Recently I was asked my the group Make Moab Quiet Again what my stance was on UTV noise. I think it is important to address issues and try to find solutions we can hopefully live with.
Make Moab Quiet Again Questions
Thank you for allowing me to answer your questions. I live near Millcreek Parkway and I understand where these concerns are coming from and the need to address them.
I am running on a platform of putting Moab residents first and finding solutions that create a positive quality of life for residents, while also ensuring economic stability for our small town.
I am the owner of Canyonlands Jeep Adventures. We offer rentals for tourists to get out into the backcountry. We do not modify the exhausts on our Jeeps and leave them stock. We do run after market tires, but they are not aggressive tires that create a lot of road noise. I also work for the Moab Adventure Center that offers Hummer tours on trails up in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. I am not associated with UTV’s or have any intention of being in the UTV rental or tour business. I do own a UTV and enjoy spending time exploring the backcountry with my family. I recreate responsibly, and currently sit on the Sustainable Trail Committee, where I work with different user groups to try and educate all users to be responsible and respectful both in town and on trails.
Again thank you for allowing me to answer your questions!
If the state were to allow cities to opt out of street-legal UTVs, would you be in favor of Moab banning UTVs from residential streets (meaning any street with residences on it)?
I would be in favor of banning UTV’s from almost all residential streets in Moab for non-residents. I would like to see designated routes that UTV’s are only allowed on. Signage in residential areas stating the UTV’s are not allowed. That if cities were allowed to opt out of street legal UTV’s, we create routes to trail heads and if UTV’s deviate off these designated routes they will be cited. I am also in favor of enforcing noise restrictions, and speed limits on designated routes. I would also look into working with the Police Department and Sheriff's office where they have dedicated officers (paid for with TRT/TRCC funding) where these laws are enforced on a daily basis. This is something that I think is currently not being addressed.
Are you in favor of the City of Moab using business license rules to require that rental and tour UTVs be trailered to trailheads rather than driven on residential streets?
If any vehicle either owned by a private citizen or a business cannot meet the noise ordinance requirements they absolutely must trailer to the trailheads or be cited. I think businesses should be given a grace period to meet the requirements and the city should work with the Travel Council, BLM, Social Media Outlets, etc. educating people coming to Moab with their own UTV’s that they must meet noise ordinance requirements or they could be cited. I also think we need to create more signage keeping UTV’s out of residential areas.
Are you in favor of the City of Moab using zoning regulations to limit or reduce the number of UTV rental and tour businesses in town?
Yes, I am in favor of the City of Moab limiting the number of UTV rental and tour businesses in town.
I support locals defending or speaking up for what they want in their neighborhoods. Changes in such things like density could have a negative impact on the current residents and they need to have a voice. Reform of city zoning in the future may be limited to future undeveloped parcels while working with developers. We must work to develop affordable housing for full-time year round residents. If elected I look forward to working on the Walnut Lane project and other projects that will hopefully help alleviate the stress of Moab families finding a place to live.
Options for second home owners already exist, I do not think we should complement the demand. Development should compliment full-time locals and protect options for full- time residents. It would be great to see incentives for sellers/developers to sell to locals before second home owners. The vision for Walnut Lane is exciting and will benefit Moab families. In the County, the HDHO (High Density Housing Overlay)the county passed in 2019, which restricts occupation to those working full-time and residents of Grand County is a good move. We need to continue working towards affordable housing for low to middle income families in Moab.
Moab already taxes lodgings at the maximum rate allowed by the state, and the city has limited space for commercial development. The city's primary lever for affecting the local economy is through changes to its zoning and land use regulations.
And here are the questions:
I think we all have our own idea of what a quality job is, to define that is up to each individual. I personally would like to see more people have the opportunity to have a steady year round income and to flatten the yearly boom and bust of employment in our town. Economic Diversification should be a priority for city leaders and something I will focus on if elected. The city funding “quality jobs” seems like an irresponsible use of city/taxpayer funds.
No! The only people that will benefit from shrinking tourism is a small portion of Moab that can afford higher property taxes, a higher cost of living, and don’t work in this industry to support their families. For better or worse, tourism is currently a major part of how residents (roughly 60%) make a living in Moab, to shrink it would have a catastrophic ripple effect on our community. I also think there is room to broaden and diversify the economy of Moab and Grand County, and we should move in the direction of having an economically diverse, year-round economy.
Migration has played a role in the social and economic fabric of Moab, with new people moving in we are seeing greater diversity and social differences. I do not feel this is any different then what you find in other cities similar to Moab. I do think this has had some negative effects on Moab. With more people and outside money coming to town it has put additional pressures on the limited housing available making it hard for long-time residents and essential workers to find housing options, which in many instances causes them to leave for more affordable regions.
I would be very open to pursuing policies to change this course. We need to find ways for families to afford to stay in Moab. It is critical that Moab residents not be priced out, which is what is happening. Moab has grown so quickly in the commercial segment that we are now behind the ball in the housing segment, and until we can close this gap we are only going to see people with discretionary incomes being able to afford new homes. We need to find a way to ensure the residents of Moab can find affordable long- term housing solutions.