Southern Utah News Articles
Request for Vermillion Cliffs Estates zone change creates controversy
At the December 9 Kane County Planning Commission meeting, Travis Legler, a resident of Vermillion Cliffs Estates, submitted a Request for a Zone Change for his 2.4 acre parcel #6-148, to be changed from Residential 1 (R-1) one acre to Residential 2 (R-2) two acres with the intent to utilize the property to include raising horses, mules and hounds. In Chapter 6 of the Kane County Ordinance “Residential Zones,” the maximum allowable number of household pets for R-1 is six. For R-2, the maximum is 12, without needing a conditional use permit to increase the numbers. In the R-1 zone, a conditional use cannot be applied to increase the number of animals, but it is allowed in the R-2 zone; which is the difference between the two zones.
Legler stated he owns and operates a hunting guide business and has a business license in Utah and Arizona and currently owns 12 animals. His children take care of feeding and watering the animals. Legler stated he was not aware of the R1 Zoning when he purchased the property.
Interested members of the public filled the meeting room to capacity with standing room only, with an overflow out in the hallway. Kane County Attorney Rob Van Dyke suggested moving the meeting to the Kane County Courtroom to better accommodate the public.
Planning Comission Chairman Tony Chelewski advised the public that comments should be kept to a two minute time frame. There were a lot of comments in opposition, mainly in reference to the barking dogs and the noise that could be heard throughout the neighborhood.
Some felt the dogs were not treated humanely. One person talked about the noise affecting their property values. Another said they were afraid to walk near Legler’s property. It was mentioned that it seems Legler’s venture is of a commercial nature and should be in a commercial zone. There were a few people in favor of the zone change, so the dogs could have a good home. Lastly, it was stated changing the zone is not going to solve the problem.
Land Use Administrator Shannon McBride explained the problem with the barking/noise was a separate issue, which falls under the Nuisance Ordinance. It is not a Land Use issue, and complaints about the noise should be directed to the Sheriff’s Office.
Vice-Chairman Wade Heaton pointed out the Kane County Land Use Ordinance belongs to every citizen in the county. He thanked the citizens who took the time to come and voice their opinions.
Heaton said the commission’s responsibility is to protect and safeguard the property rights of each individual. He stressed the fact that what is important at this meeting is the zoning. Protecting the zone is important, the R-1 Zone is for residential and for normal residential activities as defined in the ordinance. Heaton also made a positive comment on Legler’s business endeavors, but those endeavors do not concur with the intent of the rural character designed in the R-1 Zone.
After almost two hours of public comments and debates, the request was denied. It was recommended to forward the request to the Kane County Commissioners for further review at their December 14 meeting.