Ivins moves closer to new water ordinance, including bans on new car washes and golf courses – St George News

IVINS – After two months of work, the Ivins City Council neared the finish line toward creating a new water ordinance during its meeting at Ivins City Hall Thursday night.

The Ivins City Council meeting, Ivins, Utah, April 21, 2022 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

In a meeting with no motions voted on but movement on several issues Mayor Chris Hart called “earth-shaking,” the council finished work on a new ordinance designed to conserve water usage on the same day Gov. Spencer Cox declared a drought emergency for the second straight year.

At the same meeting, the council also moved closer to a redefinition of nonresidential zones that would include a ban on any new golf courses or commercial car washes that move cars on a belt, and began the annual fiscal budget process.

Proofing a water ordinance

During the meeting, the loud horns of the city’s air-raid siren could be heard inside council chambers as part of the annual Great Shake Out for hurricane preparedness.

But with a lot to discuss in a meeting that ended up lasting five hours, Hart said he had already gotten clearance to move on with the council’s meeting.

“We have enough earth-shaking issues to deal with,” Hart said, trying to be heard through the loud horn.

But rather than earth shaking, the council went over the last pieces of a new water ordinance modeled off recommendations the Washington County Water Conservancy made at a water summit last November. Washington County and neighboring Santa Clara have previously completed their ordinances, while other Southern Utah cities are still working on theirs.

Water marks and a separation between the darker and white-washed rocks on the shore show how the water level has gone down in Ivins Reservoir, Ivins, Utah, Dec. 15, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The draft ordinancewhich will only apply to new construction in Ivins and not existing buildings and residences, includes restrictions on the use of grass landscape and a mandate for water-efficient plumbing fixtures.

One of the last debates was over whether to require all individual units in condo or townhome complexes to be separately metered for water, as opposed to an overall water bill for the landlord or association at the complex. ‘

Council member Lance Anderson expressed concern that it might not be “conceivable to do that.” However, the mayor said the overall goal of reducing water usage in the city will come through some hard choices.

“The whole point is to get individual families to preserve,” Hart said. “If somebody else is paying the bill. There’s no incentive to conserve. ”

Ultimately, the council agreed to keep the language in and set the ordinance for a public debate and possible final approval next month.

Among the stipulations of the new ordinance:

  • All new residences and newly constructed non-residential buildings will be required to have hot water recirculation systems and water-efficient plumbing and fixtures installed.
  • New residences won’t be allowed to have more than 8% of the square footage of their land with grass if single-family / duplex, 5% if a multifamily complex, and that percentage goes further down if the complex has a swimming pool or water feature.
  • Grass will not be permitted in new nonresidental construction unless it is for active recreation.
  • Any water features will need to include recirculation pumps and in most cases cannot exceed 300 gallons.

Commercial zoning refinement may exclude car washes, new golf courses

In a separate debate that nevertheless connected to water conservation, a redefining of nonresidential zoning in Ivins could mean an end to any new golf courses or most commercial car washes in Ivins.

Ivins City Council Member Mike Scott during the Ivins City Council meeting, Ivins, Utah, April 21, 2022 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The council discussed a revision of the city’s table of uses for nonresidential districts.

Among the revisions is one stating that only car washes with hand-operated facilities would be permitted in the city, and those that use mechanical belts to move cars through a tunnel would be banned.

Noting that he himself gets his car washed in St. George, council member Mike Scott said that Southern Utah does not have a car wash deficit.

“I’d rather not allow car washes at all,” Scott said. “Why do we need it in Ivins? There’s enough car washes. ”

However, fellow member Anderson said commercial washes have been known to include recirculation systems that he said can ultimately save water and also keep excess waste from entering the city’s water system.

“They at least recycle or capture dirt rather than going down the storm drain,” Anderson said.

The council ultimately agreed to keep the language in, which will go before the council for a public hearing and possible final vote at its next meeting on May 5.

Also included is the prohibiting of any new golf courses in the city. That would make the nearly complete course at Black Desert Resort as the last golf course to be built in Ivins for the foreseeable future.

The new table of uses would also limit bar establishments and sexually-oriented businesses to commercial and light manufacturing zones.

It would also create a table of use for the approval of tattoo parlors, limiting them to conditional use in some commercial zones.

However, at the urging of council members, language is being added to make an exemption for estheticians who provide permanent eyebrows and permanent makeup.

Budget process begins

Thursday marked the beginning of the formal 2023 fiscal budget process for the council, with Ivins Director of Finance Cade Visser introducing a tentative budget balanced between $ 10,103,746 in projected revenue and $ 10,103,746 in expenditures.

Ivins City Manager Dale Coulam during the ivins City Council meeting, Ivins, Utah, April 21, 2022 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The budget, which can be found hereis a little over $ 2 million higher than fiscal 2022. It will include an expected $ 600,000 budget from 2022.

But City Manager Dale Coulam said the term surplus is a misnomer.

“We moved some items from this year to next year,” Coulam said. “If you take both years together, there’s no surplus. It’s not that they had all this extra money laying around. It’s been earmarked. ”

The biggest project expenditure is $ 3.4 million toward improving and widening Old Dixie Highway 91 in the city, including $ 600,000 toward building trails.

“These are the tough decisions you guys get to make,” City Manager Dale Coulam said.

Both Visser and Public Works Director Chuck Gillette said that with rising inflation, the next phase involving road and trail work on the 91 from 600 West to the Ivins Reservoir may require a bond to complete.

Other major expenditures include $ 335,000 for a new street sweeper – which was bumped from the 2022 budget – a new $ 300,000 public works yard and a $ 150,000 expansion for a city cemetery that has been running low on plot space.

An additional $ 175,000 would go toward the ongoing remodel of the old Ivins City Hall into a new headquarters for the Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department. Funds would also go toward the creation of a new building inspector position to specifically handle the under-construction Black Desert Resort.

The tentative budget will be discussed and possibly adopted on May 5, followed by a May 19 public hearing before the budget is finalized in June.

“Can we send a GoFund (Me)? We need a great deal of money, ”Hart joked.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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