Planning Commissions Shake Up, Diverge

A resignation, four appointments, and an administration change shake, but don't crumble, zoning boards

COLORADO CITY / HILDALE – A schism between sister cities further manifests as planning commission boards split. Opening prayers in Arizona ring out in stark contrast to the Pledge of Allegiance in Utah.

The separate planning commission boards for Colorado City, Arizona and Hildale, Utah met for the first time 2 July 2018. The boards have traditionally been technically separate but virtually identical in membership and function.

Citizens gather in Colorado City for the Planning Commission          Photo by Eric Velander

Planning commissions for the twin governments write the general zoning plan, implement specific zoning ordinances, and approve land use permits. While the boards are now divergent in membership, each has made clear their collective intention to implement congruent zoning ordinances.

Nephi Steed Allred, brother to Mayor Joseph Allred and Chairman of both boards, resigned publicly Monday night, pledging two more months of service with each city. Allred cited personal and business reasons for his surprise departure. Additionally, longtime joint Planning and Zoning Director Jim Peterson is no longer working with either city. A replacement has not yet been employed.

Recent appointees to the Hildale Planning Commission include Randy Barlow, Charles Hammon, Brigham Holm, and Jenifer Kesselring. Aaron LaCorti was appointed to the Colorado City board Monday night. Commissioner Hammon is set to be the only member sitting on both boards, serving as a lynchpin in future collaborations between the cities.

Hildale Planning Commission: From the left, Holm, Barlow, Allred, Hammon and Kesselring                        Photo by Eric Velander


Commissioner Randy Barlow is considered radical in his vision for the community. Barlow has expressed interest in concerted zoning for a commercial district, redesigned residential areas and roads, and has been the mind behind the revitalization of Cottonwood Park.

While zero zoning ordinances are currently the law of the land in Short Creek, new drafts are being proposed to each board. A lack of clarity and specificity in previous editions has held back the perviously-joint commission from approving a workable city plan.

“This is the first step, and we still have work to do. This draft is a considerable improvement,” said Hammon, in reference to the unfinished 22-page zoning ordinance proposal for Colorado City. The finalized Hildale proposal is expected to mirror that of Colorado City.

Amid the shakeup, Chairman Allred assured the public, “The cities are in good hands.”

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