Four people at left wearing respiratory masks face a man at right, also masked, as he leans in to speak.

Moabites meet with one of two staffers (both of whose names I forgot) from Sen. Mike Lee’s office in the Moab City Council chambers on Thursday, Apr. 15. Photo by Carter Pape, licensed for exclusive use

This is MY newsletter. I’ll be profane if I want.

Two of Utah Senator Mike Lee’s staff members came to Moab today (on a trip through the state) to talk to the newspaper and to constituents about the issues most affecting Moab.

My editor and I told them that OHVs were a hot issue locally that didn’t necessarily have nexus with the federal government (except that OHVs are not subject to noise regulations because they are not highway vehicles and therefore not regulated by the Department of Transportation).

I tried to move us past that because there are other issues, and I think people forget that. I reminded them that housing is an issue locally, though it does not necessarily have federal nexus (if you’re a federalist, that is). I told them that wages are too low, according to conservatives locally (Curtis Wells being one).

Later, the staffers went to city hall to talk to constituents, and I believe it was Reed Pendleton (though I didn’t ask his name, so I don’t know) who said that people were shuttling into Moab from Green River because our wages are so high.

Um. I don’t know about that. If they’re shuttling in, it’s because we have jobs at all, and they live elsewhere because of the lack of housing availability.

I think I want to talk to the heads of the Republican Party to ask them whether they think wages in Moab are too low. It would be interesting to see if they disagree with Wells, or whether there is bipartisan consensus in Moab that we need to somehow raise wages.

Oh, by the way: Only nine people showed up to the thing, besides me and the staffers. One of the women who came asked me, “Where is everyone?” She also wanted to know why chairs hadn’t been set out for people to use. I had no answers.

I got a standing desk.

Speaking of having no chairs, The Times-Independent bought me a standing desk converter. When I say “bought me,” I mean that it is a gift to me; I get to take it when I leave.

The thing lifts and lowers electronically so that I don’t have to sit or stand all day. It’s wonderful

HDHO developer wants a jury to hear their case

I found a bit more background on the HDHO appeals. Two of the developers went ahead with filing a complaint with the Moab District Court, I suppose in expectation that the administrative appeal have an unappealing result for them.

One of those developers, Sandstone Cottages LLC (Glent Lent), also requested a jury for the case. To be clear: This is a civil case, but they are requesting a jury. So, that’s interesting.

an excerpt of the linked file, with the plaintiff and charge for a jury request highlighted

I looked up the documents that came with the application the developer sent in (they were part of the meeting packet for the meeting on July 2, 2019).

The application statement says, “Homeowner demographics may be first time homeowners, families, those wishing to downsize from larger homes, or simply those looking to live a simpler sustainable life.” The application also says that the developer intended “to build the homes and not sell off individual lots,” whatever that means.

an excerpt of the linked file, with the mentioned quotations highlighted

I guess I need to call Lent (or just read the appeal — that’s actually it) to figure out what his problem is. The whole conflict is that the developers want to be able to sell to more than just locals; they want to be able to sell to outside people who might rent to locals (and they should get that).

I know that Courtney Kizer has said that some of the people who bought their units have gotten cold feet over the rules and regulations. My understanding is that those people are basically concerned about what happens if they move out after buying one of the homes.

But the question that remains for me: If Lent said in his application led the county council to believe that the homeowners were meant to be first-time homeowners, that’s right in line with the recent interpretation the county has come to on the HDHO. Certainly rental companies are mentioned as a homeowner demographic in the application.

So, what’s the problem? And again, the answer is that I need to just read the appeal.