Council addresses homeowner complaints, hospital report, RAP tax allocation

Stock photo | St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Concerns regarding regulations within planned unit developments and a report on the progress of new developments at Valley View Medcial Center were among items heard by Cedar City Council at its action meeting Wednesday night. It also announced how it would distribute tax revenue received for recreation, arts and parks.

Homeowner complains about Ashdown Forest development

Ashdown Forest, a planned unit development located up Fiddler’s Canyon in Cedar City, was brought up as a problem area by resident George Jett who was dissatisfied with the way his homeowners association is governing the planned community.

Jett appealed to the City Council to intervene in the community, complaining of misuse of dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles, children riding unsupervised at night without helmets and on sidewalks, as well as lack of property maintenance.

“I want to address if the city is reluctant to improve on PUDs,” Jett said.

ATVs and dirt bikes are not permitted for regular use, Cedar City Police Chief Bob Allinson said regarding laws pertaining to Cedar City generally, but because the area is a private community, police are not allowed to interfere.

“The streets in the PUD are not accepted in the community as a part of the city laws so we can’t enforce traffic laws,” Allinson said regarding police authority over the private community. “Our work is very limited. We can cite driving under the influence and drugs but we cannot enforce traffic laws.”

Jett said the homeowners association is not helpful.

As a resident of Ashdown Forest for two years and being a former resident of another PUD outside of the Cedar City community, Jett said, he feels the city should consider removing the PUD title of the area.

“We need to have the same protection that the whole community has,” Jett said.

Eagle Point, another PUD within the area has not had any residents who have voiced concerns, City Manager Rick Holman said.

“While I support what the concern is and agree with staff to look into the future of PUDs there is not much we can do now,” Holman said.

The council encouraged Jett to voice his concern to the homeowners association, at a meeting to be held next week and likewise encouraged Allinson to attend the meeting.

As an experienced homeowners association  member for seven years, Doug Hall, with the Iron County Alliance of Taxpayers, said if two-thirds of the PUD residents agree and want a change they can make it happen.

Generally speaking, changes in covenants, conditions and restrictions governing a planned development require a specified percentage vote of owners, and in many cases that of lenders encumbering properties within the development as well.

Valley View Medical Center

Valley View Medical Center Administrator Jason Wilson gave a report regarding the city’s hospital.

“As a community hospital, we have an accountability to this community and want to be responsive to needs of the community,” Wilson said.

Cleverley and Associates, a national independent hospital review organization, has recognized Valley View Medical Center as a five-star hospital for the past two years, Wilson said. See story here.

“We were surprised to find out we are the 44th best hospital in the nation,” he said. “We don’t do heart and lung transplants, but with the criteria they looked at, we are the 44th best according to those measures.”

The hospital was recognized as a top performer by The Joint Commission, a U.S.-based nonprofit tax exempt organization that certifies hospital accreditation.

“This puts us on the top 20th percentile as a health organization,” Wilson said.

Besides the national recognition, the hospital representatives have been working on improving the outdoor landscape appearance, which includes an extension of a walking path for resident and employee use. An approximate 2,300 kids walked the path in July as they took part in the Cedar City Play Unplugged program. The program’s mission was to award badges and prizes to kids for participating in summer activities.

A learning center will also be available at the Township Buildings across the street from the hospital for nurses simulation training, Wilson said.

A wound clinic and telehealth services are other services the hospital is developing.

“We have telemedicine in the nursery for better health care for newborns and we will be bringing it to the intensive care unit and are looking into getting it in the emergency room for the improvement of stroke evaluation,” he said. “The use of technology to recruit specialists will be a great help to us.”

RAP Tax

The council allocated more than $146,000 in RAP tax revenue, i.e. taxes for recreation, arts and parks, to benefit local organizations, specifically: Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, $1,700; Cedar City Arts Council, $4,000;  Children’s Musical Theatre, $8,000; Cedar City Junior Ballet, $7,500; Cedar City Livestock & Heritage Festival, $10,000; Cedar City Music Arts, $11,000; In Jubilo, $2,70; Master Singers, $3,000; Neil Simon Festival, $21,500; Orchestra of Southern Utah, $10,500; Rubiks Cube Youth Square Dancers, $1,000; Suzuki Strings, $1,500 and Utah Shakespeare Festival, $63,884.

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