Development in Spanish Valley may be halted

A six-month moratorium on commercial development in Spanish Valley may be put in place by the San Juan County Commission.
Commissioner Kenneth Maryboy was set to introduce a resolution to consider the action at the April 16 Commission meeting (after the press deadline). The item could be an action item on the May 7 agenda.
The item is just the latest development in Spanish Valley, which is in northern San Juan County near Moab.
The area is anticipated to experience significant growth in coming years, with the possibility of several thousand new residents, in addition to commercial development along the Highway 191 corridor south of Moab.
The Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) is beginning the process to develop approximately 5,000 acres of land that they manage in Spanish Valley.
SITLA has announced that a new Love’s Truck Stop may be built on commercial property fronting Highway 191 at the Grand / San Juan County line.
The current set of regulations governing the development of property in Spanish Valley was designed primarily for agriculture and industrial purposes. The code has not been updated in decades.
SITLA and San Juan County jointly funded a land-use planning process for both trust lands and private lands in Spanish Valley that was led by Landmark Design, a Salt Lake City-based community planning and design firm.
The planning process involved the San Juan-Spanish Valley community and resulted in the adoption of the San Juan Spanish Valley Area Plan in April 2018 by the San Juan County Commission. 
This 2018 Area Plan identified key principles to be used to create guidelines and ordinances. San Juan County re-engaged Landmark Design to prepare guidelines and ordinances for land in the Area Plan. 
Beginning in November 2018, the San Juan County Planning Commission has met monthly to review the proposed ordinances and has held multiple public hearings, a process that continues now.
The documents outline Spanish Valley development that is primarily residential in nature, with some areas of commercial services.
The proposed ordinances cover residential and commercial development, water efficient landscaping, and outdoor lighting.
Issues surrounding possible Dark Sky ordinances dominated an April 3 meeting of the Planning Commission held in Spanish Valley.
However, in addition, the proposed truck stop was also a point of concern for several residents and nonresidents.
In a statement, SITLA said that it “supports the proposed ordinances and San Juan County efforts to provide guidelines for a part of the county that is poised for growth due to its proximity to Moab.”
In 2017, the county requested that SITLA participate in and help fund the Spanish Valley Special Service District sanitary sewer and culinary water planning project.
In other matters on the agenda for the April 16 Commission meeting, three additional resolutions were also set to be introduced, including two previous resolutions that had been tabled.
The revisited resolutions include holding occasional meetings of the County Commission outside of the county seat in Monticello and directing that county employees cannot represent a policy or position that has not been reviewed and approved in a formal resolution of the Commission.
The third resolution, to change the allocation of royalties from oil, gas, and other mineral production on the Utah portion of the Navajo Nation, was set to be introduced by Commissioner Bruce Adams.
Action items on the April 16 Commission agenda included seven resolutions, including an action to file a lawsuit against San Juan County Attorney Kendall Laws and allow the Commission to hire outside legal counsel.
A full recap of the meeting will be released when it is available.

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