A “Quick Pause” on Development in Hildale

Moratorium described as a “quick pause” and “necessary roadwork” in the interest of stable development

HILDALE – Hildale City Council has adopted a moratorium (2018-003), or temporary ordinance, on development in the city lasting 90 days. The three-month stay was adopted in lieu of “free-for-alls” of potentially unsafe or out-of-code development, including renovation of traditionally large homes in Hildale to high density apartment buildings or Air BnB destinations.

Subdivision and many major remodel applications are also barred, but emergency rebuilds of individual properties in case of disaster or for rectifying safety concerns will be permitted by the council on a case-by-case basis. Applications for remodels that do not change the footprint or use of the structure are still being accepted.

The stated purpose of the 27 August moratorium is to allow for the Planning Commission, including engineer and land developer Charles Hammon, time to solidify nonexistent planning and zoning ordinances for the sister cities of Hildale and Colorado City, Arizona.

The moratorium is being adopted to stop “allowed nonconforming” properties from being approved, essentially disallowing the further “grandfathering in” of problematic properties while zoning and development regulations are established.

The Planning Commission is currently holding public meetings, and are “30 days away from a very, very, very rough first draft” of zoning ordinances, according to Hammon. They encourage the public to show to meetings and give their input to the volunteer commission.

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Hildale City Manager John Barlow assured the public Wednesday night, Hildale is “pro-development,” but the lack of planning and zoning ordinances opens the door to problematic or dangerous development.

“We have to take the first step,” said Hildale Mayor Donia Jessop. “We’re not here to be everybody’s best friend. We are here to do what’s best for Hildale. This is going to be one of our first very hard decisions to make.”

Willie Jessop, landowner, said to the council, “I think it’s very disheartening.” Jessop did not share the nature of his proposed project, but implied a pending development will be temporarily blocked by the moratorium.

Jeff Barlow, Director of the UEP Trust, went on record to say he supports Hildale in the decision. Barlow is not thrilled with the moratorium, as it affects plans the UEP Trust has for development, but pledged to be a part of the planning and zoning conversation going forward.

Roger Carter, Court Monitor for Hildale and Colorado City, said, “This is the proper use of laws such as this. This moratorium is not directly discriminatory in any way.” A long conversation was had by the council to ensure the public the temporary legislation is not directed at any one type of development or person, and has all citizen’s best interests in mind.

For details on how your project may have been specifically affected, please contact Hildale City Hall at 435-874-2323.

EDITOR: This story has been updated with a link to the moratorium on 31 August 2018 at 6:15 p.m. local time.

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