Letter to the Editor: Proposed Hurricane development is opposite of why many move to Washington County

Stock image, St. George News

OPINION — I am not normally one to write letters to the editor, but I can barely contain myself after reading the article published in St. George News on Jan. 8 titled “Hurricane City to take public comment on proposed $3 billion ‘Disney-style’ development”

Read most recent coverage: Hurricane residents: Old West town development doesn’t fit general plan, damages small-town lifestyle

I’ve lived in the area now for 20 years. We all move to Washington County for different reasons I suppose. My wife and I moved here for a number of reasons: There was a relatively low cost of living, we loved the deep blue skies, the lack of traffic congestion, the relatively low crime and the vastness and variety of the wide, open lands.

I do not oppose growth; I don’t want to keep others from enjoying what we discovered 20 years ago. On the other hand, it seems antithetical to me that our local representatives, our city and county planners, capitalize on the very same assets that have been attracting people to the area and, whether motivated by either a lack of foresight or greed (or maybe both), they seem determined to turn Washington County into another Vegas, Salt Lake or Denver.

What is wrong with some degree of moderation?

I can’t imagine whatever vision they (our leaders) have for the area will end up bringing happiness to the majority of its citizens. It seems designed to make developers richer and to satisfy the purses of restaurant and shop owners. With a hotel on every corner, a new development (complete with private lakes and more golf courses than makes sense for a desert) the future seems destined.

Our elected officials are not likely to stop until affordable housing is nonexistent, taxes are prohibitively high, the trails are all paved and those beautiful blue skies, resplendent against the Navajo sandstone, are nothing more than distant memories. It doesn’t seem there is any reason to hope for any slow down in the development plans until there is not a drop of water left in Lake Powell.

I wish someone could explain how, in the long term, living in a polluted, crime ridden, unaffordable, congested community is an attractive vision. If we wanted that vision, we could have stayed in Vegas, Salt Lake, California or any of the myriad of other trashed communities we fled to come here for a little bit of paradise.

Submitted by TOM MCKEE, St. George.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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  • Borowiak Mark January 11, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    I don’t know about the whole county, but give Hurricane some credit.

  • utahdiablo January 11, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Totally agree Tom, when we moved here many years ago, we too saw the same magic living here, and do you recall ” Vision Dixie”?…it was created to help have controlled, smart growth…but like everything else, those people must have been paid off by the … developers as we haven’t seen hide or hair of them in years….Pipe up if any of you from Vision Dixie are still around and want to tell us all how wise and smart the endless building going on around here is
    Ed. ellipsis

  • stevenxfiles January 11, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    Amen! Pro-development money grubbers keep attacking with the pejorative term “NIMBY” well, we not only have the right to speak our minds, but we have the obligation to future generations! Nobody is saying “zero growth”. What we are saying is 1.) Controlled growth 2.) the right kind of growth that compliments our natural environment and slow family-friendly lifestyle here. Nobody moved here for the big city thrills and man-made tourist attractions. Go build your resort in Mesquite or Vegas for that. Proud to live in a community where folks get up and take action when our wonderful environment is being threatened! Keep up the good fight and peace be with you!

  • Redbud January 11, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Tom McKee I agree with everything you said (except I do wish they had more restaurants here.)

  • Carpe Diem January 12, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Great letter. One would almost think the developers and “City Fathers” had been dipping into the MJ and mushroom stash up Denver way.

    OBTW, what ever happened to the Hurricane Mayor? IIRC he was busted for poaching a couple years ago.

  • beacon January 12, 2019 at 7:56 am

    Hurricane’s Planning Commission does deserve credit for voting this down, although as I remember it was a close vote. However, citizens need to be aware and vigilant because I’m sure given the Disneyland-mentality here that something new will be coming down the pike again soon. It’s a never-ending struggle to fight against the growth-at-any-cost mentality that rules here.

    • Thomas January 13, 2019 at 11:56 am

      My neighbor says the same thing, but I told him it’s not over. The Planning Commission rejected the plan by one vote. The City Council has the last say. If I had to bet, the developer will present an amended plan to the Council and it will be approved like the gutless Washington City Council did last week with the Heritage Fields development.

  • tazzman January 12, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    One potential solution is for people to band together and create a community land trust. Purchase land and protect open space and manage growth.

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