Washington City annexes Long Valley area; master development planned

Composite image. Background: Long Valley as seen from state Route 7, Washington City, Utah, Oct. 6, 2016. Foreground: The blue-outlined area is the 605 acres in Long Valley that Brennan Holdings acquired from the BLM in a land exchange in January 2017 | Background file photo by Julie Applegate. Foreground image courtesy of Washington County Geographical Information Systems, St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY Washington City grew by over 1,500 acres Wednesday night as the City Council unanimously voted to annex the area known as Long Valley.

Jim Raines, of Brennan Holdings, addresses the Washington City Council on the proposed annexation of Long Valley into the city, Washington City, Utah, April 11, 2018 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The council had previously approved an annexation proposal for Long Valley from Brennan Holdings LLC in April. Brennan Holdings is the second-largest property owner in the annexation zone with 605 acres. State law allows a group that owns over a third the proposed area to submit an annexation application for a wider area.

Read more: Washington City approves annexation proposal for Long Valley area

The largest property owner within the area is the Bureau of Land Management, which holds 753 acres. However, public lands aren’t necessarily counted in annexations under state law.

Jim Raines, who represented Brennan Holdings in the council meeting, said the BLM land was included due to city annexation policy of not allowing for the creation of islands or peninsulas of isolated property within the proposed area.

Raines also previously stated that the BLM is largely neutral on annexation.

The annexation zone also includes two smaller private property owners who support their land becoming a part the city.

The Long Valley annexation is located in the area of 3380 E. Washington Dam Road south to Long Valley Road, according to Washington City documents.

The blue-outlined area is the 605 acres in Long Valley that Brennan Holdings acquired from the BLM in a land exchange in January 2017. |  Image courtesy of Washington County Geographical Information Systems, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

Brennan Holdings’ land is just off the Southern Parkway about 1.5 miles from the St. George Regional Airport, 6 miles east of St. George and between Washington Dome and Warner Ridge.

Bob Brennan, of Brennan Holdings, acquired the 605 acres in January 2017 in a land exchange with the BLM for property he held within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. It was a process that took over nine years to complete, Raines said.

Read more: Habitat managers: Long Valley exchange completed, goats may help with fire prevention

Brennan’s property is planned to be a master development called The Trails at Long Valley, Raines said. The development is slated to host 200 building lots and sport a $7.5 million clubhouse.

One reason Brennan Holdings wanted the land annexed into Washington City was because it was already part of the city’s long-term annexation plans, Raines said. He also said the city was the best option for supplying municipal services to the area.

Councilwoman Kolene Granger asked Drew Ellerman, the city’s director of community development, about the pros and cons of annexation.

One advantage of annexation is the increase of taxable property the city can draw from, Ellerman said. As for a drawback, he said if there is one, it’s the increase in demand for city services applied to the new area, although he said it’s not much of an issue.

The annexation of county land into a city is also supported by Washington County, City Manager Roger Carter said, as a city is better suited to accommodate growth and provide accompanying services.

“Municipalities are set up to deal with growth,” Carter said. “We are also the best suited to serve (residents) versus the county.”

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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15 Comments

  • redrock4 November 29, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Awesome – more growth. More homes, people and traffic.

    • Mike P November 30, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      Maybe we could spend billions to build one of those California style railroads to “no where anyone wants to go. ” That should help with the traffic!

  • iceplant November 29, 2018 at 9:36 am

    More growth in Washington means less for us crazy hippies out here around Red Mountain. Fine by me. Keep the developments out there. This is a prime location for one of those ridiculous vacation rental communities. The middle of nowhere.

    • Chris November 29, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      Crazy hippies, huh? I need to spend more time out there in Ivins.

      • iceplant November 30, 2018 at 7:43 am

        I love it out here. It’s beautiful, quiet and peaceful and even though it’s only a few miles from SG, feels light-years away.

  • Comment November 29, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Build baby! build! Let’s bring in hordes more traffic, air pollution, and crime as quick as we can!

  • Not_So_Much November 29, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Tell me again why we need a $3 BILLION water pipeline? One that at the end of the day local users will be paying for and not just newcomers. Are any landscaping restrictions being contemplated?

    • Redbud November 29, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      Not So Much, we need the $3 billion pipeline because we are going to allow more people to build homes here, and you are going to help pay for it since you happen to live here too! Go ahead and complain to the city counsel, the state, whoever you want. The pipeline will be built regardless. (Just so you know, I’m not happy about it either.)

      • Comment November 29, 2018 at 1:55 pm

        The peasants don’t get a say. The nobility(the conglomerate of LDS politicos and land developers) know best. And they will decide for us.

        • An actual Independent November 29, 2018 at 3:46 pm

          But the same sheep who complain endlessly about our local politicians just keep re electing them by ridiculous margins.
          What’s that saying about continuing to do the same thing over and over but expecting different results?

          • Kilroywashere November 29, 2018 at 5:59 pm

            Good point Actual Independent. I’m with frozen veggie on this one as well. As far as water goes, by mid 2020 or so, the s*#t will hit the fan anyway. So happy I converted my lawn to a desert garden over a year ago.

    • Chris November 29, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      I am encouraged by the fact that nearly everyone on this forum, regardless of political persuasion, opposes the pipeline. I really think that we, the local electorate, can defeat this abomination if we become active. We all see that no one who currently resides here benefits from this project except the greedy developers. Let’s get together and defeat this thing.

  • utahdiablo November 29, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Nobody shows up to the Washington City Council meetings, so they keep railroading this crap down your throats…enjoy the future folks, and when the housing market crashes again, along with the way over bought stock market, and the $21.7 Trillion National debt becomes due?…the house of cards falls down….enjoy your future & Happy Holidays!

  • stevenxfiles November 29, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    I think some environmental agency needs to discover a nearly extinct reptile or desert flower that needs protection so we (the people) can make that a permanent conservation area. Unless we want this region to look like LA we need to start putting up some growth restrictions quick!

  • Jimmym December 1, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Growth restrictions would be nice. But I’m growing very weary of faked environmental reasons to “protect” land from normal use by our residents.

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