Revisions to Kanab’s Land Use and Site Plan Ordinance (6-3-13-O) were unanimously passed by the Kanab City Council Tuesday night after many comments by the public.

 The prime topic of discussion was the issue of landscaping requirements for new businesses and existing businesses making changes in the use of the business, square footage or significant alterations to the exterior of the building. The initial cost of landscaping requirements to new businesses has curtailed some businesses from establishment in Kanab, according to Land Use Coordinator Gary McBride.                                        

The topic was brought to a boil by an application by Michele Guinn, who recently purchased the old Sinclair gas station and convenience store across from the Kanab Creek Drive entrance to the Ranchos.

Gerald and Deborah Guinn explained their daughter wanted to upgrade the restrooms making them handicap accessible, but doing so would change the exterior dimensions of the building. This would require them to landscape the front of the property, which the previous ordinance specifies as being a six-foot wide and several feet long section along their Hwy 89A frontage.  It would have required them to remove a center section of asphalt to make two separate accesses and plant two-inch diameter trees in the island between them.

 Kent Burggraff believed the site plan changes were a good start, but needed more review.  The requirements for land developers and businesses remain “too cumbersome and costly for entry into the market place”.

 Josh Beaser, the engineer for Guinn’s project, reiterated the initial landscape and curb, gutter and sidewalk costs as being determents to new business establishments in town. “The station could be opened as is, but by expanding the restrooms the Guinn’s are required to landscape and curb and gutter the property.

 Kanab Area Chamber of Commerce President Jeannie Hunt read a letter to Kanab City officials. In it, she stressed the Planning Commission and Kanab City Council need to foster steps that encourage new business establishments and allow existing businesses to expand without “piling on” additional expenses and discouraging businesses so vital to this community.

 Planning commission member Joan Thatcher, seconded these statements adding, “current ordinances are oppressive.”

 In the revised plan, because neighboring businesses do not have curb, gutter and sidewalk with associated landscaping, Guinn’s new business is allowed to proceed without these requirements. Gerald Guinn stated, “As time goes on, we intend to improve the property’s landscaping. We can now concentrate on other improvements like stuccoing the exterior of the building, after expanding the restrooms. We want to get the business open as soon as possible.”

Kanab City Manager Duane Huffman commented, “Once these ordinance requirements are in place, they need to be strictly followed. We have specified that minor building exterior changes, like repainting, can be granted by Gary McBride, and the Planning Commission shall decide on all applications for site plan review. We needed to streamline accessibility to these requirements and in doing so we eliminated Chapter 1 of the ordinance and consolidated the requirements under Chapter 9.”

Addendum: City Manager Duane Huffman submitted his resignation to Mayor Laycook and the Kanab City Council effective August 1. He and his family will be relocating to West Bountiful, Utah, where he will assume their city manager position August 6.