Chapter 1
L A N D U S E

1. Existing Conditions

The extent and general location of standard land uses within the Town of Rockville are noted below:

Residential: The town’s residential uses are characterized almost exclusively as low-density single-family detached housing.

Agricultural and Open Space: Approximately 90-95% of the land area within Rockville’s town boundaries is devoted to agricultural uses and open space. These uses predominate south of the Virgin River, although recent years have seen a limited amount of residential growth in this area.

Commercial: There are no commercial or industrial uses in Rockville. There are a limited number of home based businesses in Rockville, which are only allowed on the basis of Conditional Use Permits.

Public Facilities: The old church and adjacent cultural hall, which are located in the center of town, constitute the only public facilities in Rockville. Historically, the public lands within and adjacent to Rockville have been used for recreation, grazing, and some limited woodcutting activities over the years. These public lands are also the source and location of the town’s culinary water system. Many of the town’s drainages and washes originate and/or pass through these public lands making them important for flood and erosion control and for the protection of properties below the cliffs.

2. Assumptions for the Future

In recent years Washington County has experienced and is continuing to experience the fastest population growth of any county in the State of Utah. St. George has been the focus of this growth, but increasing pressure is being felt on outlying rural communities as people search for quieter, less
urban places to live. It is assumed that these trends will continue into the foreseeable future and that Rockville will be increasingly seen as a desirable residential community. This will bring about greater pressures for residential development, which will have impacts on the existing infrastructure,
especially the culinary water system.

The area has also experienced dramatic growth in the numbers of tourists visiting nearby Zion National Park. It is assumed that visitation will continue to rise. Inasmuch as Rockville sits astride the thoroughfare into the park, it is likely that there will be increasing demands for commercial development along the highway.

3. Community Goals

The citizens of Rockville have expressed their views regarding the future of land use within the community. These goals will provide the basis for policies and decisions regarding land use within Rockville.

It is the intent of the Town’s residents that Rockville should maintain the present quiet, small town, rural atmosphere. Only compatible uses should be permitted or conditionally allowed.

Agricultural uses should be encouraged. Prime agricultural land should be identified and preserved for continued agricultural use or for low-density residential-agricultural development.

Residential uses should be limited to low-density, single-family dwellings. 

Home-based businesses should be compatible with the rural character of the area. All such uses should be conditional and subject to review and approval by the Town’s governing body. 

Uses which cause excessive air, water, noise, visual or other forms of pollution will not be permitted. 

Efforts should be made to improve blighted properties.

4. Planning Policies

The following policies will guide the implementation of the stated community goals regarding land
use:

Maintain zoning ordinances and a corresponding zoning map which reflect the community goals as stated in the General Plan.

Maintain sign standards which will enhance the town’s appearance and be reasonably affordable and flexible to landowners.

Utilize a development application and review process which includes pre-application checklists for both developers and town officials.

Development proposals must be compatible with the General Plan.

General Plan and Land Use Ordinances will be applied fairly.
Adopt an impact fee structure per Utah State Code.

 

With regard to household pets, adopt ordinances regarding control of noise, wastes, and numbers
allowed.

Encourage and request that any land uses considered for lands adjoining Rockville’s boundaries by Washington County and the Town of Springdale be consistent and compatible with Rockville’s ordinances, goals and policies.

Rockville will request that Federal and State land managers of the public lands within and adjacent to its boundaries manage those public lands in a manner which is compatible and consistent with the Rockville General Plan and ordinances.

 

Chapter 2
H O U S I N G

1. Existing Conditions

Single-family site-built houses on large lots is the predominant housing type in Rockville. Mobile homes are present, though considerably fewer in number. There are no multi-family dwellings in the Town. There is a small number of detached rental units. Some single-family residences have been converted to bed-and-breakfast inns.

2. Assumptions for the Future

Rockville has experienced increasing pressures for residential development as a result of population growth in the county as a whole. The anticipated demand will be primarily in the single-family sitebuilt market. However, nationwide and local trends indicate that recreational vehicle parks, mobile homes, and manufactured housing will continue to gain in popularity. It is assumed that there will be increasing pressure to accommodate these housing types.

Because of Rockville’s location, adjacent to Zion National Park, it is anticipated that there will be a growing demand in the immediate area for secondary, or vacation, homes. These may either be single-family site-built structures or multiple-dwelling units and condos. The focus of this market, which has already made itself manifest, will likely be to the south of the Town proper. There will also be pressure for the development of recreational vehicle parks to accommodate seasonal residents. 

It is also assumed that there will be continuing pressure to convert existing residences to bed-and breakfast inns.

3. Community Goals

The citizens of the community have voiced the following preferences regarding housing:

Single-family, low-density housing should remain the predominant housing type.

High-quality construction standards should be upheld.

Any new construction should conform to the general character of the existing community.

Encourage energy efficient housing design and construction.

4. Planning Policies

The following policies should be pursued in order to foster community housing goals:

Any development which may occur in Rockville shall be carefully planned, consistent, and phased so that the town’s quiet, rural values are maintained.
Enact zoning ordinances which will ensure the specific density and character of future development.

In accordance with judicial guidelines, manufactured housing which meets Uniform Building Code standards will be considered the same as site-built housing, and will be subject to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance.

Adhere to the Uniform Building Code as the standard by which structures should be built.

Maintain a nuisance ordinance for the preservation of a quiet, orderly community.

Develop a General Plan moderate income housing component which complies with Utah State statute mandate for December 1998.

Chapter 3
Population and Services

1. Existing Conditions

Rockville has a population of approximately 225 persons. The population is primarily concentrated within the Town proper along the main highway. 

Given the small population size and the limited tax base, the Town can provide only the most basic municipal services.

2. Assumptions for the Future

Rockville can expect to feel pressures from population growth in the surrounding area. The limitations on the available services may tend to slightly inhibit but not stop these pressures. Any substantial increase in population will cause a greater demand on existing services and infrastructure.

The major impact is likely to be on culinary water needs. There will probably be impacts on roads and/or the need for an additional bridge.

Recent trends in government finance show less money being available from state and federal programs and greater responsibility being placed on local governments. It is anticipated that this trend will continue.

3. Community Goals

The citizens of the Town have expressed the following preferences:

The town should encourage a limited growth policy. The optimum community size ranges from the present 225 up to 500 persons over an extended period of years.
Taxes should be held to a minimum. The present level of services is preferable over increased taxes.
The Town will work with the existing privately owned culinary water system to ensure that it will be maintained to meet the needs of the community.

4. Planning Policies

The policies by which the above-stated goals should be implemented are, as follows:
Manage the ultimate growth of the community by setting density for land use types. The amount of
available culinary water will also be taken into consideration as a managing factor on the amount of
growth.

Adopt an impact fee structure which will comply with Utah State statute.

Adopt fiscal guidelines which will provide a contingency within the municipal budget for
unforeseen services needs.

Rockville shall live within its financial means by providing a modest level of services to its
citizens.

Chapter 4

Transportation

1. INTRODUCTION

The effectiveness and functionality of the transportation system and how it services population growth has significant impact on the community. The Town plans should provide a safe, convenient and efficient system of transporting both people and goods to, from and throughout the community, and complements the quality of life in Rockville.

2. TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN

A Transportation Master Plan provides for safe and efficient transportation and flow of traffic within the community. It is recommended that the Town prepare and maintain such a plan to meet the demands of future growth and the use of town streets. The existing roadways that are shown on the Rockville transportation Map, provide a foundation for such a plan. The map can be viewed in the Town Office.

Recommended components of a Rockville Town Transportation Master Plan include:

a. Policies which foster a safe and effective street system
b. Classification of streets according to their intended function
c. Street design standard guidelines
d. Identification of areas where street improvements are needed.

3. STREET AND TRAFFIC ISSUES

The following transportation issues relating to streets and vehicular traffic were identified in the preparation process and should be incorporated in the updates to the Transportation Master Plan:

a. Street maintenance and improvement throughout town
b. Improved street signage
c. Improved sidewalks in the community
d. Traffic / speed calming throughout town
e. Construct new transportation corridor and bridge on the West side of Town

4. EXISTING CONDITIONS

Rockville sits astride SR-9, which serves as the main street and has an annual average traffic count of 3,000 vehicles per day. The remainder of the town is served by improved and unimproved access roads. The layout of the street system is adequate for present needs.

Certain traffic safety problems exist. These include excessive traffic speed, on-street parking, large RV’s and trailers, and illegal passing on the main highway. These problems pose safety hazards to both the residents and the transient motorists.

Another area of concern is the intersection of Bridge Road and SR-9. The narrowness of the road at this point poses difficulties to entering and exiting traffic. The existence of utility poles and the historic irrigation ditch compound the limited width of the roadway.

5. ASSUMPTIONS FOR THE FUTURE

Due to the increasing traffic flow due to recreational traffic and potential for residential growth on the south side of the Virgin River, it will be necessary to locate an alternate crossing and construct a new transportation corridor and bridge. Inasmuch as the existing bridge has historical significance for the community, rehabilitation to preserve the bridge and continue its use for vehicular traffic is desired by the community.

There is developable land on both the north and south sides of the river adjacent to the town proper. Development in these areas is expected in coming years, bringing with it access problems.

It is assumed that visitation to Zion National Park will continue to rise and that the increasing traffic flow along SR-9 will serve to exacerbate the existing problems regarding speed, parking and illegal passing.

Increase traffic on residential access roads may result in greater maintenance needs and costs.

6. COMMUNITY GOALS

The citizens have expressed a desire for the following goals concerning transportation and circulation in Rockville:

a. The traffic speed along Highway 9 should be decreased and/or enforced.
b. Ensure the safe accommodation of traffic on all the streets within Rockville through
proper maintenance, signage and controls.
c. Minimize impact of on-street parking and traffic speed.

7. PLANNING POLICIES

The following policies will guide the stated community goals regarding transportation and circulation:

a. Coordinate efforts with the Utah Department of Transportation in order to ameliorate the traffic problems along SR-9.
b. Monitor traffic flow and parking within the town to identify potential problems and trouble spots.
c. Establish a transportation element within a Capital Improvements Program for the maintenance and phased improvement of roads and other transportation needs.

Chapter 5
E N V I R O N M E N T

1. Existing Conditions

Rockville is favored with one of the most beautiful physical settings in the region. Detrimental impacts on the physical environment within the limits of Rockville have been minimal. In general, a harmonious relationship between the human and the natural environments exists.

Rockville has varied terrain which includes rugged cliffs, steep hillsides, benchlands, canyons and washes, river plain, and riparian zone. The relatively unmarred nature of these features is an integral part of the character of Rockville.

The human environment also offers special features which are meaningful to the residents of Rockville. These include Grafton, the Old Church and Recreation Hall, the bridge, the trees and irrigation ditch along Highway 9, and the street lights over the highway.

2. Assumptions for the Future

Pressures for development within Rockville could have negative impacts on the quality of the environment if not controlled. Experience in other communities has shown the propensity of new development to encroach on river plains and hillsides, often at the expense of natural systems and to the detriment of the community as a whole. In some cases potential and real natural hazards are disregarded in the siting of developments. For these reasons it is necessary to identify and protect the areas which have environmental and community significance and the features which pose potential natural hazards.

3. Community Goals

The following natural areas and features should be afforded a high degree of protection, and should be subject to sensitive lands ordinances and control:

In general, all elevated areas such as hillsides, hilltops, benches, mesas, and mountains should be protected. Specifically, the following areas should be afforded special protection:

Rockville Bench
Rockville Mesa
Rockville Water Shed

In general, all drainage areas such as floodplains, riparian zones, watercourses, and washes
should be protected. Specifically, the following areas should be afforded special protection:

Virgin River floodplain and riparian zone
Horse Valley Wash
Huber Wash
Wire Valley Wash
South Wash
Grafton Wash
Coal Pits Wash

The following historical and cultural features should be protected to the extent that their character is preserved:

Grafton area
Old Church and Recreation Hall
Rock irrigation ditch and the trees along State Route 9
Bridge over the Virgin River
Existing street lighting system
Structures and buildings with historical and cultural significance

Other areas which should be protected and subject to strict development controls are noted, as
follows:

Scenic vistas (benches and mesas)
Water supply/aquifer recharge areas
Unstable soils

4. Planning Policies

The following policies will guide the community goals regarding features of natural and cultural significance:

Establish a comprehensive sensitive lands ordinance. The ordinance shall contain provisions for the protection of scenic vistas (e.g. establishing appropriate setbacks from crests and limiting building heights, etc.)

Proposed development projects may be required to include a geotechnical soils report prepared by a qualified professional. In addition, the Town retains the right to require additional studies as it may deem necessary.

Riparian zones, floodplains, and washes should be for flood control, agricultural and recreation purposes.

The Town shall encourage the protection and enhancement of significant historical features through the establishment of an historical preservation ordinance.

Maintain a nuisance ordinance for the preservation of a safe, clean, quiet town environment.

 

Chapter 6
E C O N O M Y

1. Existing Conditions

Rockville has little economic activity within its boundaries. Existing economic activity is limited to agriculture, cottage enterprises, and a small number of bed-and-breakfast inns. Many of the Town’s working citizens are employed in neighboring Springdale or elsewhere in the county.

2. Assumptions for the Future

As noted, Rockville sits astride Highway 9, which has an annual average daily traffic count of 3000 vehicles. As visitation to Zion National Park increases so will the pressures for commercial development in the area, primarily on properties with highway frontage. The types of commercial activity most likely to seek development in Rockville are tourism and service-related enterprises, such as curio shops, convenience stores and overnight accommodations. It is less likely, though possible, that light manufacturing or construction-related enterprises will seek location in Rockville. Homebased occupations and cottage enterprises will likely see much greater interest and growth.

3. Community Goals

The majority of Rockville’s residents have chosen to see no commercial or industrial activities in the Town and to see Rockville as a residential, commuter community. 

Activities which may be acceptable under specified conditions are:

Agricultural enterprises
Bed-and-breakfast inns
Home Occupation businesses

Any activity, however, would be generally unacceptable if it were polluting , water-intensive, generated additional traffic, parking, noise, or had obtrusive signage or appearance.

 

Commercial activity is generally perceived as not being conducive to the character and chosen lifestyle of the community.

4. Planning Policies

The following policies should guide the Town’s dealings with proposed economic activities:

Commercial activities may be allowed only as conditional uses within specified areas
The Town will maintain a home occupation/cottage enterprise ordinance which defines and regulates the location and conduct of such enterprises.
The Town will maintain a sign ordinance which will limit signage to types and specifications that conform to the character of the community.

 

Chapter 7
C A P I T A L I M P R O V E M E N T S

1. Existing Conditions

Rockville has a capital improvements plan. The citizens of Rockville have been given the
opportunity to voice their opinions on the community’s capital improvement needs and priorities.

 

2. Assumptions for the Future

Rockville will be subject to increasing pressures for growth in the coming years. Increases in population will result in increased demands on the infrastructure of the community. The Town should anticipate its needs and plan for improvements in advance. This will assist in the budgeting process and will ensure orderly and thoughtful community development.

It is assumed that the trend of decreasing state and federal funds for local governments will continue. It will be necessary to rely more on local than external resources for funding capital improvement projects.

3. Community Goals

The citizens of Rockville have identified the following capital improvement needs (in alphabetical order):

Community Center and Town Park
Evaluation of bridge needs
Preserve historical structures
Road improvements
Town cemetery improvements
Town Hall
Upgrade sewage treatment system through cooperation with Springdale

Citizens favoring capital improvements are generally willing to support a small tax increase in order to fund projects with a justifiable need and if approved by the public.

4. Planning Policies

The following policies will guide the capital improvements planning process:

A capital improvements plan will be formulated and adopted by the Town for inclusion in its budgeting process. The capital improvements plan and funding allocations will be programmed on a five year basis and will be reviewed and updated annually. The public will be given ample opportunity for input and comment on the capital improvements planning process.

The Town will attempt to secure state and federal funds to complement local funds for capital improvement needs.

Tax increases for capital improvements will be sought only if necessary.

Capital improvements needs necessitated by new developments will be paid for by the developer.

 

Chapter 8
A N N E X A T I O N

1. Existing Conditions

 

The Town of Rockville, at its incorporation, included over 9 square miles within its boundaries. This provides the Town with a considerable area for potential  expansion. It also provides a buffer over which the Town has control, thereby ensuring separation from future adjacent development.

2. Assumptions for the Future

Although Rockville will experience growth in the coming years, the existing amount of land within the Town’s boundaries is sufficient to accommodate it. However, a key issue is the development of and control over water resources sufficient to supply the community in the future. It may be necessary to consider declaring an interest in the possible annexation of additional land for that purpose.

3. Community Goals

The citizens of Rockville desire consideration of annexation to protect water sources, provide scenicbuffer zones, and to protect Rockville from potential natural and man-made hazards.

4. Planning Policies

The following policies will be followed as pertains to annexation issues:

Annexation may be considered when justified by overriding community needs such as development of and control over municipal water sources, protection of scenic vistas and open space, and protection from encroachment by commercial development along Hwy 9 corridor on the west.
There may be other reasons for the town to consider annexation, which are presently unknown but are consistent with the above justifications.
As property owners file for annexation to Rockville, plans for extending town services will be included with the annexation agreement.
Costs incurred in extending municipal services to an annexed area will be paid for by the owners of the annexed territory.
All administrative costs incurred in annexation will be paid for by the owners of property to be annexed.