Letter to the Editor: Lost Trails at the Cove development would not be the death of all things good

Stock image, St. George News

OPINION — This is written in response to a Letter to the Editor published in the St George News on Jan. 11 regarding Lost Trails at the Cove.

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

This letter puzzles me. The author – who came from an unspecified somewhere else 20 years ago – claims to not oppose growth but immediately proceeds to decry growth. He criticizes city and county planners for using what is attractive about the area as a means to attract people here, and then accuses them of being shortsighted and greedy in the process. He offers no evidence for his opinions.

The sentence “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” is factually incorrect and inflammatory. It plays on fear and presupposes the worst outcome and worst motives for all involved.

He warns of unaffordable housing, higher taxes, ugly trails, destroying the blue skies and resplendent views, no water, pollution, crime and trashed communities. He gives the impression that the future will be a dark and terrifying place indeed if this project is allowed to proceed. I will add that the developers are probably ugly and don’t read good. The author is of course free to offer his opinion, and I am just as free to offer mine.

I am in favor of the proposed project and offer (along with many other reasons that have been stated by others) a few of my observations, in no particular order.

Location

The location is not ideal for many reasons, but one of the things an attraction needs is to be attractive. The Cove offers a scenic backdrop and breathtaking canyon and mountain views. There are not many such locations available.

The developer no doubt wants to offer the best we have to those who will enjoy Hurricane’s hospitality. It costs more to purchase prime residential land and use it for this kind of project – dollar for dollar they would be better off and have less risk if they divided it into the maximum number of lots.

Roads / traffic / water

This is a problem either way but is, in my opinion, a little better off as proposed with far fewer than the maximum homes and adding commercial development as described. The project will generate impact fees and tax revenue to help facilitate much needed capital improvements.

Master Plan / zoning change

With no change, 350+ acres can be fully developed (1,400+ homes) with no community, planning commission, city council control. With the change as proposed, the city retains control of design, approval and specifics of the whole process. The developer is also obligated to a higher standard as regards road width, planting strips, etc. Again, more expense but ultimately better looking project. So much for the greediness of our ugly and illiterate developers.

We as a community need to be careful what we ask for. The sky is not falling. A well thought out, attractive and beneficial project has been proposed. It will add to our diversity, provide entertainment for all, employment for many and perpetuate our frontier heritage.

Many of the 4.5 million who pass through on the way to Zion will stay a little longer and open their wallets a little more. Then they will leave, having minimum impact except financially (until they return next year).

If the proposed project is rejected out of hand, either the current owners – or if not them then certainly the next ones – may well decide to overdevelop, maximize profits, take the money and run. That would be catastrophic and lead to the collapse of civilization as we know it. I know, now I’m being inflammatory and incorrect. Apparently that’s allowed in an opinion piece.

Submitted by LOUIS DELACRUZ, Washington, Utah.

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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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

 

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9 Comments

  • Borowiak Mark January 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    The project was not “rejected out of hand”. If you listened to the commission, there were reasons, which you’re free to disagree with, presented.

  • mesaman January 16, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Despite the well planned criticism of a letter against the Lost Trails Development I find myself untouched by his rhetoric. The Lost Trails is not in a well planned area and property owners around it have every right to decry and show angst with the proposal. I can only hope the city leaders in Washington City can find themselves converted to the rejection of a city license to proceed.

  • Walter1 January 16, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    In about twenty years from now Dixie will be the NEW CALIFORNIA. Everything will have been changed and the local natives will be shaking there heads wondering how did this happen. Welcome to unintended consequences brought to you by the greedy developers. Just keep voting in the same people and you will get more of the same results, Urban Sprawl at its worst.

  • Red2Blue310 January 16, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Anyone check on the track record of these people?

  • Carpe Diem January 17, 2019 at 6:35 am

    Oh, funny, now there is no reference to this being called a “Disney” Park? oops

    And then the threat to “Make it something worse”. That wont age well.

  • utahdiablo January 17, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    The issue here as to growth in southern Utah, going on everywhere, is that this growth is not “Smart Growth”….where is the Infrastructure to deal with all this growth? as to Police, Firemen, roads, water, power?….whatever happened to Vision Dixie?…..my guess is they all got paid off by the developers as you never ever hear from them anymore

  • Thomas January 17, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    It’s funny how the writer attacks a previous Letter to the Editor by accusing the writer of hypotheticals, yet offers a rebuttal with a list of hypotheticals.

  • tazzman January 17, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    The only thing that will effectively stop rampant development in its tracks is either owning property outright and/or securing easements on substantial amounts of property.

    This can only be accomplished with a community land trust. Anything else, including wishing our politicians would become suddenly smart-growth or sustainable growth, is merely wishful thinking or spitting in the wind.

  • ohright January 17, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    You are exactly right utahdiablo, most people are not anti-growth but many of us oppose what seems to be unlimited and unsustainable growth. The writer wonders about “proof” the growth is out of control. Anyone who looks, if their eyes aren’t obscured by dollar signs, can see it but for the skeptics there is data available through: a) the Utah Highway Dept for information re: how many highway projects have gone through in just the past few years to accommodate the increased traffic, b). Washington County Commission or local city council minutes to see how many
    Zoning changes have been approved the past few years to accommodate developers, c) check how the local air quality has changed the past few years (Utah DEC), etc., etc., etc.

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