The Community Zone is a completely new concept for Kane County. A Community Zone differs from a subdivision zone as it permits development of communities within unincorporated areas of the county where the potential for a future municipality exists. Community Zones may include any or all zones, residential, subdivisions, manufacturing, retail, golf courses etc.

A Kane County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting was held on March 11, 2009. Chairman Jim Baker brought the meeting to order. 

The Public Hearing Agenda concerned a proposed revision to the Kane County Zoning Map as requested by Canyon Land Development, LLC a California based developer.

The developer, represented by Attorney Craig Smith of Salt Lake City, requested a zone change from forest recreation and commercial or manufacturing to a community zone, to be named Canyon Point, Utah.

In 2007 when the Canyon Land developer started Phase #1 of the project, it was zoned commercial. Phase #2 was zoned forest recreation. The March 11 request for a change to the new Community Zone including Phase #3, was an effort to be in compliance by putting all the land under one zone.

The request for this zone change, if approved, will be done in three phases with the total area encompassing 1836.08 acres located at milepost #4 on Highway 89 near Big Water.

Phase # 1 was approved in 2007 in accordance with the zone change ordinances and Development Agreement in place at that time. Planning and Zoning Administrator Gary Smith informed the panel the Development Agreement for a Community Zone has been redefined with modifications suggested by Deputy Kane County Attorney William Bernard to incorporate the Fair Housing Act.

Attorney Craig Smith on behalf of the developer, submitted a Conceptual Plan with an up-date on the project. The proposed resort is part of the Amangiri Resort Chain and has been in the planning stage since 2003. The resort, upon completion, will consist of a 200-guest room hotel, 200 condominiums, golf course, heliport pad, and 250 single-family homes. Attorney Smith stated the hotel, as part of the approved Phase #1, is under construction and expected to be finished in July and open to the public in September 2009.

The main topic of discussion: The Development Agreement submitted as part of the Planning and Zoning requirements and the financial and social impact it would have to the county and its citizens.

The Development Agreement is to be presented at the same time as the Conceptual Plan, which is a color overview showing the general configuration of the project, as per Kane County Land Use Ordinance Chapter 22-2. This agreement was not included in Attorney Smith’s presentation.

Vice-Chairman Terrell Honey voiced a concern about the panel “making a decent recommendation and doing our job” by approving a zone change without the actual Development Agreement for review. Honey, stated since the Community Zone is a fairly new concept he felt more detailed information is needed. Panel member Bob Russell stated the Planning Commission has an obligation to the people to follow the correct process. Russell also stated, the Planning and Zoning Commission is a recommending body, once that recommendation is forwarded to the County Commission they have three options; they can change it to suit themselves, accept it with modifications or they can send it back and say redo it.

Attorney Smith was agreeable to meeting the commission’s requirements but commented it is very difficult to negotiate with two different “bodies” of the county.

Commissioner Daniel Hulet explained the Conceptual Plan does specify an area for moderate income housing and recommended the wording in the Development Agreement to be changed to moderate (work force housing). This stipulation is only required in a Community Zone. Hulet said the Community Zone is the genesis to an incorporated community.

Bernard voiced concerns in approving the requested change at this time without the correct wording in the development agreement and the county’s position in violating Utah State Laws by not adhering to the Fair Housing Act.

Since the Community Zone is so new, Hulet admitted there might have been an un-intentional lack of communication between the county commission and the members of the planning commission. Now that the County Planning and Zoning Department is fully staffed, the ease of communication and legal issues can be resolved.

The panel was in agreement the Community Zone concept is an improvement but decided it was in the best interests of all concerned to table this request for further review.

Also on the Public Hearing Agenda: Revisions to Chapter 2 of the Subdivision Ordinance. Planning and Zoning Administrator Gary Smith explained the revisions and how the changes will have a positive effect between the county and the developers. The chapter clearly defines responsibilities, pre-construction conferences, enforcement, infrastructure inspections and permits.

A subdivision packet will be available for developers, stating fees and the requirements necessary to be submitted for approval. Any additional inspections fees will be charged by the hour and mileage.

Baker asked for comments from the public. Tom Avant of Theabeau Consulting said it was an improved method of communication between the developers and the county. Amendments were made and then approved as amended.

Administrative: A request for an Agricultural Exemption for Michael Roundy and Arkay Pugh. The 40-acre parcel is located east of Kanab, and to the south of the Vermillion Cliffs Subdivision. All paper work is in order. Exemption approved.

Baker announced representatives from United Cities and Towns would be conducting training classes in St. George on April 16, 2009, re: legislative up-dates. Hulet asked all P & Z members to attend.