Ivins giving Black Desert Resort second chance to make case for height exemption

Rendering of the proposed Black Desert Resort at Entrada that was presented to the Ivins City Council in Ivins City, Utah, on July 16, 2020. | Photo courtesy Enlaw LLC, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After previously voting down an exemption to the city’s building height exemption for the Black Desert Resort at Entrada that is under construction, the Ivins City Council unanimously agreed on Thursday to reconsider it.

The construction site of the Black Desert Resort at Entrada sits next to the “Mustangs” traffic circle in Ivins City, Utah. March 31, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Council member Sue Gordhammer, who was one of the no votes in the 2-3 vote at the  Sept. 2 meeting, made the motion to reconsider after what she said was the resort’s developer working to address the concerns of residents – namely that an exterior elevator tower and a rooftop event space would create a disruption to both the view and serenity of the city.

“At the last meeting, I was very much opposed, but after Black Desert heard the residents of Ivins, and because they heard us and changed the design, now the highest the roof would be is 42 feet, which is a seven-foot increase over the 35-foot limit,” Gordhammer said during the meeting. “Based on that, it’s worth reconsidering.”

Enlaw LLC, the resort’s developer, has eliminated a 55-foot-high exterior elevator and the rooftop event space from the design.

Patrick Manning, Enlaw’s owner, told St. George News following the meeting that he had been going on social media and interacting with residents concerned about aspects of the project and said he has tried to address their concerns. 

Enlaw LLC developer Patrick Manning speaks to the Ivins City Council about Black Desert Resort at Entrada during the council’s meeting on April 15, 2021. Ivins, Utah | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The Black Desert Resort at Entrada, being built off the roundabout at Snow Canyon Parkway and Spillrock Drive, will feature a culinary village of restaurants as well as a hotel, residences and a golf course. 

“People were saying the project’s great, there were just a few things of what’s going on the roof and I just said we can remove that,” Manning said. He added he hasn’t been frustrated by the process that has included the council both approving and rejecting his requests since the resort got an initial council blessing back in July 2020.

“I’ll take all the time we need as long as we reach an understanding,”” Manning said. 

The developer said he has taken the concerns of the community into account from the beginning, saying that because the base of the hotel is below ground level it will be hidden by the 16-foot resort buildings along Snow Canyon that are below the 35-foot height restriction in Ivins.

“We have the right to build 35 feet on the parkway, but that would destroy the view. So we built 16 feet along the parkway,” Manning said, adding that the resort is also preserving most of the lava rock area on its land. “We have the right to develop the lava. Sometimes when a developer does that voluntarily, there should be something expected back.”

All five council members voted to have a reconsideration and vote on a height exemption for the resort at the council’s next meeting on Oct. 7.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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