Bart Battista, representing Best Friends (BF), once again came before the Kanab Planning Commission (KPC) on March 5 to request a zone change in the Ranchos to accommodate a housing project for BF employees.

In the previous KPC meeting, his request to rezone the 30.46 acres to the east of Hamblin Dr., owned by Karen Alvey, from an RA (Rural Agricultural) to an RM (Multifamily) was denied by the KPC in a tie vote. BF option was to appeal that request directly to the Kanab City Council, but chose instead to go back to the KPC and ask for a zone change to an R-1-8 and R-1-15 designation  (Residential Single-Family).

Instead of the clustering of the 45 homes around the center of the property, as was proposed in the initial request, this zone allows for two to four homes per acre, according to the Kanab City General Plan. Potentially this 30 acre subdivision could see anywhere from 60 to 120 houses in it, depending on how BF wants to develop it. Battista said it’s possible that not all of the lots would be owned by BF in the end.

City Planner Bob Nicholson said BF would have to comply with the city’s subdivision standards, which would include sewer lines and standard public streets with curb and gutter      

This latest zone change request did not set well with many of the 60 people in attendance.

Richard Anderson questioned the traffic study done earlier, feeling that increased traffic on Hamblin, Stewart, Powell and Kanab Creek Drives would vastly exceed the average daily traffic loads they were designed for. “These roads are 24 feet wide and not holding up well with current traffic loads,” said Anderson.

Samantha LeFevre pleaded, “Please don’t ignore the rights of those that have bought in this area of the Ranchos for a reason.” LeFevre lives on Hamblin Dr., where lot sizes are 2.5-3.5 acres, giving the area more of a rural setting.

Richard Grey, who also lives on Hamblin Dr., felt his neighborhood would be destroyed by the project. “You’ll be dumping traffic from improved city streets in the subdivision onto a rural type road,” Grey warned. “People can’t be sure that their home settings won’t change, if a zone change is made.”

Bruce Davis stated, “A new development should be compatible with the existing neighborhood surrounding it, and this zone designation does not conform to that concept.”

Others in the room felt BF was being unfairly bashed for wanting to build homes in Kanab. “These people moving here are Kanab residents, not just BF employees,” implored Collette Cox of the Kanab Chamber of Commerce.

Battista finished up by saying, “We are complying with Kanab’s General Plan by requesting this zone change and expect to fully comply with city regulations in our preliminary plat plan. We are buying private property, not open space land, and believe in smart planning for this subdivision. The home designs previously presented will remain the same.”

After two hours of discussion and debate, a motion was made by Scott Colson, and seconded by Breck Judd, to recommend the zone change to the Kanab City Council. Ben Clarkson and new KPC member, Boyd Corry, also voted for it. Joan Thacher voted against it and Chris Heaton abstained. The motion passed and Best Friends got the zone change they had sought since the start of this year.