UPDATED: City Council approves zone changes for South Hills development, but holds off on nightly rentals

Composite image. Background stock photo of City Hall in St. George, Utah. Inset image shows a rendering of the South Hills development | City hall photo by David Dudley. Inset image courtesy the city of St. George, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —While the St. George City Council approved zone changes as part of an overlay for a slew of development areas in South Hills on Thursday, they were not ready to approve the proposed nightly rentals on two additional development areas – yet. (See Ed. note.)

In this file photo from 2020, Brett Burgess speaks to the Hurricane City Council, Hurricane, Utah, June 18, 2020 | Photo by Aspen Stoddard, St. George News

The development, which encompasses 442 acres and 22 development areas, is situated to the east of the White Dome Nature Conservancy and north of Southern Parkway.

When Brett Burgess, the president of Development Solutions, Inc., brought his initial plans before the council late last year, they wondered why he wanted to build nightly rental properties in lieu of homes and long-term rentals.

The city prepared staff reports that said that with housing supply so low, the city needs more homes for sale and rental. As proposed, South Hills may offer 1,843 units. Of those, 715 are slated to be apartments, and 217 would be nightly rentals. The remainder would be split between townhouses, single-family residences and commercial and industrial properties.

Burgess said he intends to make South Hills a “secondary destination for Little Valley.”

“It will act as a kind of relief valve for River Road and Mall Drive,” he said, “which will help to alleviate some of the congestion. That would make it more active transportation friendly.”

A rendering of the South Hills development | Photo courtesy the City of St. George, for St. George News

Regarding nightly rentals, Burgess told the council that he was inspired by the Andaz resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, which boasts 185 bungalows and suites on 23 acres. Burgess said that he’d like to build a restaurant with a bar, and perhaps a hotel, in the center of short-term triplex rentals.

“This area, which is near the airport, is perfect for conferences,” he said. “We could rent the triplexes to conference guests, and they’d have access to the property as well as nearby recreational activities.”

Things might change, though. The council expects Burgess to address concerns about land use, especially in regard to building nightly rentals when homes and long-term rentals are in such short supply.

“I love your vision,” said Councilwoman Dannielle Larkin. She added that she liked the idea of building something like the Andaz resort in that area as well, “but that part of the plan feels more like a commercial property than a residential one.”

Councilman Gregg MacArthur said that he liked the plan Burgess presented, but it had not quite addressed the problems council and staff expressed when they last saw the plan.

“I was hoping to see more variety in housing,” MacArthur said.

Burgess agreed and seemed amenable to the council’s questions and suggestions and said he wants to do all he can to ensure that people will still want to live there 20 years from now.

Larkin said that she remains open to exploring options that may include a resort within commercial zoning.

Ed. note: The original article said that the council had approved the nightly rentals.

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

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