Cedar Council considers amendment to industrial, manufacturing zoning to include residential component

CEDAR CITY — The Cedar City Council is considering amending the specifics of Industrial and Manufacturing 1 zoning to include an additional residential use. 

Cedar City resident Tom Jett proposed the ordinance amendment to the council Wednesday, stating the request was being made in order to provide a housing option that differs from typical apartment complexes or family units.

Jett’s proposal to the council is to allow residential spaces on the second floor of commercial buildings. Jett has property in the I&M-1 zone, located in the area of 1450 W. Industrial Road, and he said he would like to develop the property as such. 

“I’ve been working on this project, this concept, for quite a long time,” Jett said. “We’re ready to now ask the council to change the ordinance to allow for limited residential use.” 

Jett’s proposal restricts the residential space to 750 square feet on the second floor of a building, as well as limits the capacity to two people and one bedroom. His proposal also dictates that residential space cannot be rented separately from the commercial space in the same building, and all building and fire codes will apply in compliance with current city ordinances. 

Councilman Tyler Melling said he thinks new ideas for residential housing is a good thing for the community. 

“I think we need this kind of flexibility in our ordinances for new ideas,” Melling said. “I think many of these aspects are very well thought out, and in the building process you’ve got to meet fire code anyway. I really like these proposed changes to the ordinance.”

City Manager Paul Bittmenn advised the council that the city may have trouble enforcing part of the proposed requirements for the new residential use. 

“We’re very good at regulating all the building compliance and code compliance up front when the use goes in,” Bittmenn said. “All the things you read in Mr. Jett’s proposal that come after the fact – that require us to go into the structure and inspect inside the structure – we’re not good at those. We really don’t have the capability to do all those inspections and enforcements.”

Councilwoman Terri Hartley expressed some concern over potential complaints from residents living in industrial areas; however, Jett explained that I&M-1 zoning already allows for hotels, motels, RV parks and a few other residential uses, and the plans for developing his property include codes, covenants and restrictions, in addition to a homeowner’s association. 

“We already allow the residential component within that property,” Jett said. “Our CC&Rs are written as such that basically says you are accepting the risk of noise and disturbance.”

Melling added this type of residential use would not necessarily appeal to individuals or families looking for an apartment or a home but instead to those looking for commercial space with living quarters. 

“The thing I think is most helpful here is the residential space is incidental to the shop below, and they cannot be separate,” Melling said. “In this case, you’re buying or renting a shop that has living space with it.”

Councilman Ron Adams said CC&Rs could be used in the ordinance amendment in order to encourage enforcement from private entities rather than the city. 

“The fact that you’ve got CC&Rs and everything built into it is probably something we ought to look at in the ordinance for wording and use that as a model,” Adams said. 

Councilman Scott Phillips said he wants to make sure the amendment is appropriate for the entirety of the I&M-1 zones within the city. 

“I think it’s very clear to me what you’re requesting in this change, but it’s going to come in how it is written in the ordinance and those changes that we make, because it’s got to work across the board,” Phillips said. 

The council requested a draft of the amended ordinance be written, which will be considered during the next work meeting Aug. 19.

CARES Act funding

In other business, the council also reviewed contracts with the Iron County Care and Share and the Utah Shakespeare Festival in order for the organizations to receive Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security funding from the city. 

Bittmenn said both organizations have reviewed the contracts and agreed to them already. 

“The agreement says that these entities will be responsible to use the money as they said they were going to use it for qualifying purposes,” Bittmenn said. 

The agreements also dictate that the organizations will be responsible for tracking their expenditures of CARES funding and keeping adequate records. Both organizations also acknowledge they are not receiving funds from multiple federal grant programs for the same expenses. 

In a previous meeting, the council decided to allocate $100,000 to both the Iron County Care and Share and the Utah Shakespeare Festival from CARES Act funding the city received. The organizations will receive the funding in one-third increments as the city receives the money from the state.

The council will vote on whether to enter these contracts at their next meeting Wednesday.

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