HURRICANE — Nearly 20 government properties near major Utah state highways will be going to the highest bidder this week.
Although most of the land is in the northern portion of the state, two of the properties up for sale are located in Washington County in an auction ending on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
The Utah Department of Transportation, in partnership with SVN Auction Services and CRE Group Consulting, is auctioning off a pair of properties near state Route 7, also known as Southern Parkway.
The first — a 7.77-acre parcel at approximately 36 N. 2770 West in Hurricane — is listed as 30 minutes from Zion National Park, 20 minutes from St. George and the Black Desert Resort golf course and two hours from the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Near the intersection of Southern Parkway and state Route 9, or State Street within Hurricane city limits, the property is currently zoned as approved for manufactured mobile home, motorhome or recreational vehicle use, city planners said.
“The zoning is manufactured, mobile home and recreational vehicle with a planned development overlay as part of the Canyons RV development,” Hurricane City Planner Fred Resch told St. George News. “The city’s general plan calls for commercial uses along state Route 9. We encourage any potential developers to present city staff with any development ideas or any questions.”
The second property, located at approximately 5420 S. Warner Valley Road, is a 6.3-acre lot in Washington City limits near a Southern Parkway interchange currently under construction.
UDOT’s Southern Utah spokesman Kevin Kitchen said the state government agency has a responsibility to the public to preserve state-owned property that may be needed for future transportation use. But the department also should relinquish property that may be of greater use for economic or other public considerations, he said.
“We also recognize that other entities, private or public, may be better able to more efficiently manage properties no longer needed for the transportation use to the benefit of the public,” he said.
According to the state’s transportation website, the department “maintains almost 16,000 lane miles of state highway across Utah, which amounts to a multibillion-dollar investment in roads, bridges and other real property assets.”
UDOT and its predecessor, the State Road Commission, have been acquiring real property for highway development purposes since the early-1900s.
“This property acquisition process continues to move forward as the state’s highway facility footprint expands in proportion to Utah’s significant population growth,” the government website states.
Due to federal government regulations on state-owned property auctions, there are a few exceptions for businesses allowed to bid on the properties. Junkyards and billboards “other than those used to advertise the sale or lease of the property” are not allowed.
According to the auction website, to become a qualified bidder, a prospective purchaser must register using a credit card before being allowed to place a bid in the online auction.
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