At the August 5 Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) meeting, Mr. Cody Young, representing the Hampton Inns group that want to build a four-story, 80 room motel in downtown Kanab, explained the reason why they are seeking approval of their changed plans.

“We had originally expected to get 75 rooms into a three story building on the lot we bought from Premium Oil,” Young began.  “But when we examined our plans more closely, we found we could not get that number of rooms, which we felt was the minimum number required to make it economically feasible to build in Kanab, being limited to three stories.”

The Kanab City Council previously amended the C1 Commercial Zone (Section 15-3 of the Kanab City Land Use Ordinance) wording on height restrictions from “two stories or 35 ft.” to “35 ft. only,” thereby allowing Hampton to build three stories high.

“We looked at other locations outside the C1 Zone,” said Young, “but nothing suitable was available.  Hampton’s surveys have shown that our motel guests want to be downtown where they can walk to restaurants and shops,” continued Young.

Fifty Kanab residents attended the meeting with many voicing opinions on the aesthetic and commercial effects they felt the Hampton Inn would have on Kanab.

Susan Honey, owner of Honey’s Marketplace, along with others, felt the views of the red cliffs and “K” Hill from the highway corridor would be compromised.  “These beautiful cliffs are what makes Kanab’s setting unique and attractive to visitors and you don’t want to cut off the ability to see them,” stated Honey.

Victor Sandonato, manager of Denny’s Wigwam, exclaimed, “The downtown corridor pays the city’s bills and businesses must be supported and encouraged to sustain the city itself.”

Teresa Trujillo, who chaired the PZC meeting, commented, “I’ve driven and walked down 100 East in front of existing stores and the vacant lot.  Trees and existing buildings of only one story in height already block views of the cliffs.  Whether the building is two or four stories high, the effects are going to be the same.”

The PZC decided 4 to 1 with Joan Thacher as the dissenting vote to recommend to the Kanab City Council changing the height restriction in the C1 and other commercial zones to 45-feet, thereby approving Hampton’s request for the four-story motel.

They also specified a 30-feet setback from the sidewalk be allowed for any building over two stories, although Hampton’s plans call for a 60-foot setback to accommodate two rows of parking between the sidewalk and the front of the motel.  They will also have one row of parking on the backside of the motel and hope to modify the Hospital Thrift Stores parking to gain the 80 plus parking spaces required.  If the first floor of the building in question has retail stores, their frontage would be required to abut the sidewalk, if the city adopts this provision.

Young said he anticipates construction will start next July.  “It will be a beautiful addition to the city with natural stone incorporated into an appropriate color scheme that will entice high end visitors to actually stay in Kanab, which will benefit the entire community,” Young concluded.