HURRICANE — Following previous denials to the same developers, the Hurricane City Council has unanimously approved the preliminary plat for Southern Shores, a private, gated 52-lot subdivision that will center around three lakes.
The plat is located on the bluff directly east of Sand Hollow near the Copper Rock Development, and construction is projected to begin this fall, said Southern Shores project developer and contractor Cody Larkin. The entire development cascades across approximately 87 acres.
The development will feature one larger lake and two smaller lakes. The bigger body of water will stretch 2,600 feet by 500 feet with an island in the middle and will serve as a sport lake for motorboat use, skiing and wakeboarding.
Of the 52 total lots, 32 will be three-quarter-acre lots situated around the shoreline of the bigger lake with their own boat docks that will include a boat house with a hydraulic lift – sort of a like a “boat garage,” Larkin said.
“It takes about 10 seconds for the boat to drop into the water with you. Then you take off,” he said. “It’s not like a regular lake where you have to trailer it (and) drop it in the lake every time you use it.”
These 32 lots will be priced around $500,000.
The other two lakes will be approximately 700 feet by 100 feet each and will serve as cable parks, which are wakeboard or water ski systems that use cables to pull riders without the need for a boat. The cables allow for continuous ride time.
The other 20 lots will be a half-acre each, priced around $300,000 and located near the two cable lakes.
Larkin said they are hoping to start work on the lakes in the fall of 2020 and be filling them by spring of 2021.
Five years to fruition
The Southern Shores project has been pitched several times before, but Larkin said the location continued to prove insufficient.
“The soils were collapsible, and everyone thought that putting a lake on it would just cause it to sink to the center of the Earth,” he said. “They were worried about bugs, but these lakes really don’t draw bugs.”
The land needed to be flat enough to put lakes on but also not have too much rock or basalt, which causes difficulties in excavation. Then they had to get the zoning so that they could actually build around the lakes.
“You can’t have a lot of grade change to make the lakes work,” Larkin said.
In the five years of trying to push this project forward, Larkin said the closest they came to approving a location was a plat near Sky Ranch Landowners Association Airport in Hurricane, but it eventually fell through.
“We had a lot of opposition from the residents, so we decided to just drop it and pursue another location,” Larkin said. “It was a godsend that we had the opposition (before), because this location is so much better.”
Hurricane City Engineer Arthur LeBaron said that with this approved location, the challenge isn’t going to be with the lakes but rather the lack of infrastructure.
“Currently, there are no water lines, power lines or roads that go to that property,” LeBaron said.
This will be the third development like this that Larkin has built in Utah. He has been involved in the planning of several others as well, he said, and also has a home on a lake in Vernon called Last Chance Lakes, after which Southern Shores is modeled.
Hurricane City Mayor John Bramall told St. George News that he has looked into past projects completed by Larkin and thought they were good projects.
“It will be a nice asset to the community,” Bramall said.
Now that the property has been approved, the challenge on the horizon will be in completing Utah state dam safety and securing the water for the lakes – an issue raised during the City Council meeting on Feb. 20.
So far, two-thirds of the water has been secured and purchased, Larkin said.
“We don’t have much more to get, but we believe we’ll have the rest fairly soon,” he said.
This project is backed by substantial scientific research, Larkin said. The lakes are stocked with fish, and the water stays clear.
“We put a couple types of species of fish that will keep the lake clean. And we’re going to try to put trout in,” Larkin said. “I put trout in the other lakes we’ve built. It’ll probably be a little warmer lake, but we’re still going to try to put some trout in it.”
The lakes at Southern Shores are projected to be finished by summer 2021, at which point construction for homes will begin.
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