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Town near Zion NP concerned over land purchase for possible park ‘n’ ride

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ROCKVILLE, Utah (ABC4 News) – On the rocks. One Southern Utah town not pleased about plans Washington County is apparently making for hundreds of acres of rock, that they feel would change the town’s very nature.

Between LaVerkin and Springdale near Zion National Park along Highway 9, there’s not a lot there besides traffic and construction. But for one town near the park, they’re worried that could change.

That town is Rockville with a population of fewer than 300 people. The concern, a big land buy Washington County made at auction this past week.

 “They bought a little less than 300 acres from SITLA,” says Rockville Mayor Pam Leach. 

 SITLA is the state of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The land is undeveloped and currently full of rocks. Mayor Leach says the county would like that to change.

“Well, what they’ve told us that they’re purchasing it for is a possible future park and ride area, a lot, to handle people coming up to the park because of lack of parking or concerns about lack of parking,” says Leach. 

Leach says the town is residential and agricultural. It would not be the best place for what would be in effect, a large auto park.

Ideally, she’d like the land to “stay just like it is. Open space, natural, cliffs, washes. That’s what we would prefer.”

Still, the mayor understands that may not happen “it’s not our plan to be oppositional or fight people, but respect works both ways,” says Leach.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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