Future generations of Moabites will view the last couple of weeks as an important turning point in the history of our community.
We have been suffering for years from accelerating and uncontrolled growth of hotels, overnight rentals, campgrounds, et cetera.
Over the past six months, the Moab City Council and Grand County Council have been listening to residents voice their concerns over the direction our community is heading. In recent days, the councils took a solid initial step toward regaining control of our town.
Until last week, out-of-state hotel corporations and a handful of commercial property owners were in control of the pace and type of growth in our community. “Use by right” zoning with minimal standards means that local government has no effective way of ensuring that new projects enhance rather than reduce our quality of life.
The results are all around us: large hotels that multiplied at an astonishing rate, crowding out other possible uses of the scarce commercial property.
In the future, thanks to the new zoning ordinances, the decision-making for new projects will take into account quality of life, economic diversity, water availability, and infrastructure capacity.
The last two weeks were the culmination of a great example of democracy in action. The voters spoke, and the councils listened, acted, and did the right thing.