Dear Moab City Council and Grand County Council,
The large majority of Grand County residents consider current tourism levels to be too high. To make matters worse, over the next year or so we will see a 38% increase in hotel/condo/campground units over the already-too-high numbers of early 2019. This is because of projects that were already in the pipeline before the temporary moratorium was approved.
Please do NOT allow any new projects into the pipeline until the current batch of pending projects has been built and our community has had a chance to feel the impacts and assess whether we want even more tourist lodging. Approving additional tourist lodging projects before the pipeline projects have been built would be irresponsible.
In the future, the pace of new tourist lodging projects should be tightly controlled. We do not want to repeat the mistakes which caused the current mess. The City and County should use overlay zones or other tools ("metering") to insure that we do not see out-of-control rapid growth of tourist lodging again. In early 2019, we had 40% more tourist loding units than we did residential units. The City and County should insure that this ratio does not become even larger.
One of the many bad effects of the current explosion of overnight rentals is that competition for property for hotels, etc., drives up real estate prices for all businesses. This steep increase in commercial property prices makes it difficult to diversify our economy. We need to prohibit new overnight rentals (hotels, rental condos, campgrounds) south of town to create an area where other businesses do not have to compete with the lodging industry for land. (Existing overnight rentals south of town would be grandfathered in and continue to operate as usual.) This will help diversify our economy.
The City and County have taken good first steps toward better, saner management of tourist lodging in our community. But we have not reached the finish line yet. We need to finish the job.
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(20 of 572 total signers, randomly selected)
Michael Dean Smith
. . .
And 552 more signers.