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.”
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.
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