A former Kanab City ordinance concerning how much square footage a commercial property could have was changed at the December 3 Kanab City Planning Commission meeting.

The board decided, in a close 4-3 vote, to forward the issue to the Kanab City Council to change its ordinance to allow for more than the current 40,000 square foot commercial limit.

This issue has been an interesting caveat to the planning and zoning regulations for years. Why would or should there be a limit on the square footage of a commercial property in Kanab? One could say for protection of small businesses. Kanab is not the place for big box stores. Warehouses would be silly to locate here, because of no immediate interstate accessibility.

To allow it, you could defend that everyone should be able to do what they want within regulations. A larger warehouse facility would need more employees (employment), and it would expand the local tax base and business.

The issue came about when the Kanab City Planning Commission was revisiting all the zoning ordinances. “We had talked about the restriction at the previous three meetings,” said P&Z member Kent Burggraaf, adding it had been on his radar to bring the issue up.

Those voting against changing the ordinance cited concerns about public notice. “My issue was that I felt that the public wasn’t sufficiently noticed on the issue and what was being considered,” said planning commission member Joan Thacher.

Burggraaf stressed that the public was given opportunities to offer input on the issue, adding that the city manager and city planner Gary McBride have the duty to notice the public. He added that when the Kanab City Council addresses the issue, they can also have a public hearing if they feel it’s appropriate.

What happens now? The Kanab City Council can approve or disapprove the zoning expansion. The city council usually agrees with the planning commission’s recommendations, due to the fact they were appointed by the governing body, and they research and study the ordinances concerning these issues.