Cedar City Council to consider zone change, residents speak out
By Holly Coombs
For the past three Cedar City Council meetings, an item regarding changing the zoning of 10 acres behind Intermountain Famers Association at 1000 S., 450 West has been an important item.
The land, currently zoned as R-2-2 to R-3-M and make housing available to student married couples as per the owners, Leavitt Land.
Residents from the neighborhood have attended each meeting awaiting the council’s decision.
Rachel Robinson, one resident, whose home and driveway stand facing a possible road to considered future development has attended every meeting. Her concern at the most recent meeting was that Leavitt Land was adding the 10 acres to an already R-3-M 10-acre zone that it already owns behind IFA.
“I fail to see it as a logical decision,” Robinson said. “They can develop housing on the 10 acres they already own.”
The concerns of the residents and city that has kept the item tabled has been water, traffic and privacy. While City Engineer Kit Wareham was absent for two meetings, he was present at last Wednesday’s meeting to help address concerns.
Brent Drew, vice president of development services at Leavitt Land, said that the water drainage concern will hopefully have its resolve with a storm drainage down the road that will be paved and made a main entrance to the development on 895 South.
“We’re here to do it well,” Drew said. “We want to help house married couples and married students.”
Another option Leavitt Land is considering to resolve traffic issues is to have the necessary second entrance coming from the far east side of the property where travel will cease on 1150 West and Pinecone, where residents have concerns.
As for privacy consideration to the neighbors, the developers are considering putting up a wall around the development.
Robinson argued that residents don’t want apartment buildings in their back yard and that the property values will go down.
City Council member Fred Rowley said he lives near one of the dorms at SUU and it has never bothered him.
“As one who lives 150 feet from Eccles Living Learning Center, I don’t even notice it’s there,” Rowley said.
Robinson disagreed that the addition of student housing would not be a positive decision for the city.
“It ignores the needs and concerns of the citizens in the neighborhood,” she said. “It puts a negative effect on the community as a whole.”
The council will vote on the proposal it its next meeting on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
Another concern was brought forth by Utah Shakespeare Festival Founder Fred Adams.
He addressed the council in public comment about two women who said they would not be coming to the festival again because the ambient noise around the new SUMA building prevented them from hearing the play for more than 15 minutes.
“We’ve got to find a solution,” Adams said. “We’re having two to five customers per night in the outdoor theatre tell us they are not coming back because they can’t hear with the traffic on Center Street.”
Adams requested the support and a letter written for consent that he could take to the Utah Department of Transportation to allow a detour during the hours of 8 to 11 p.m.
The council and city staff provided him a letter.