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Ivins Residents Unite

by Sharon Barton

After attending Tuesday's oral debate at the Washington County Courthouse, it became clear many Utah State laws favor developers. The other truly exciting fact that became very clear is that Ivins residents are uniting to make a change to that favoritism, first at the local level, and then as our efforts are being noticed and supported by communities throughout the state.


Our local effort started with a few residents getting fed up with our concerns being drowned out by the power of developers and SITLA. From there, DOGI (Defenders of Greater Ivins) was formed with Mike Cook leading the way. DOGI membership is now 200+. Another disappointment occurred for the Ivins community on September 1, 2022. The City Council after hearing residents present their well researched and well presented concerns, failed to follow Robert's Rules of Order and in a vote of 3/2 improperly passed a zone change to Resort Commercial for the SITLA 120 parcel of land. Once again, residents went unheard and unsupported by our city representatives. However, after that public hearing, a truly amazing thing was accomplished. Based on feedback from several residents, DOGI started a GoFundMe account to raise money for an attorney to represent us as a group since the city was not responding to our voices. Within 3 weeks, several thousands of dollars were donated by many, many residents and non-residents in support of our cause. We raised enough money to retain an attorney and file an appeal with the 5th District Court.


Shortly after the appeal was filed, the developer came after DOGI and filed a motion to intervene and to strike the "Stay" DOGI was requesting to keep the developer from moving forward. DOGI believes this was an effort by the developer to "flex their muscles" financially while relying on the fact that the state laws would show favor to developers.


DOGI's appeal with the city is still in place and will be given a court date once the city responds to our appeal. This will then set the groundwork for the Referendum or initiative process.


Meanwhile, I believe Tuesday's court appearance only added fuel to the Ivins community fire. We are "Ivins Strong" and soon the survey results will be out. In January the neighborhood meetings will be held. After attending and listening to the Town Hall General Plan meetings and speaking with those who completed the survey, I am confident the message coming through loud and clear will be this, Ivins has reached it's destination resort goal as stated in the 1015 General Plan. The 2015 General Plan also states resort destination development was only to occur in the far eastern side of Ivins on land that must have access to Highway 91 or Snow Canyon Dr.


RC (Resort Destination) zoning does not belong in the middle of neighborhoods, especially in the case of Short Term Rentals. Ivins residents deserve and demand better. On 2/29/22 Black Desert Resort received approval for an up zone to RC, and on 10/22/22 a parcel of land at the SW corner of Guy Lane and Fitness Way also was granted an up zone request for RC. This brings the number of resort accommodations closer to 1800 rather than the previous estimate of 1700.


Going forward, Ivins residents need to attend Planning Commission and City Council meetings, either in person or online. On January 10,11,or 12th at 7pm, attend and speak up at one of the Annual Neighborhood Meetings at City Hall. Stay involved and get others involved with DOGI. Follow this issue on our website, www.dogi.info, on NextDoor and FaceBook. Remain Ivins Strong!! It is the residents that make and keep Ivins special, not commercial developers.

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