Planning Commission tables zone change for shopping center; Boulder Creek Commons, Crossings

City of St. George Planning Commission meeting, St. George, Utah, Jan. 21, 2014 | Photo by Natalie Barrett, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The St. George Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday was full, leaving many standing in the doorways as Stephen Sheffield, representing his company Shefco, applied to change a single family residential zone to a planned development commercial zone at the intersection of River Road and 1450 South.  The application was tabled for 30 days so a committee of neighbors could be formed and concerns could be addressed. It will be brought back to the planning commission on Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. The zone change will affect Boulder Creek Commons and Boulder Creek Crossings, on the east and west sides of River Road, respectively.

Sheffield said his family has envisioned a beautiful shopping center on the proposed location for 25 years. As they have been waiting for the right time to build, they have been preparing by helping the city establish and widen roads, providing power lines, storm drains, sewage, lighting, trail head, design and studies for the area.

“It was a very tough burden for a small family who was only interested in this part, but because the city asked us to, we built those,” Sheffield said. “We are very committed to this.”

The level of commitment was evident and Sheffield said that many of the concerns that neighbors came with could be resolved with planning and design. Concerns discussed in the meeting included property values, crime and traffic, adequate notice given, flooding, and uses for the property.

Property Values and Residential Buffer Zone

Property values was a large concern to everyone in the meeting, including Sheffield as his home is also in the neighborhood of the shopping center.

Sheffield said property values will increase because the shops will be aesthetically pleasing and convenience factor will increase.

The artist’s rendition shown during Sheffield’s presentation of the center showed a contemporary desert style, with shops with character that will look the same from the front and back.

David Cole of the homeowners association in Boulders said property values will decrease because of the noise, traffic and other nuisances it will bring. “I don’t know of any upscale community that would want a big box grocery store right up next to them,” Cole said.

A homeowner,Dianne Bromley, said that it will increase the value of her property and make lives easier. “I never experienced that those shopping centers increased our traffic. They made our lives simpler and made our worlds smaller,” Bromley said.

Crime and Traffic

Because the area will be developed and lighted, it was argued that it will be easier for policemen to patrol.

On the other hand, neighbors expressed concern over the Maverick and other potential stores that could bring late night customers and potentially increase crime.

Traffic is a large issue and a problem already for the Boulders’ community.

“To develop this residential area into commercial will significantly harm the single family residents of this area. The traffic noise, air and otherwise pollution will be extensive and substantially harmful to our children and our way of life, speaking of children, I have six,” Ronna Marker said. “The business that Mr. Sheffield is proposing which included a McDonald’s will not pump substantial money into our community, nor will it provide an enhanced quality of life and service to area residents which he claimed at the economic summit. Instead it will take money from our locally owned and operated businesses, congest our main roads and cause a rise in criminal activity.”

Adequate Notice

Notice given to residents was questioned as not many received word that the development and zoning request was taking place.

Homeowners said the fact that they had not received notice made them worried about the business practices taking place.

Legally it is the responsibility of the City of St. George to deliver notices to the residents. It was said that only one home fell in the radius of the 500 feet requirement for notice and that homeowner did receive notice and attended the meeting. Many residents said the radius needs to be expanded.

Signs have been posted for 10 years announcing the site. There was nothing quick about it, Sheffield said.



Some residents expressed concern that the Maverik and Jiffy Lube will be placed where flooding has occurred in the past.

“This area will be and has been subject to extensive flooding, which in the future will flood into the underground gas tanks of the maverick and flood the parking lot and oil changing bays of the proposed Jiffy Lube. Many of us were witness to the damage these recent floods caused,” Marker said.

Sheffield said that there were many studies done, including studies done by the city, and also a couple of his own. The studies were to understand and evaluate the river and the flood plain.  They resulted in the determination of which areas are buildable.

“The properties in and around Maverik are high enough to be outside of the flood plain because the new elevations have been determined, raised high enough and erosion controlled to keep the water contained,” Sheffield said.

Uses for the property

There were many potential uses for the property, some of which were stricken at the planning commission meeting. Sheffield offered a committee to be created of neighbors to discuss the types of shops that the community would like.

“Because this is our neighborhood and our neighborhood center I would like the community to help us fill up the center with the kind of shops that we want and so I’ve created a new email [email protected],” Sheffield said. “We welcome our neighbor input because this is something that we want to make as best as we can.”

A separate request for a zone change from single family residential to a planned development commercial lot for a Jiffy Lube was approved by the St. George Planning Commission and will go forward to the city council on Feb. 20 for a public hearing.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

City of St. George Planning Commission meeting, St. George, Utah, Jan. 21, 2014 | Photo by Natalie Barrett, St. George News
City of St. George Planning Commission meeting, St. George, Utah, Jan. 21, 2014 | Photo by Natalie Barrett, St. George News

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  • Bender January 24, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    That area will suffer the wrath of the unregulated virgin river. She’s a fickle b1tch and when angry will blow through like a thousand crazy locomotives. The city politicians will watch in slack jawed amazement and declare it an act of nature that no one could have predicted. You heard it here first.

  • Sgnative January 25, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Of all the places to build a McDonald’s and jiffy lube- really? But what’s worse is the maverick. Didn’t maverick realize they have two more within a two to five minute drive? I agree that that corner needs to be developed but on the virgin river side it’s crazy. Like bender said the river will flow where it wants. Just because its a drought season doesn’t mean a 500 year flood can’t happen in less years. Also, what do we do when all that gas taints the river? And don’t get me started on the mentioned noise and traffic. The residents of St James and the boulders have every right to be wary of Mr. Sheffields long awaited plans.

  • Brent Crosby January 25, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I have had two real estate dealings with Steve Sheffield and found him to be very untrustworthy. I question his honesty and would not believe much of what he says and less of what he promises. The area is in the flood plain, possibly the floodway. I would like to see the new studies that say otherwise. A big question is who is paying for the flood control on the south side of the Virgin River along this property. I doubt if it is Mr. Sheffield and this information should be made public. I know he has friends in high places in the St. George City Administration and has received many inside favors in his past developments and business affairs.

    Brent Crosby

  • Olie January 26, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Your not that upscale, residence of the boulder area, this will be a good thing for everyone on the southern end,

  • Sgnative January 26, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Olie- Well it used to be the most upscale area in st George where all the doctors and rich folk wanted to raise their families but now with all the changes I could see that going downhill really fast. Yes with the fast growth here over the last decade there have been new areas come in with fancy subdivisions, but lets try and have some respect for what the early city officials had in vision for this area. Another truck stop probably wasn’t it. It is a very unique corner with the history of the river and the main thorough fairs intersecting but there are ways to keep it nice and bring in some commercialism and amenities without it becoming an eyesore and polluted congested spot and help alleviate the traffic from the new -and older – south corner of Dixie from going clear into Washington or Bloomington to do their shopping. I just hope the residents nearby will get their suggestions and concerns heard before another developer gets his payday without a care of what they leave behind for the next generation.

  • Mindy C. January 29, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    It would be great if the reporter, Natalie Barrett, put her “print journalism” degree to work and did some investigative reporting. There are so many unanswered questions, like: why did only a few people receive the notifications about these projects? who stands to make the most money from all this? have federal, or state, regulations and laws been violated? we know what’s happened in W VA and their water — what are the contingency plans for us with these oil and gas tanks buried in a flood plain? Please Natalie, stay on top of this story (stories!) this and FOLLOW THE MONEY!

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