibab National Forest has little natural water. With less than two miles of perennial stream, it is one of the driest forests in the country. The proposed plan provides desired conditions and includes objectives for restoring and protecting springs, wetlands, and natural waters.

The aspen trees have been in serious decline in the lower elevations on the forest. The proposed forest plan promotes aspen regeneration and establishment.

The proposed plan would also provide: A range of high quality scenery and recreation opportunities. Continued opportunities to graze livestock consistent with other desired conditions; Continued availability and access to resources for traditional cultural use and guidance for managing traditional cultural properties; Provide objectives and guidelines for consistent and efficient management response after large uncharacteristic wildfires; Provide guidance for mineral exploration and development, special use management and forest products collection; and Recommend 11 areas, totaling approximately 6,238 acres for wilderness designation, all on the North Kaibab Ranger District. The plan has not been updated in 24 years. For additional information, contact aleonard @fs.fed.us.

Captain David Jones of the Army National Guard gave an informational Power Point presentation on the Utah Community Covenant Program. The mission of the program is to foster and sustain formal, continuing relationships with communities in order to increase the quality of life, well-being and readiness of service members/Veterans and their families. The Kane County Commissioners and Kanab City have given their support for this program.

Kane County Fire Warden Earl Levanger requested acquiring several Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) at no cost to the county: a truck with a full tank of gas and low mileage, a 5,000 gallon water hauler, a small trailer and generators in case of fire emergencies. Levanger said the equipment acquired from the FEPP must be used by the county for fire related situations and cannot be sold or traded and if not needed, the equipment must be returned to the FEPP. The county is responsible for insurance on the equipment. The commissioners approved the request. Levenger introduced Cody Nelson, who has been hired to assist as a driver on the engine this year.

Land Use Administrator Shannon McBride and Deputy Attorney Van Dyke requested approval of Ordinance 2012-3 Chapter 8 Manufacturing Zone.

Commissioner Doug Heaton said the intent in creating this ordinance was to allow our citizens as much liberty as possible with the understanding that liberty also carries with it responsibility. As he sees it, it is not necessarily to protect people from themselves, but more to protect them from each other and to provide an area for these various zones to be safe in their own environment.

Heaton explained a paragraph added under Definitions: 1) “It is not the intent of this zone to prohibit uses usually utilized in more restrictive zones. Citizens should understand that the decision to put a residence or some other establishment normally found in more restrictive zones in this zone includes acceptance of the undesirable sights, sounds, smells and activities that are anticipated in this zone. No amount of public clamor will change the established use to a more restrictive use until those for whom the zone was created no longer wish to utilize the purposes of this zone.”

Heaton went on to say, if a citizen wishes to build in this zone, the county will not stop them. The county has allowed everything in this manufacturing zone that is allowed in all of the more restrictive zones. Heaton added, this information will be put on the building permit application so citizens are aware of the liberties they may have. He hopes the public understands what we are doing and why it is being done and will support the county in this effort of communication.

Commissioner Dirk Clayson said this is typical of land use practices in other communities referred to as “down zoning.” It is very common to have combined small businesses and residences on the same properties re: a dairy farm and the owner’s residence, a small gas station and the owner’s residence. To have ordinances that were so restrictive like those previously in place were very problematic. Heaton expanded and said there are very few conditional use requirements in this zone.

Heaton complimented the planning commission, the staff and Deputy Attorney Van Dyke for their efforts towards the re-wording and completion of Chapter 8 Manufacturing Zone. Commissioners Clayson and Heaton gave their final approval. Commissioner Jim Matson was excused.

Don Kramer, President of the North Rim Regulators Cowboy Action Shooting Club, requested the North Shooting Range be reserved on May 19 for the Cowboys vs. Cops shootout competition to raise money for the Sheriff Department’s D.A.R.E. program. The request was approved.

Cyrus Mejia, of Best Friends, presented a plan for a new 16-foot sign to be placed at the north entrance to Best Friends. The commissioners said the sign would have to meet all the P&Z requirements         

Commissioner Clayson explained about UDOT’s proposed improvements to Highway 89 in Kane County and their need to seek funding of $1.5 million from CIB mineral royalties. UDOT is requesting a letter of endorsement from the commission to present to the CIB Public Hearing. Commissioner Clayson will draft the letter.    

TC Engineering was selected as the lowest bidder to perform as engineers for the Land Use contract.