Residents none too pleased about proposed Snow Canyon Parkway gas station

Developers are proposing to put a gas station at the intersection of Snow Canyon Parkway and Dixie Downs Road. Area residents weren't very happy with the idea once they learned about it and asked the City Council not to allow it. Their pleas were of no avail as a gas station is a permitted use on the property which is commercially zoned. | Image courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – In the days leading up to Thursday’s City Council meeting, residents living in neighborhoods along Snow Canyon Parkway made their opinion abundantly clear regarding the possibility of a gas station sprouting up along the roadside. In a nutshell, they don’t want it.

City officials received an estimated 200 emails regarding a proposed gas station and convenience store in the area of Snow Canyon Parkway and Dixie Downs Road. In their emails, residents shared concerns related to light pollution and traffic as well as their general observations about the character and beauty of the area.

While City Council members acknowledged the objections of the community, they unanimously voted to approve a requested lot split that helps developers move their project ahead.

“The piece of property has been zoned commercial for quite some time,” Councilman Jimmie Hughes said, but he added that he wasn’t yet used to the idea of seeing a gas station on Snow Canyon Parkway himself.

However, to deny the property owner’s request just because others disapproved of it didn’t sit well with the councilman either.

If it’s simply because we didn’t like it, denying it seems immoral to me,” Hughes said.

Property rights are one of the big things people talk about and respect in the United States, he said, and zoning laws were enacted to protect property owners, as well property owners neighboring them.

Residents who attended the City Council meeting left unhappy with the council’s decision.

A prepared email submitted by a number of residents to the mayor and City Council read:

The city has invested heavily in making Snow Canyon Parkway a spectacular roadway, heavily landscaped with native plants and trees, a median showcasing the beauty of the desert. … Why would the City want to completely destroy the majesty of this area with the blight of a gas station and convenience story at this intersection?

While they left frustrated, area residents did acknowledge the developers were working to do what they could to mitigate various concerns.

“They’ve been very considerate of the community and Snow Canyon Parkway and the aesthetics,” said Neil Walter, managing director of NAI Excel who also serves as a broker on the project. “(The developers) want to be accommodating and responsive.”

It was noted by the City Council that the property owner didn’t need to approach the City Council at all. The requested lot split is more for the convenience of those involved and not a required step in allowing a gas station on a lot where it is already a permitted use under commercial zoning.

It addition to seeking to work with the community, developers have also worked with the city on the project, Walter said.

I appreciate what they’ve offered,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said.

Councilman Ed Baca said the developers could just as easily go ahead with the project and not bother with the city. Instead, they have chosen to consult with city officials.

“This has gone above and beyond just a lot split,” Baca said. “This is all being done voluntarily by the applicant. It speaks well.”

Other business

The mayor issued a proclamation recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

A bid was awarded for the construction of the Bloomington baseball field construction for $269,546. The field replaces the old Elks Baseball Field that was demolished to make way to the construction of the incoming Legacy Elementary.

The City Council approved a bid for the annual slurry seal project for $103,000.

A bid for the seal coat project on Red Hills Parkway was approved for $105,680.

The council also approved an amendment to the Hidden Valley Master Plan allowing for the addition of 54 units on 4.46 acres in the area of 840 West and Desert Hills Drive.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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9 Comments

  • .... September 2, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    The best part of the whole thing is. all those whiners and cry babies will all be stopping their for gas and other odds and ends LOL !

  • anybody home September 2, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I had a chuckle at the thought of a gas station “spouting up” anyplace at all. I think you mean “sprouting up” unless you’re thinking of a gasoline geyser.

    Otherwise, my only thought was to get over yourselves, Parkway area residents. On that stretch of road, a gas station will be a welcome thing for most people and you won’t have to waste time and gas driving further to fill up your Range Rover. What a bonus!

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic September 2, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      And you were right to chuckle, sprout would be the right verb and I’ve made that correction. Thanks AH.
      ST. GEORGE NEWS
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • holger September 2, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    “‘If it’s simply because we didn’t like it, denying it seems immoral to me,’ Hughes said.”

    Councilman Hughes is confused about the definition of morality. The appropriate course of action is to seriously evaluate the objections of the neighborhood and not dismiss it out of hand simply because of previous zoning decisions. That is why he has a job, to apply judgment as circumstances and sentiments evolve. The action that was taken, to simply dismiss the concerns, was acting contrary to his sworn oath to represent all city residents, and therefore the immoral one.

    With such unanimous and voluminous objection, the Council should be ashamed of its decision to assist in this development. It runs contrary to the stated goals of the city development plan which states the goal of “preservation of the unique character and warmth of our community and conservation of the natural beauty of this area.” Shame on you.

  • outsider_100@hotmail.com September 2, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    As a frequent traveller along SCP, I have to wonder what all the fuss is about. This is already a high traffic artery, most days of the week, and if they were concerned about visual blight then perhaps they might ask to relocate the nearby power substation, and fire station.
    A successful gas station/convenience store will undoubtedly rely heavily on the nearby residents for their business, so it would be stupid to alienate this segment.

  • Shellru September 2, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Mori
    Thanks for covering this story. Good article. Now we must be wary of what may go in next to the gas station. Michelle

  • SteveSGU September 2, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Why should we have ANY commercial businesses along Snow Parkway? Change the zoning to keep the beautiful views. Let business stick to commercial areas.

  • Dennis September 2, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    That statement about denying the gas station would be immoral really cracked me up. I live in Ivins, we have one gas station, nearby in Santa Clara is another gas station. The Paiutes out on 91 have another station. Just down the road at Dixie Downs and Sunset are two mores stations. When is enough, enough? That road is well traveled with traffic to Tuacahn as well as Entrada, Ivins, etc. but is nicely landscaped and has views of Snow Canyon & Red Mountain. For this land to be zoned commercial that is immoral.

    Dennis

  • Robert September 2, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    I’m really not seeing how weeds and dust look any better than a gas station and this abhorrence to business rights and commercial growth stand in direct odds with our oh-so-conservative image down here.
    So which is it, business and property owner rights or job and growth crushing ideals like needless “I feel,” restrictions on land that has been zoned as commercial for ages?

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