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Southeast Utah
Real Estate Happenings

February 2019

Grand County Community & Economic Development Update for February 2019
by J.D. McClanahan

The last few months have seen major policy developments in Grand County that could affect our real estate community.

Both Moab and Grand County passed ordinances in late 2018 requiring affordable housing provisions for specific types of new development. The new construction that falls under this requirement is any overnight accommodations, and, only in the unincorporated county, any single family residences greater than 3,000 square feet or $800,000 valuation.

These exactions can take the form of developers building affordable housing units, deed restricting already-built units, or paying fees in lieu. The inclusion of these development types is based on their profit margins and ability to accommodate additional fees.
The fees or unit requirements are calculated from the impacts that these developments have on the local demand for affordable housing. Through this policy, new developments will offset the demand for workers, and therefore affordable housing, that they generate in our community.

At their January 15th meeting, the Grand County council passed the High Density Housing Overlay, a policy that will allow for denser than currently zoned housing in areas of unincorporated Grand County, if 80% of that housing is deed restricted for full time residents and Grand County workers. Due to caution on the resource needs that would be generated from new housing, the county council added a sunset provision after two years or 300 units, requiring re-approval for further development of this kind after the first of these limits is reached. While this policy would allow for apartment construction, providing much-needed rental housing for Grand County’s workforce, it would also allow homeowners who may not want to care for their full acre or couple of acres, or who want to split off a piece for



their children who work in town, greater ability to subdivide than with their current zoning. The overlay does not automatically supersede existing zoning, but eligible properties can apply to use it on their parcels, at which point they go before planning commission and county council for approval.
These two policies use different approaches, but will ultimately result in the same goal of increasing the supply of accessible housing for Grand County residents.
Anyone who is interested in developing, or has any further questions, should reach out to Grand County Community Development at 125 E. Center Street or 435-259-1343. We look forward to collaborating with the real estate community to solve our area’s housing problems!

As a final reminder, the Moab Business Summit is coming up soon! This year features a diverse lineup including a keynote from Peter Metcalf, Founder and former CEO of Black Diamond Equipment, as well as sessions on the state of the local economy, enhancing customer service, and diversity in the workplace. In addition, we are excited to offer separate, nonprofit-specific sessions this year for these important organizations in our community! The business summit will take place at the Springhill Suites on Monday, February 11th, from 8:30 AM to 2PM. Pre-registration is $25 and tickets are $30 at the door. Breakfast and hot lunch are included. To register for the event, or for more information, call 435-259-1343 or visit




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