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Whoa! Zoning change opposed

Keep truss firm out, say Apple Valley residents

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LEEDS, Washington County — A proposed zone change that would allow a truss company to open shop in the rural community of Apple Valley received lots of opposition at Tuesday's Washington County Commission meeting.

Commissioners got an earful from those attending the public hearing portion of the meeting, held in a jam-packed Leeds Town Hall.

Those against the proposal argued changing the 5-acre parcel of land in Apple Valley from its planned development zone to a manufacturing zone would cause numerous problems for area residents, including increased traffic, accidents, pollution and noise.

AllcoTrades, based in Colorado City, Ariz., requested the zone change for expansion of its truss business now located in nearby Hildale, Apple Valley's closest neighbor.

The blended towns of Colorado City and Hildale are famous for being home to thousands of polygamists, many of whom work in construction-related businesses owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or in large family-owned enterprises.

Apple Valley, located on U-59 between Hurricane and Hildale, is a bedroom community with little more than houses, livestock and a gas station/grocery store.

Barbara Hall, whose home is adjacent to the proposed truss company, said she was upset the Washington County Planning Commission approved the request without her knowledge.

"The only reason I knew about this was because someone read about it in the paper and then told me," Hall said.

Many of those at Tuesday's meeting who voiced opposition to the zone change didn't want their names made public, saying they had friends in Hildale they didn't want to upset.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the zone change at its Aug. 26 meeting, but county commissioners on Tuesday decided to visit the site before voting on the zone change.

Although it wasn't directly mentioned during Tuesday's commission meeting, many Apple Valley residents are worried about a decision made by the Hildale City Council.

Council members there recently approved an annexation plan that includes portions of Apple Valley, something the Apple Valley residents said they hope never happens. The FLDS church owns large tracts of land in the area, including most of Colorado City and Hildale.

But Hildale won't be able to annex the rural community unless the majority of its residents approve of the change, said Washington County Commissioner Alan Gardner.

Anti-polygamy activist Bob Curran of Help the Child Brides in St. George accused Hildale officials of trying to expand the FLDS church's land holdings by annexing Apple Valley.

E-MAIL: nperkins@infowest.com