At the City Council meeting on July 20, 2023, a new member was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Committee. This committee currently has one of the largest influences on the how the City of St. George is shaped. When someone wants to build anything in St. George, to some degree the Planning and Zoning Committee will be involved.
If a company wants to build a new subdivision, and the land isn’t zoned exactly to meet the requirements of the type of housing the developer wants to build, they have to go before the Planning and Zoning Committee to get their blessing. If the Committee agrees it is in the cities best interest, then they will pass the recommendation on to the City Council for approval (as well as possible zone changes).
Depending on the size or location of the construction, the Committee may have authority to control the design of the building, all the way down to the colors selected. Just look at the rounds the “STG Inn”, a new boutique hotel that the developers have spent over a year trying to get permission to build in downtown St. George. See HERE for a report on one of the City Council meetings about this project (the project was approved at the same City Council meeting the Planning and Zoning Appointment was made).
In a very large way, St. George has become a very large HOA. A very small group of people (committees such as the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council) keep a very tight control on who develops in St. George, and how they do it. It also bleeds over onto the rules and regulations business owners need to follow (not to mention the hoops business owners need to jump through just to get open – case in point, “Planning and Zoning approval is required for all (business) signage” – see HERE).
It’s very easy to see who gets appointed to these committees matters a great deal. There is a large amount of talk about freedom and conservatism in this city, but many of these committees quietly subvert the very freedoms they purport to support.
The newest member of the Planning and Zoning Commission is Terri Draper. She was voted in 4 to 1 from the City Council (thank you Michelle Tanner for resisting). I don’t know this individual personally. What I do know is very concerning. During the name of Dixie debate, she openly spoke out to remove the name Dixie from the University.
After the vote took place, the members of the council spoke about this individual, and the many calls from the community they had received regarding this vote. I even heard several of the council members talk about the need to preserve the history of St. George, and the “Dixie Spirit”. Back during the debate on the name of Dixie, Cathay Lundin Bean wrote wonderfully in the Deseret News and what the “Dixie Spirit” is (found HERE).
I am very concerned that an individual was put on the Committee that openly went against the desires of the majority of the citizens during the debate. Survey after survey showed the majority of the population of St. George wanted the name Dixie to stay. I am also tired of politicians and bureaucrats using phrases like “Dixie Spirit” and freedom, while actively moving against what these phrases really stand for. I’m tired of my history being used as a talking point, instead of a frame of reference on which to build on.
If you’re tired of this rhetoric as well, consider supporting my campaign at https://elect.kimballwillard.com. Every dollar counts in trying to right the direction of this city.