This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Cedar Mountain • Folks at Zion View Mountain Estates are not the type drawn to posh resorts.
In fact, many tout the remoteness of their vacation getaway in Kane County as the main reason why they bought lots and cabins tucked in the pine and aspen forests above the dramatic pink cliffs overlooking Zion National Park.
So it's no surprise that such rugged individualists have tussled over the prospect of adding amenities. Many see no reason for building a pricey water system besides government pressure when everyone uses bottled water for drinking and limits tank water to washing.
Even members of the soon-to-be-defunct Zion View Mutual Water Co. grouse that the state's threat to shut down the delivery-truck-and-tank water system transforms the project from "maybe" to "must-do."
The Kane County Water Conservancy District has pledged to help the subdivision avoid going dry by raising loan money for the project, soliciting bids to build it and, eventually, delivering water to those willing and able to pay for it.
"We've been trying to pull everyone together," said Derrell Obenhaus, a member of the water company board. "We go with the conservancy or we go into a dry subdivision, and we shut down."
Kim Radish, also a board member and cabin owner, foresees state and federal agencies shuttering the current system for good. "I hope the [proposed] project will be successful and move forward."
In a letter sent to Zion View owners in the spring, the Kane County Water Conservancy District said it needs commitments from 300 for the project to proceed. Recently, with 240 commitments in hand, it said 250 participants will do.
But Las Vegas retiree Jim Corwin won't be signing on.
"We're kind of the silent majority," said Corwin, whose cabin boasts solar power and a 1,200-gallon water tank. "It's what we wanted," he added of his forested lot. "Not a resort community"
He calls the water project "a money grab," echoing the views of many who feel coerced. "The majority of the people, they don't have $9,500 to pay off [the hookup fee, but] we have no choice. We have to do this."
Kevin Forbes has owned his undeveloped, summer-only lot for about eight years. It's what he wanted when he bought it with no water, no power and no plans for either.
He sees the project as a way to generate funds for the county, which has raised his taxes from about $60 a year to as much as $600 through zoning changes and rate hikes.
"Every year they are finding ways to jack our taxes up," said the Las Vegas architect, who was unemployed for 2½ years during the recession and who boils over at the idea of the water project's cost and the prospect of a lien. "I, for one, can't afford it."