Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for December 15, 2010
Baker steps down as Land Use Authority Chairman
The December 8, 2010 Land Use Authority meeting was brought to order by Chairman Jim Baker. Baker announced this would be his last meeting, as he is not seeking re-appointment to the Land Use Authority Commission when his term expires at the end of the year.
In his farewell statement, Baker said “It seems like we (the LUA) spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel every time we get together.” He handed out some notes to the Kane County Land Use Authority members and officials in attendance. The five-page set of notes was comprised of LUAMA ordinances, Utah State Codes and legal concepts. He suggested putting the copy in with their copies of the land use ordinances to be used as a future reference.
Baker said he wanted to touch on what is called “police powers.” Baker acknowledged that a state’s police powers are usually looked at distastefully when in contrast to the U.S. Constitution, but recognized that the right of each state to conduct these important activities is guaranteed to them by the 10th Amendment to that same Constitution.
“Police power describes the basic right of governments to make laws and regulations for the benefit of their communities. Under the system of government in the United States, only states have the right to make laws based on their police power. The lawmaking power of the federal government is limited to the specific grants of power found in the Constitution.”
Police power is “The authority conferred upon the states by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and which the states delegate to their political subdivisions to enact measures to preserve and protect the safety, health, welfare and morals of the community.” Source http://legal-dictionary.com
Baker suggested the members take some time to read what he has compiled, as it may give them a better concept on where Kane County’s “police powers” to conduct planning and zoning came from.
Baker said, “He had reviewed seven or eight legal sources, it was not something he made up himself, it comes from several constitutional attorneys and they all concurred and he feels it to be accurate information.”
Baker added “among police powers that are guaranteed to each state, not only do we have planning and zoning and building codes, but we have fire codes, gambling laws, anti-discrimination codes, parking laws, anti-criminal enforcement, licensing of professionals, liquor control, motor vehicles, bicycles and nuisances, even schooling is a “police power” of the state as well as sanitation (trash pickup).”
Baker said he hopes this information will help clarify some things to the members of the board. “We have some new members and I think it is important that everybody get on the same sheet of music,” said Baker.
In Baker’s notes he refers to state codes that commissions the LUA to do what they do. 17-27a is considered the Land Use Development and Management Act (LUDMA) and contains all of the state laws dealing with planning and zoning or land use issues. 17-27a-102 describes the purposes of the land use authority, 17-27a-401 A General Plan is required. Other state codes mentioned: 19-3-303, 19-3-305, 19-3-307, 17-27a-403, 17-27a-405, 17-27a-406, 17-27a-501, 17-27a-502, 17-27a-205, and 17-27a-503. To access state codes: Utah.gov or Utahstatecodes.com
On the agenda: Legislative: public hearing - A zone change request for East Zion Properties Subdivision-Planned Unit Development (PUD) from current zone C-2 to Recreation R-10. Tom Avant appeared on behalf of Kevin McLaws, the developer, and stated the reason for the change will increase the value of the properties. The LUA recommended the change to the Kane County Commission for final approval, as it also will result in lower density in the area.
Legislative: public hearing - Tom Avant, representing Kevin McLaws, presented a request for amending a subdivision plat for Zion Mountain Land Holdings/East Zion Properties LLC 45.42 acres to smaller lot sizes as platted. County Engineer Warren Monroe has recommended the change and Administrator Gary Smith agreed since all the paperwork is in order. The LUA recommended the request to the Kane County Commission for final approval.
There were six parcel joinder (joining properties together) requests from property owners in Zion View Mountain Estates, Ponderosa Villa and Swains Creek Pines – all requests were to save on taxes. The LUA reviewed the requests and recommended approval to the Kane County Commission.
A conditional use permit was requested for Recreational Camp-International Wilderness Leadership School. Sean Winters represented the IWLS. The proposed school is in Section 29 Parcel #3-4.5-29-8, designed to be a non-permanent tent village in the Johnson Canyon area of Kane County. The participants range from the age of 15 to mid 30’s and are under constant supervision.
This was the second appearance concerning the request. At the November 10, 2010 LUA meeting, the board felt they needed more information and scheduled a site visit. Chairman Baker announced all the LUA members had visited the site. Brian Palmer, the representative for the Board of Health, accompanied the LUA to the site and gave his recommendations.
The LUA board felt there were some conditions that need to be put into effect.
1.) A septic system will need to be installed to capture grey water and wastewater, unless a waiver is obtained from the Utah State Board of Health.
2.) A Wild land Urban Interface (WUI) driveway, with the appropriate number of turnouts and turn around/hammer-head at end, shall be provided.
3.) Appropriate number of parking spaces will be provided near the end of the driveway (for emergency vehicle access).
4.) Showers, toilets and water trailer to be located in close proximity to the end of the driveway turn-around.
Baker acknowledged that property values were one of citizen Duane Barnson’s concerns. Baker explained that this request is allowed, conditionally for use in that particular zone, and as such would not affect property values. It may affect saleability, which is not a LUA issue. This information is covered in 17-27a, the Land Use Development Act (LUDMA).
Duane Barnson, is a property owner in the area who asked pertinent questions and voiced his opinions in a written statement as to why he was in opposition to the LUA approving the conditional use permit.
LUA Administrator Gary Smith explained the county couldn’t discriminate against a school of any type if it has complied with all the specified conditions set forth by the LUA.
Tom Forsythe moved to grant the conditional use permit on the conditions outlined to be code compliant. There was a four to one vote cast in favor of approving the permit.
Note: The Kane County Commissioners appoint citizen planners to fill any vacancy to the LUA. The members of the LUA Commission select one of their members to be chairman.