Santa Clara City Council denies gated communities, approves bid for South Hills water line

Santa Clara City Hall, Santa Clara, Utah, Oct. 9, 2019 | Photo by Ryann Richardson, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Santa Clara City Council denied making an exception to the citywide prohibition of gated communities at their Wednesday meeting. 

The proposed amendment to the city ordinance declaring gated communities and private streets illegal on planned development zones in Santa Clara would have allowed such developments to be built under certain conditions. The denial bars a proposed resort community on Red Mountain Drive from installing gates at its entrance. 

The council denied the amendment due to concerns from council members and community members about the rift gated communities would create in Santa Clara. 

“I still struggle with the idea of a gated community,” said council member Leina Mathis, who opposed the amendment at last week’s meeting. “I’m taking this (Red Mountain Drive) project out of the mix because in my view, the project has nothing to do with it. It is whether or not we want gated communities as a whole.”

Council member Jarett Waite added that after speaking with 25-35 residents, he got an overwhelming response that the city should not allow gated communities. Residents expressed concerns about creating a separation in the community and having one landlord responsible for a large portion of land, he said. 

Local developer Dade Rose asked the council to consider the amendment and argued that the proposed community, which would be a resort-style development with vacation rental units, would have plenty of space for visitors and be a place where friends would be welcome to visit and enjoy the community’s amenities. 

“We don’t think that we’re preventing anyone from coming in,” Rose said. “We intend to go forward with this project gates or no gates, but we feel strongly that the benefit of having a gate in this situation is important for people that are renting these homes.”

The future development can still be built, but it will not be allowed to have gates at the entrance or private streets after the council’s decision.

In other business, the council approved a bid for the South Hills water line. The bid for $1,293,575.12 from St. George-based Progressive Contracting will go toward installing a water line from the South Hills water tank to the Edge Development. 

In December, the Bureau of Land Management, which owns the land the water line would be built on, collected public comment on the right-of-way amendment that would allow construction. The BLM told St. George News that it did not receive extensive public comment, and the bureau is working with the city to move forward with the project.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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