ST. GEORGE — After discussion and public comment, the Ivins City Council voted to accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation to approve a proposed land use and zoning amendment during a meeting Thursday.
The amendment, which goes into effect immediately after its approval and subsequent publication, changes 7.85 acres of community commercial land to medium-density residential. The Planning Commission recommended that the amendment be accepted with a stipulation that 2.5 acres of useable land remain community commercial.
The amendment passed 3-2, with council members Dennis Mehr and Ron Densley arguing that the land should remain commercial to keep future financial hardships associated with a limited opportunity for growth off the shoulders of Ivins residents.
The land in question is located on 200 East and Highway 91. Applicant Brett Kee said he is envisioning a residential subdivision with an adjacent commercial element that could sustain itself in Ivins, like a restaurant.
Residents were given the opportunity to voice their concerns during a public hearing preceding the discussion and approval.
“I’m not opposed to having residential homes there,” one resident said. “I question why we have a plan if we always deviate from the plan.”
Some residents requested the City Council to be mindful of the surrounding area, voicing their desires to see custom homes that avoided the “cookie-cutter” look of similar projects in the area.
Other residents pointed to similar conversations the council has had in the past, asking them to keep the parcel of land zoned as commercial in the hopes that a business would come in and expand the city’s sales tax base.
Kee said that building custom homes has been his plan from the beginning, promising residents that “every single home in the subdivision will be unique.” The applicant also said he plans to bring a commercial business with him, although he is afraid there isn’t enough of a pull to keep businesses open.
“I don’t know that Ivins City is big enough or that it’s located in an area where it has enough traffic,” Kee said. “It would have to be more of a destination-type, commercial office or dentist.”
More details regarding the subdivision and commercial property are expected to be presented to the City Council in future meetings. The next Ivins City Council meeting will be Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m.
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