Ivins City Council approves permit for commercial corner despite concerns

ST. GEORGE — The Ivins City Council approved a Class V conditional use permit for a commercial development to be located approximately at the corner of Snow Canyon Parkway and Snow Canyon Drive Thursday evening despite concerns from some council members.

Property located at the corner of Snow Canyon Parkway and Snow Canyon Drive may soon be the site of a commercial development, Ivins, Utah, Jan. 17, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

The development, to be known as Canyon Crossing, will be a mixed-use development zoned for resort commercial. Canyon Crossing will house a convenience store with an automotive self-service station and canopy, retail and office space, a sit-down restaurant and a drive-thru restaurant or coffee shop.

The conditional use permit came with a list of 28 additional conditions addressing concerns including available parking, noise and light pollution, ingress and egress of the property, walkability from the neighborhood and building design.

The applicant and owner of the property, Sam Patel (RAD Properties, LLC/Dixie Property Management, LLC), said that it has been about an eight month, very detailed process with the city in order to be sure that the development met all the codes and conditions placed on it.

“The city did a really good job,” Patel said. “We took a lot into consideration.”

Patel said Ivins is a unique community in that they are a little more protective of what they allow to be built and how.

This image shows the proposed Canyon Crossing development to be located at the corner of Snow Canyon Parkway and Snow Canyon Drive, Ivins, Utah, date not specified | Image courtesy of Ivins Building and Zoning Department, St. George News

Despite meeting all the reasonable conditions placed on the development, the council was not unanimous in its decision to approve the permit.

Council members Dennis Mehr, Cheyne McDonald and Jenny Johnson voted yay, while council members Miriah Elliott and Sue Gordhammer voted nay.

Both Elliott and Gordhammer expressed several concerns over the proposed development of the site which sits on the corner of two heavily traveled roads, especially during peak tourist season when visitors typically enjoy Snow Canyon State Park as well as concerts and productions at Tuacahn Amphitheater.

Though the applicant had a traffic impact study done that met all the requirements of the city, Elliott said she didn’t feel like the study took into account peak traffic times, stating that the margin for error on such a tiny strip of land where parking will be limited was very small.

“I think some of the impacts are a little bit more than is available in the data we were provided, and I would like some more information,” Elliott said.

Elliott said at the meeting that she was certainly not anti-development, and she respects the rights of private property owners, but she had some lingering issues with this particular site along with many of the residents of Ivins.

One of her main concerns is that the development doesn’t align with the vision set out for Ivins that is written in the general plan which mentions the proposed site specifically.

She added that she was worried the development caters more to people who are using the area as a short stop on their way to destinations such as Tuacahn or Snow Canyon State Park, and not as much to Ivins residents or the community in general.

Elliot made some clear and impassioned comments during the meeting which were met with applause from the large crowd gathered at Ivins City Hall, indicating that many, at least those who attended the meeting, were also opposed to the development.

At the applause, Ivins Mayor Chris Hart asked the attendees to please stop, adding that the meeting was “not a melodrama,” before continuing discussion on the project.

This image shows a rendering of the proposed Canyon Crossing development to be located at the corner of Snow Canyon Parkway and Snow Canyon Drive, Ivins, Utah, date not specified | Image courtesy of Ivins Building and Zoning Department, St. George News

Patel said he recognizes there has been a mixed reaction from residents, particularly where the gas station portion of the development was concerned. Those who are in opposition to the gas station, Patel said, have expressed concern that the area will see increased crime rates.

But it was the limited amount of parking spaces available on the proposed site plan that dominated the discussion throughout the evening. Gordhammer pointed out that the proposed site plan presented a problem for patrons who could not find a parking spot to be able to turn around in one corner of the triangularly-shaped development.

Council members also addressed concerns about patrons having to park on the street and the safety of cyclists who frequently traverse both Snow Canyon Parkway and Snow Canyon Drive.

The conditional use permit was eventually approved, but not before adding another condition that Patel alter the design of the project to include a way for patrons to turn their car around in the right corner of the development in the event that they cannot find parking.

“I’m very happy the permit was approved,” Patel said.

Patel said he hopes to populate the development with local retailers and a local coffee shop rather than national brands.

Going forward, Patel said he will be tweaking a few things and getting the building plans stamped for approval. If all goes well, he hopes to begin construction in about 90 days.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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