The St. George, Utah city council has unanimously approved more than 1,300 acres of zone changes for the first phase of construction at Desert Color, which will contain more than 10,000 new residential units across 3,350 acres at full buildout.

The first phase, which has no construction start date set, will add about 5,900 new residential units, including single-family homes and apartments, to Desert Color’s south parcel, closest to the Arizona border. The council has approved 190 acres of commercial zones, 148 acres of resort properties, 26 acres of agricultural land, 98 acres of open space and 875 acres of residential zones.

For St. George, rated as among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., the hope is for Desert Color to inspire the type of eco-friendly, traffic-efficient community building that could accommodate all of that anticipated population growth without melting into ugly urban sprawl.

[Brook Cole, chief planner of the development for Hyde Properties,] said the development is designed to be highly efficient, minimizing the amount of grass and other water-thirsty vegetation and focusing most of the green into shared public spaces. In addition, the entire development would be piped into the city's secondary water system, taking non-potable, brackish water unsuitable for culinary use and preventing waste of more valuable drinking water.

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