Southern Utah News Articles
Kanab City Council clears way for new Hampton Inn
Ordinance 2-1-15 O amending Kanab’s off street parking space size from 9 x 20 feet to 9 x 18 feet prompted 50 people to attend the Kanab City Council (KCC) February 10. The ordinance change was initiated by a request from the Hampton Inn developers, represented by Cody Young, to shorten the parking stall length to better accommodate parking at their previously approved four story, 82 bed motel. The Kanab Planning Commission (KPC) reviewed and voted to recommend the space size reduction to the KCC at their February 3 meeting, much to the chagrin of the three-dozen citizens at that meeting.
Many of the concerns voiced at the KPC meeting were repeated to the KCC, and all had stated or inferred belief that the Hampton Inn’s size was just too big for the 1.1-acre lot it will sit upon.
Marlene Barnes felt the Hampton Inn project was analogous to the La Estancia development in Tom’s Canyon, where flood control measures were not meted out to the developer initially and has now left the city finding ways to mitigate the problem. Barnes quipped, “A rush to generate business can create problems. Bending over backwards for new development is not always worth it.”
“People have been frustrated for a long time with our public officials because they don’t feel like they are being heard. So why show up to these meetings?” Herb Alexander questioned.
Steve Hogseth felt like the public had not received enough notification time between the KPC meeting and this KCC meeting a week later on the parking size issue. “We should postpone this ordinance hearing until the February 24 KCC meeting,” he said.
Claudia Presto came through Kanab 22 years ago and never left. “Kanab’s setting is special and this motel will cut off our views of the Vermilion Cliffs that make it that way,” said Presto.
We’re stepping back from the soul of Kanab, which we’ve always had,” said Alan Gilberg. “We are burying that soul with the concessions we make to the Hampton Inn and we don’t have to.”
Francis Battista decried, “We’re selling our birthright for a little money. The lot size is just too small for this motel.”
John Jefferis reminisced about the special place Tucson once was and how unrestrained development has ruined the unique character it once had. “I see the same thing happening in Kanab,” said Jefferis.
Tom Avant said public safety is the issue. “What kind of vehicles will be using these stalls?” He added, “In bigger cities, small cars prevail and space requirements can be better individualized to accommodate big and small vehicles. This size change, remember, applies to the entire city.”
Young confirmed that parking comes down to safety, adding, “But some overhang from bigger vehicles in our lot should be acceptable.”
Larry Erdman’s summation seemed to strike a chord among the audience when he said, “I’ve seen what is happening in Kanab before in other small towns wanting development. Developers come in and essentially coerce the struggling town’s leaders into giving them what they want for their project. You don’t have to bow down to them. Wait for the right kind of proposals to come along, and they will.”
While considering the ordinance change, the KCC members made these comments.
Brent Chamberlain said his research in Kanab showed some parking spaces as short as 16 feet. “The Holiday Inn has 18 foot long spaces, with 24 feet between parallel spaces, and hasn’t had any problems with it. We could face a legal challenge if we don’t pass the 18 foot ordinance change,” he said.
Joe B. Wright said, “I would like to send this back to the KPC to address the width of the lane between parking spaces. Though I’m OK with a 18-24-18 foot configuration totally 60 feet across the parking lot.”
Kirk Carpenter stated, “We can only do the best we can. We’re trying to do something with our wretched ordinances. I reviewed the staff report and support the parking space size change. I’m opposed to blind development, but I did have a very positive stay at the Hampton Inn in Kayenta last year.”
Cheryl Brown said, “I see a lot of big vehicles coming into town and am not comfortable with allowing the smaller parking space size throughout the whole town.”
Kent Burggraaf remarked, “I see more people coming to the KPC and KCC meetings, but we must also consider the 4,000 or so Kanab residents who are not here tonight. We represent them too.”
Mayor Robert Houston followed by saying, “The problems with the Thrift Store parking will be fixed by the new parking arrangement there. We have had no problems with the Holiday Inn parking lot. Remember about 50 percent of businesses in Kanab have had some sort of conditional use or code variance associated with them.”
Burggraaf made a motion, and Carpenter seconded it, to reduce the parking space size to 9 x 18 feet throughout the city, with Chamberlain voting for, and Wright and Brown voting against.
The city’s portion of the cost to initiate the flood control measures in Tom’s Canyon was guaranteed by council passage of the Sales Tax Revenue Bond, which assures the $27,000 taken from the General Fund will be paid back.
The contract for the inter-local agreement with the county for building inspection services, which had expired, was renewed under the previous terms, albeit with a caveat to automatically renew after one year.
Business license fees were established by Ordinance 2-2-15 O, which set the fee at $50, plus $10 for each employee, up to a ceiling of $500. Local event vendors will pay $5/day up to $50, unless they are a tax exempt non-profit under IRS codes.
The council approved appointments to the Arts Council for Jennifer Andrews and Laurali Noteman. Amy Sorenson was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Board.