As the Catori Canyon subdivision develops in between the Ranchos and Cedar Heights subdivisions on Kanab’s western reach, the impacts on the cliffside overlooking the Kanab Creek have become more visible, prompting question and concern from Kanab locals. Kanab’s relationship with the creek has been historically complicated on the topic of creek-side housing - the Kanab Creek is a beloved landmark and source of recreation, but its sandy cliffsides at higher elevations and constant erosion points can put housing at risk of collapse and necessitate measures to make living along those cliffs safe and practical.
Left to right:
Some of these primary erosion points will be reinforced, and water directed into either the drainage canal or the detention areas. Images courtesy of Iron Rock Group.
The Catori Canyon master plan shows the drainage channel on the north side, and the initial phase on the southeast side adjacent to Powell Drive.
A view of erosion mitigation from the other side of Kanab Creek.
As such, the Catori Canyon development has been required to address these concerns for the eastern part of its subdivision which borders the Kanab Creek. Tom Avant, CEO of Iron Rock Group who is partnering with the Catori Canyon development team, volunteered to share the details and specifications of the project’s interaction with the creek-side, erosion and water drainage control through the first phase. Avant described the process of collaborating with Kanab City to design a new drainage channel, coordinating funds dedicated to water and natural resource conservation with the client’s personal investment in the project. The channel is designed to improve drain- age of the standing water caused by the nearby canyons, and reduce erosion, especially of the primary erosion point at the Powell Drive bridge dip - a project whose cost is estimated at well over one million dollars at this point.
The project includes the reinforcement of the creek bank by a few different methods which, according to Avant, were the developer “going above and beyond what was required; he wanted to do it because it improved the project and it works.” This includes increasing the elevation of the creek bank, naturally directing water into the project’s drainage channel and detention areas, as well as seeding the area with local flora. Per Avant, “Kenny [Seng, developer of the project,] did the research, he compacted the land and broadcast local seeds held in place with a mat to hold both the seeds and soil in place … your plants grow through the mat, roots go down and naturally stabilize the whole thing, and they’re all native plants.” That process of compacting the soil was an eminently visible part of the project involving heavy machinery - most of the inquiries the SUN received on the safety and viability of the creek-side work were a result of this portion of the project.
One further measure designed to facilitate safe water drainage is the inclusion of water detention areas in the south side of the subdivision. These detention areas are designed to hold water during high water weather, allowing slow drainage into the creek as opposed the floods and water rushes the Kanab area is prone to during rainy seasons. Per Avant, “The design of the detention areas is really impressive - they work, they do their job well, and Kenny’s trucking in red rock so the visible parts will still match the look of the area.”
Avant stated of the priorities of the Catori Canyon project, “The goal is to design something that fits with Kanab. Kenny could have brought in any of his big engineers from Salt Lake and built rows and rows of cookie cutter houses, he has the means … but he didn’t, he hired us, working with locals who know the area and who know what fits Kanab.”
The first phase of the Catori Canyon subdivision, the southeastern portion of residences, is approved and under construction now, while the further phases are still in the application and approval stages with local authorities. The Iron Rock team sought to reassure locals of the project’s priority of keeping the Kanab Creek’s integrity and identity as a Kanab landmark, and the proper management of Kanab’s water resources. Avant concluded, “Kenny’s trying to do the best he possibly can with this project - a lot of developers will try to cut corners wherever they can, but these guys do not cut corners.”