THE SLIDE DIVIDE
A discussion that initially started out over a battle of water rights for a few individuals on Cedar Mountain as escalated to an issue t h a t could affect all of Iron County and its taxpayers.
While the county has put a six-month land use restriction on residents of the $39 million Cedar Highland subdivision located on Cedar Mountain, developers are worried the restriction to build is affecting property values for homes in the area. Declining values in a multimillion dollar subdivision add up quickly and translate into the county having to make up the tax revenue elsewhere. That cost could fall on all property owners in Iron County.
Iron County is taking action on what could be a multi-million dollar landslide problem, but it might have come nearly 30 years too late, said Utah Geological Survey senior scientist Bill Lund. He said the county made a decision 30 years ago, in his opinion, based on “insufficient information.”
With more than 70 homes now above Cedar City in the Cedar Highlands area, Lund said he is holding his breath to see what will happen to the stability of the land in the area. The homes have septic tanks, which have u n d e r g r o u n d water seepage, which lubricates the plates beneath the ground, Lund explained. On top of that, roads and paths that cut into the mountain also disrupt the stability of the area. Lund, who has more than 31 years of geological experience, said all of the infrastructure being built without a study becomes a cause for concern because changes on one lot can affect another.