Grand County, UT - Official Website | Official WebsiteAt its last meeting, the Grand County (Utah) Commission held a public hearing and denied a proposed glamping development called Entrada Moab near the junction of Highway 191 and State Road 313, according to the Moab Sun News.

The plan included 16 tent sites, an activity center, a spa and swimming pools, a panoramic deck and trails. The developer, a native of Fruita, Colo., said he planned to set aside most of the 544-acre parcel in a conservation easement and include six employee housing units in the development, but current ordinances prevent those from being legally binding aspects of a development agreement.

Over the past several years, community members and local leaders have grappled with a crisis in housing availability at the same time that the tourism industry continues to grow. In 2019 policy-makers determined a baseline ratio of overnight accommodation units to residential units — 1.4 rentals to one primary residential unit — and said they would aim to maintain that ratio.

Currently, the ratio is 1.7 overnight units to each primary residential unit.

“We’re going to be going backward if we keep permitting overnight accommodations—we’re fighting ourselves in that sense,” said Commissioner Trisha Hedin.

On the other hand, some commissioners pointed out that denying the Entrada Moab application could leave the property open to other, possibly less desirable developments. The parcel’s current range and grazing zoning allow for low-density residential and agricultural development. Another developer might pursue those uses without the promise of maintaining a large part of the parcel — which lies along recreational access and scenic routes — as open, undeveloped space.

Projects already allowed under the current zoning would not be subject to the commission’s approval.

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