County forming study group to steer land use around airport
MANTI—Sanpete County commissioners are forming a study group to help steer land-use near the Manti-Ephraim Airport.
Formation of the group would be an alternative to imposing a moratorium on zoning changes around the airport.
The airport board sent its chairman, Ted Meikle, to the June 6 commission meeting to ask for the moratorium.
The goal would be to give the Airport Board time to develop a “comprehensive plan” to deal with airport expansion, as well as residential and commercial development around the facility, Meikle said.
The Airport Board was concerned about reports of a zoning-change request filed with the county.
County Attorney Brody Keisel interrupted Meikle, however, to inform him that the county had already halted the request based on recommendations contained in the county’s resource management plan.
Meikle indicated he was aware of the recommendation, which was for the county to begin planning for future development around the airport under the assumption of a “medium-size airport.”
Commissioner Claudia Jarrett said the commission was in the process of following that recommendation with the formation of a multi-interest group that would draft a proposed land-use scheme for submission to the Sanpete County Planning Commission.
That way, the planning commission would have something tangible to work from. Going through the planning commission would also require public hearings on the proposal.
Commissioner Steve Lund would be in charge of the study group and will seek members from the airport board, county planning commission, representatives from both Manti and Ephraim cities, and concerned citizens.
Ephraim Mayor Richard Squire, who attended the meeting, said he was satisfied by the direction the commission was taking.
“I think that’s all we could ask for,” he said.
Keisel said imposing a moratorium would come with limitations. It would last only six months and would have other statutory requirements that would limit the county’s options. He therefore felt the study-group solution was the better option.
Rob Anderson, a farm owner with land adjacent to the airport who sought a controversial zone-change petition last year, asked to be included in the study group since he owned almost all of the land on the east side of the airport. Commissioner Lund promised to be in touch.
The commission voted to deny the moratorium for now and to revisit the issue at its next meeting.