Residents oppose proposed zone change, Cedar City Council tables vote

This composite includes a 2016 file photo showing the Cedar City Council from L-R: Terri Hartley, Craig Isom, Fred Rowley, Paul Cozzens and Ron Adams during a City Council meeting in Cedar City, Utah, April 20, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – After more than an hour of listening to resident’s concerns, the Cedar City Council tabled a proposed zone change until some of the issues raised could be addressed further.

The proposed zone change presented by developer Leavitt Land and Investment to the council Wednesday night involved changing a 10-acre parcel currently zoned for 6 units per acre to 24 units per acre. The change would allow the developer to build a 240-unit apartment complex. Leavitt Land and Investment owns an adjacent 10-acre parcel already zoned for multiple units.

The property in question is located south of the IFA Country Store on South Main Street at 1000 S. 450 West.

Several nearby homeowners, many of them with young children, opposed the change citing the potential for increased traffic as their primary reason. However, issues with soil and drainage were also named.

Councilman Paul Cozzens made the motion to table the decision. Cozzens, a private property rights advocate, said he’s primarily concerned about the potential drainage problems and wants to wait until the city engineer can speak to the issue.

Residents argued a large apartment complex would multiply traffic numbers threatening the small children in the neighborhood while also bringing home values spiraling downward.

Traffic is one of our biggest concerns and if this zoning change is approved we’re looking at a statistical probability of an extra 500 cars,” Rachel Robertson said.

Initially, the residents took issue with the developer for only having plans for two through ways in and out of the complex. However, the developer changed plans and added another driveway trying to accommodate the families in the neighborhood concerned about the traffic.

Robertson, like many other residents, maintained that the landowner and developer knew what the property was zoned when they bought it and should now be forced to accept the current zone as is.

They (Leavitt Land) knew what it was designated as when they purchased it,” Robertson said. “Inaction can sometimes be the best action sometimes.”

Robertson told the council leaving the zone in its current status will protect the interests of the surrounding homeowners.

The council is slated to discuss the issue and potentially take a vote July 26.

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Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

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