St. George City Council approves 54-townhome Twin Lakes development

ST. GEORGE — The St. George City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to approve a zone change for the 54-townhome Twin Lakes development, located at Cottonwood Springs Road and Twin Lakes Drive.

Bird’s eye view of the Twin Lakes development site | Courtesy of city of St. George, St. George News

But Twin Lakes’ developers must meet a set of concerns expressed by the Planning Commission and City Council members. Those concerns referred to drainage, additional parking and “dressing up” the sides and backs of the two-story stucco townhomes, which will face Cottonwood Springs Road.

During Thursday’s meeting, Councilwoman Danielle Larkin asked for some explanation of what “dressing up” meant and wondered if the plan needed to have more specificities pertaining to this.

Councilman Vardell Curtis, who spent a year on the Planning Commission, had similar questions about the language in the plan.

“I’m not exactly sure what that means,” Curtis said, referring to the term “dressing up.”

The Planning Commission suggested that the applicant, represented by Bob Hermandson, president of Bush & Gudgell, Inc., add some wood or stone accents to the side and backs of the townhomes, to provide some relief from unbroken stucco planes.

Rendering of Twin Lakes townhomes | Courtesy of city of St. George, St. George News

City officials noted that the applicant had provided more architectural relief at this early stage of development than many others in the past, but the council wanted to ensure that this additional step was taken.

“In the past, we haven’t considered the rear of buildings as much as we should have,” Larkin told St. George News. “Then it winds up being the part that is most visible to passersby.”

For his part, Hermandson said that he and his partners are glad to address the concerns brought up by the Planning Commission and City Council.

“We’re on the same page,” Hermandson told St. George News. “We intend to add some scribe lines in the stucco, stone around the doorways and some pop-outs above the windows.”

Rendering of Twin Lakes townhomes | Courtesy of City of St. George, St. George News

But the most impactful addition, Hermandson said, would be Hardie board insets on the front of the buildings. All of the above improvements will translate to about $5,000 in additional expenses per unit.

The Planning Commission also raised concerns about the possibility of rock falls, which Larkin called significant.

“We’ve purposefully left space behind the buildings for that reason,” Hermandson said. “But we’ll build a berm at the toe of the slope.”

Hermandson told St. George News that the intention behind the development is to provide affordable rentals that are centrally located. Their concerns notwithstanding, many city officials are excited about this development.

“We’ve had some townhome projects over the years that were simple, plain,” said St. George City Manager Adam Lenhard. “I think that this one will provide some much longer lasting value to the neighborhood and surrounding property. I like the direction this one is going.”

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

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