While some concerns remain, Cedar City Council approves Bauer Meadows RDO near Eagle Ridge

CEDAR CITY — The Cedar City Council approved the Bauer Meadows residential development overlay, as well as allocations for this year’s Recreation Arts and Parks tax, during an action meeting on Wednesday.

The Bauer Meadows RDO proposal was first brought to the City Council on July 1 and includes approximately 367 acres near South Mountain Drive. It is divided into 13 pods that are planned to be completed over several years.

Councilman Craig Isom said the proposal offers an idea of the future of the property.

“I, for one, really like this RDO concept and have approved similar proposals around the city,” Isom said. “It just gives us a good view of things going forward.”

Councilman Scott Phillips said the property owner has put a lot of effort into considering neighboring developments into his proposal, but he still wants to make sure concerns are addressed.

“We do need to listen to the concerns of those areas regarding traffic,” Phillips said. “I would urge us as a council and as a city: We have got to address the roads out in that area sooner than later.”

A view of the mountains to the northeast taken from South Mountain Drive, Cedar City, July 10, 2020 | Photo by Kelsey Cooke, St George News / Cedar City News

Councilman Tyler Melling said the proposed RDO is more restrictive than the city’s zoning ordinances and agreed that traffic should be addressed soon.

“The covenants that run with this proposal are far more restrictive than any of our zoning code,” Melling said. “The plan is very conscientious of the views, of the integrity of the landscape.”

Councilwoman Terri Hartley expressed similar appreciation to landowner Joel Hansen for the consideration of other developments as well as the need for addressing traffic.

“I appreciate what Joel has done out there in being conscientious not only in the development of that land but also being conscious of the people that are already out there and trying to maintain that neighborhood,” Hartley said.

Besides the traffic, one area of concern raised by Hansen is in regard to plans for a water tank. City Planner Don Boudreau addressed the council briefly Wednesday to explain that a water tank is currently included in the city’s master plan for the RDO.

A view of Pod 1 of the Bauer Meadows RDO from South Mountain Drive looking northwest. Currently, the Cedar City Master Plan includes a water tank on the ridge in the photo. Landowner Joel Hansen plans to only develop the valley in this area, and leave the ridge natural to preserve views of existing residents of Cross Hollow Hills, Cedar City, July 10, 2020 | Photo by Kelsey Cooke, St George News / Cedar City News

“That is a master planned implement within this RDO,” Boudreau said. “There have been alternatives discussed, alternative locations discussed, but none of those locations have been set in stone.”

Hansen told Cedar City News on Friday the water tank was only brought to his attention six weeks ago, and a water tank would greatly detract from the views of existing and future residents, as well as impact property values.

“It would completely destroy their views to put a water tank where they’re talking about,” Hansen said. “It would have an absolutely significant, negative impact on my property values without a doubt.”

Hansen said that previous to learning about the water tank, he agreed to not develop the two ridges on South Mountain Drive and to leave them natural, “when I could develop them and build houses all over the top of them.”

“I’ve agreed to do that just to keep the aesthetics of the property out there nice and to keep it beautiful for all of the people that live there currently and all of the future people that will live there.”

In the immediate, the City Council unanimously approved the Bauer Meadows RDO during the meeting Wednesday, but Hansen told Cedar City News he is trying to figure out how he might address the issue when it comes into play down the road.

RAP Tax allocations were also approved based on advisory board recommendations presented July 1. Approximately $230,000 is to be distributed among 16 arts organizations, and $420,000 was allocated for recreational uses.

‘He’s instrumental every day’

In other business, Cedar City Parks Department employee Austin Bingham was recognized as the July Employee of the Month.

Austin Bingham was recognized as the July Employee of the Month during a Cedar City Council meeting, July 8, 2020 | Photo by Kelsey Cooke, St George News / Cedar City News

Bingham was nominated by his supervisor Steve Carter, who wrote in his nomination that Bingham has been important to the improvements being made to Cedar Ridge Golf Course.

“Since November, Cedar Ridge has been going through some irrigation renovations,” Carter wrote, “and Austin has always been willing to do what is necessary as the project moved along.”

Director of Leisure Services Ken Nielson presented Bingham with his award Wednesday and said Bingham is a great value to the golf course.

“He’s instrumental every day,” Nielson said. “I appreciate his work not only on the big projects but also day-to-day stuff.”

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