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SITLA board of trustees greenlights proposed vacation development in Kanab

For many years, the plot of SITLA land on the border to Arizona sat undeveloped with no

substantial development opportunities presenting themselves, as the Jackson Flat Reservoir

filled, the landfill expanded, and the county jail was built around it.

That all changed last year when the Kane County Water Conservancy District (KCWCD)

proposed to build a 18-hole luxury golf course on the 101 acres. The School and Institutional

Trust Land Administration (SITLA) initiated a Request for Proposal and received two more bids.

In the end, SITLA decided to enter into an agreement with Mountain West Development Group to

develop the 101-acre plot into a major vacation and residential development.

SITLA’s real estate committee chose the vacation and residential development out of the three

bids received because it is expected to generate the most money for SITLA’s trust and its


SITLA deputy assistant director, Aaron Langston, presented the proposed vacation and

residential development to SITLA’s board of trustees last week, noting “this has been a very

interesting process.” The board raised no objections to the project.

The development is called Mineral Village. It will consist of a 128-room hotel, two hundred vacation

rentals, and 139 single-family homes, also referred to as vacation homes by the developer. SITLA

expects the homes will sell for an average price of $650,000.

The development will be located within Kanab City’s boundaries, and the project will go through

the municipal rezoning process.

In response to a question by a board member regarding pushback from the local community

being a concern, SITLA officials said that they anticipate some pushback as they do the rezoning.

Kyle Pasley with SITLA said there does “tend to be more of a pushback when you are talking

about short-term rentals.”

SITLA received a large number of comments from Kanab residents on the Water District’s bid to

lease the 101 acres for a golf course. Langston said that he “had probably received phone calls, I

am going to make up a number, from maybe more than half of the Kanab residents,” where

“nearly all them voiced their opinion in opposition to the proposal for a golf course.”

Langston added: “I did receive one phone call from a person who was not in favor of the

proposed residential development, but when talking to that person I did discover that he was an

employee of the Kane County Water Conservancy District.”

The proposed golf course faced local opposition because it was to be funded by public money

and concerns over future water shortages.

SITLA board member Michael Mower asked whether they were “going to have a hard time getting

water, if not working with Kane County Water Conservancy District?” Langston replied that the

developer “will face the same challenges as Kanab, and other parts of the state, that if water is

not available, it will simply not be available.

“But as of now, we are moving forward as if we have water rights for this, and we will be able to

tap into the Kane County Water Conservancy District.” The KCWCD provides irrigation water in


Pasley said that SITLA has “heard from Kane County officials that they are looking for more

economic development.”

The Mineral Village development lease is a lease-to-sale agreement, in which SITLA owns the

land and leases it to Mountain West to develop and sell. When the sale takes place, SITLA

receives a portion of the sale price. Moreover, SITLA will hold a 14.6 percent interest in the hotel,

in exchange for providing five acres of land.

SITLA expects to generate $15.4 million from the deal. However, the actual amount that SITLA

receives will depend on the construction timeline, actual sales prices for the homes, and the

financial success of the project.




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