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City Considering Vacation Rental Ordinance, Utility Rates

November 20
13:27 2014

Utility MetersVacation Home Rental Ordinance discussion by the Page Planning and Zoning Commission at their meeting Tuesday night, November 18 was one-sided.  All speakers from the audience were in favor of the Vacation Home Rental Ordinance and voiced their support.  The past two years have seen a continuing struggle between residents who do not want vacation home rentals in their backyard, the rights of property owners to use their property as they see fit, and the economic needs of the community.  Hotel room occupancy remained at 100% to the end of October this year.  Sales tax revenues are up substantially this year with sales in Page over one million dollars in both August and September.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the La Quinta Inn Site Plan and the Page Building Inspector will move forward with review of the building plans in a preconstruction meeting.  The La Quinta Inn is proposed for construction behind Motel 6, according to Robin Crowther, Planning and Zoning Director.

Page Utility Manager, Bryan Hill, explained the memo sent to Planning and Zoning regarding how Bed and Breakfasts as well as Vacation Home Rentals are charged for utilities and changes being considered for the future that were discussed at their October Board Meeting. Currently Bed and Breakfast operators pay $150 annual fees and pay for utilities at the residential rate.  Vacation Home Rentals currently pay for utilities at the residential rate.

Page Utility will propose to City Council that both Bed and Breakfasts as well as Vacation Home Rentals pay the commercial rates each billing cycle as long as a conditional use permit is in effect with a $300 reapplication fee to change back to residential rates when the conditional use permit ceases.  The proposal being considered would not change utility costs dramatically for these customers.  Water rates are the same for commercial and residential customers.  Electric rates for residential customers are 7.15 cents per KWH with $6.25 monthly meter fee.  Electric rates for commercial customers are 6.75 cents per KWH with $13.75 monthly meter fee.  Residential sewer rates are based on winter quarter averages.  Water rates are anticipated to change for both residential and commercial customers this spring.  A consultant is currently working on a menu of rate plans for City Council to consider.  There will be official Notices and a Public Hearing on water rates before they are considered by Page City Council.

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