ST. GEORGE – Springdale’s roadmap for the next 20 years is ready. The city’s Planning Commission has completed the update of its general plan with recent public participation. The committee will present the revised plan on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
“We worked on this plan for almost a year, tweaking it, reading it and tweaking it again. At a recent public hearing, we gathered feedback from community members and incorporated changes that impacted the language of the overall plan, ”said President Barbara Bruno.
The plan addresses many areas, from land use to public health, from transportation to natural resources. The document outlines the goals and strategies of the city, residents and businesses to help Springdale maintain its village character, even as it undergoes constant change. The city provided a survey to collect feedback from the community.
City officials said its uniqueness is defined by a setting amidst unparalleled natural beauty and panoramic views, a historic blend of agricultural, low-density residential, limited commercial uses throughout the city, and the small size, scale and density of buildings and infrastructure. The city believes it is imperative to protect this uniqueness of the village, according to the plan.
Springdale is surrounded on three sides by Zion National Park, which is managed by the National Park Service. According to the plan, wildlife migrates freely between the national park and Springdale. The development of the city can have an impact on the park, and vice versa.
For example, Janet Stroud-Settles, former resident of Stone Mountain Condos and wildlife biologist at Zion National Park, expressed concern about the proposed high-density apartments next to eight acres owned by Dianne and Greg McDonald near Balanced. Rock Road. The eight acres and adjacent properties along Lion Boulevard are some of Springdale’s most wildlife-friendly properties.
“Minimal development has occurred on these properties, which has allowed native vegetation to remain largely intact, providing essential habitat elements for food, water and shelter for native wildlife.” Stroud-Settles said.
Destruction or removal of native vegetation from development usually occurs. Landscaping typically developed with non-native plants provide little benefit to native wildlife. In addition, the increased use of herbicides and pesticides will have an impact on wildlife, she said.
“Increased car traffic, noise and nighttime light have been shown to negatively affect wildlife,” Stroud-Settles said.
Dianne McDonald also commented on the zoning change to transitional residential, which allows up to six units per acre.
“We have been living in this property since 1997 (24 years). We have seen what the development has done to the night sky and the reduction in wildlife in the city. We could see the Milky Way at night,“ McDonald said. “This dezoning would cause noise, traffic and congestion. Balanced Rock Road is the only public access to property in the area, and it is in very poor condition. The road has been closed several times in winter because ice and snow make it impassable. Adding dense housing would only make matters worse.
Another part of the plan deals with transportation issues. A variety of transportation is covered which includes walking, cycling, public transportation, and private automobiles. Traffic and parking congestion of vehicles of all types would be minimized and managed. The city will plan and adapt emerging transportation technologies such as electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, charging infrastructure and other future transportation innovations.
The city will take care of transportation by participating in regional transit planning efforts. City officials also hope to develop infrastructure that supports walking and cycling as the primary mode of travel in the city. Springdale will partner with Zion National Park and the National Tourism Board to support and promote the Zion City Shuttle System.
Another topic is how Springdale will balance maintaining its rural residential character with the impacts of increased commercialization while meeting its housing needs. The city will have housing options, including low density residential units, higher density multi-family units in some locations and accessory housing units.
These options will allow the city to maintain housing for families with varying incomes. It will benefit local businesses by providing a larger pool of labor. The plan says it will help the city by getting people to work in local businesses and contribute to the community by having access to affordable housing.
Max Gregorica, a Springdale resident, submitted a comment that reflects the perspective of a large employer with multiple employee housing units.
“I can tell you what has worked best for us. Employees like to have their own room, ”said Gregoric. “The most popular accommodations are studios (obviously larger apartments would be better, but not practical for us). Dormitory-style accommodations lead to more transient-type people, who generally have less respect for property and have no involvement in the community.
Gregoric suggested increasing the number of unrelated people in a single home from three to five.
“We don’t think it’s the government’s (taxpayer’s) responsibility to provide housing for local businesses,” Gregoric said. “Future development should be needed to provide housing that cannot be converted into overnight rentals. This does not mean that we are against social housing. At this point, it’s the only option developers can’t take advantage of.
Springdale’s plan proposes to serve independent and local businesses and residents. The city would continue to meet residential needs and diversify its economy based on tourism. It will encourage businesses that focus on the needs of residents and remote work opportunities.
Other areas targeted by the plan include public safety, water, recreation and the arts. The objectives include access to recreational, social and cultural activities that are compatible with the natural setting and that promote diversity and community cohesion.
Public health is also a priority thanks to improved medical services. Physical and mental well-being is ensured by the protection of natural resources such as the night sky, clean air and water. This plan also promotes a vibrant corridor along the Virgin River, healthy native vegetation, scenic views and calm.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.