Tiny home manufacturer may come to Monticello

A Moab businessman may bring a tiny-home manufacturing company to Monticello.

At their March 9 meeting, the Monticello City Council approved a zone change request to a parcel located on the north end of town. The zoning changes from R2 Residential to Commercial. The zone change is the first step to bringing a tiny-home manufacturer to the city.

The property is located on the north end of town, between Pehrson Road and Schafer Auto Clinic, along highway 191. Moab businessman Shik Han plans to turn the vacant property into a tiny-home manufacturing center.

Tiny homes are mobile units less than 1,000 square feet and are usually built with long-term usage in mind. The homes have risen in popularity following the 2008 recession due to their affordability, lower environmental footprint, and mobility.

Han explained he had recently begun a modular manufacturing company, and they are looking for a permanent location.

He shared a long-term vision that would include employment for 10 to 20 people at an average salary of $50,000 a year.

Neighboring property owners expressed concern about possible noise during a public hearing at a February 2 planning and zoning meeting.

Han shared that the future building would have insulation and would not use heavy machinery. Additionally, the work would be conducted during normal business hours.

With the zone change approval, plans can begin for the actual manufacturing facility.

Another part of Han’s vision for tiny homes was not approved at the latest Monticello Planning and Zoning meeting and therefore not discussed at the latest City Council meeting.

Han had hoped to change the zoning of property further east of the proposed manufacturing site from Agriculture to Residential. He expressed a desire to use the second property to create a tiny home development.

The second proposed property zone change had more pushback from the neighboring property owners.

Neighbors had concerns about negative impacts on property values, as well as the cost of redesigning and rebuilding an irrigation system for the remaining agricultural land users.

Neighbors also expressed concern about making zone changes before evidence of real investment from the Moab businessman.

The planning and zoning commission moved to reject the proposed zone change.

The rejection does not necessarily signal the end of the project, but the planning commission would like to see more details on a proposed housing development before changing the zoning of the eastern parcel.

At the March 9 meeting of the Monticello City Council, the council also approved a contract to secure Alex Goble as the city attorney.

Goble has more than 11 years of experience as an attorney. He has worked as an assistant San Juan County Attorney since 2019.

Goble will continue his full-time work for the county while also contracting with the city. The contracting arrangement is similar to previous city attorney Walter Bird, who worked full-time for the county while also contracting with the city.

The council voted unanimously to approve the contract.

Additionally, City Manager Evan Bolt updated the council on the work to get the fuel pump system more dependable at the city airport.

The payment portion of the system has been temperamental as of late, and the city is working to fix that in order to provide a reliable source of fuel to pilots at the airport.

Bolt reports he reached out to ensure a good internet connection at the technical end of the pump while also exploring possible quotes to get a new payment system.

Bolt also reports the city received an additional $20,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration. He is exploring if those funds might be used to help resolve the issue.

San Juan Record

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