History of Dixie Springs

History Introduction

Dixie Springs has a long and sometimes sorted history starting in the 1960’s. The Dixie Springs we know today would have never happened except for the tireless efforts of one person: Clarence Jolley. He was the one that made Dixie Springs a viable community. Unfortunately, Clarence passed away 9/25/2019 at the age of 91. I tried to get more information from him, but he passed away before we could get together. The history was put together using Washington County records, Hurricane city records, and interviews with employees and the title company contact who worked with Clarence to make Dixie Springs viable. There were many hours spent looking through lots of old paper records since the records from that era were all done on paper.

This is a chronological narrative of the history. There are links to PDFs of the plat maps and documents that are referred to in this narrative so you can view the maps and read the documents yourself.

1967 - 1973

1967 to 1973 Washington County Minutes

1967

In 1967, a developer, Great Western Horizons, purchased old farm land and recorded a subdivision. The developer bulldozed sand roads in the entire Dixie Springs area and started selling large lots – some lots of 2-1/2 acres in size. The original plat map was filed on 18 May 1967. Many of the lots measured 140 feet by 300 plus feet and were the size of three of the current lots. Some were larger at approximately 300 feet by 300 feet. The middle area of vacant land (still there) was originally slated for a “Civic Plaza”. Plat “G” was not in this original map. Also, the area where the park is now contained home lots, but the area was vacated in a later plat map. In a conversation I had with Clarence Jolley, he said that the City of Hurricane made him give the “Civic Plaza” land in order to go forward with the development. I never got any more information than that.

1967 Plat Map

1967 Newspaper Ad

The developer had an A-Frame building in the entrance near the pecan farm and sold lots for about 5 years. The developer was selling raw land – the closest utilities were on Sand Hollow Road. Many of these lots were sold, mainly to people from out of state and many of those were from California. At that time, there were plans to put a dam on the Virgin River which would have made this lakeside property. When the plans for the dam fell through, the value of the property dropped dramatically. The wind blew sand over the roads in a few years and the A-frame and the developer went away. Since there were no utilities or access, no structures were built.

4/10/1967. Washington County Commissioners Meeting

“A group of the Dixie Springs Subdivision met with the Commissioners, and presented a Contour map of their area and Plat A. of the Dixie Springs Subdivision which was given to Scott Prisbrey to check over. The maps and Plat seem to be in order.”

5/8/1967. Washington County Commissioners Meeting

The plat map was reviewed by the Washington County Commission, and they put requirements on Great Western Horizons before it could be approved, including a $20,000 bond.

5/22/1967. Washington County Commissioners Meeting

“Dixie Springs Project Signed: The Dixie Springs Project, which had been previously approved subject to them complying with certain provisions, was signed by Chairman Truman Bowler, May 19, 1967. Approved by Commission.”

6/5/1967. Washington County Commissioners Meeting

“Dixie Springs Project Surety: Wayne Wilson and R. W. Lewis signed as Sureties for the Dixie Springs Project, otherwise known as Great Western Horizons, Inc, for $20,000 and will be filed under contracts.”

March 1968

First lot was sold.

3/31/1969. Washington County Commissioners Meeting

“Road Construction at Dixie Springs: John C. Willie met with the County Commission on an Engineer coming in and checking on the proposed road construction for the Dixie Springs Project. The County Commission approved the same.”

This is one of many promises made by Great Western Horizons that were never met. There were no roads built, or any improvements made, until 2006. There were no roads to Dixie Springs and the lots were pretty much inaccessible. At the next Commissioner meeting, another set of broken promises was made.

6/30/1969. Washington County Commissioners Meeting

“Dixie Springs Blocks C and D. Wayne John met with the Planning Board on approval of Dixie Springs Subdivision Blocks C and D. The County Attorney and Banker Victor Rainway were also present. The Dixie Springs have a contract with Stratton Brothers to build roads for the Subdivision, about 10 miles of road for $45,000. They will have the bond money in the Bank of St George to insure this road. They also expect to pave the road soon after it has been built. He also reported that people cannot build on these lots until the utilities are in. They plan to have a sewer system, although some may be approved for septic tanks. Scott Prisbrey and John Willie made suggestions and recommendations for this project. A motion to approve this project, subject to the completion of recommendations by Scott and John, was approved.”

1969. Plat Amendment

The beginning of the fraud. Wayne John asked the Washington County Planning Commission to vacate the existing plat and approve a new one.

1969 Plat Map West Half

1969 Plat Map East Half

This map took the large lots and broke them into three or more lots of the lot size we have today. However, there was a BIG problem with this new plat map. People had already purchased some of the larger lots and the developer was planning to sell the same land, now broken into smaller lots, again. The Planning Commission had issues with the plan. They did not approve it and wanted more information from the developer. They also wanted the developer to work with the County attorney. On the same day the Planning Committee tabled the request again because the developer was not responding to them adequately, the Washington County Commissions were deceived by the smooth-talking Wayne John (the representative of the developer) and approved the revised plat map on 6/19/1972. On 4/30/1973, the Washington County Commission realized their embarrassing error, and quietly rescinded the approval of the revised plat map. The problem was people had been purchasing these new lots and, in some cases, purchasing land that had already been sold. I was told there was a lawsuit and Wayne John served a prison sentence for this fraud.

Sequence of Events

9/20/1971. Washington County Planning Meeting. “Dixie Springs Subdivision – request to vacate existing plat and to approve a revised plat in the Dixie Springs area of Washington County, Wayne John, applicant, but not present. Wayne Wilson was asked to come into the meeting. John Willie feels the big problem in this matter is a legal one. Leon feels we should keep some kind of existing boundaries. Leon moved that we table this until next meeting so we can get the comments of John Willie and the County Attorney, and a letter be written to Wayne John to get the whole thing in a position to comply with the zoning ordinance.”

1/17/1972. Washington County Planning Meeting. “Dixie Springs Subdivision – request to vacate existing plan and to approve a revised plat in the Dixie Springs are of Washington County. Wayne John applicant and present. Jim Sandberg, engineer, also present. There are 682 lots in this subdivision. Comments and recommendations by the planning consultant. It is his thinking that in order to vacate has to so with the County Commissioners and the County Attorney. Mr. John does not want to vacate unless the Commission will approve the new one. After some discussion it was decided that this would have to be tabled until the County Attorney and Mr. John could get together on the legal aspects of this.”

3/20/1972. Washington County Planning Meeting. “Dixie Springs Subdivision – request to vacate existing plan and to approve a revised plat in the Dixie Springs area of Washington County. Wayne John, applicant but not present. Comments were made by our planning consultant and he states that Wayne John had contacted him and was having a meeting with our County Attorney in Los Angeles now. After some discussion, Commissioner Web moved that we table this until such time we can get to see the County Attorney about the matter.”

6/19/1972. Washington County Planning Meeting. “Vacation of plat and approval of amended plat. Located between Washington and Hurricane in the Dixie Springs area of Washington County – Great Western Horizons, applicant. This is tabled until the July planning board meeting.”

6/19/1972. Washington County Commissioners Meeting. “Dixie Springs Project Plats Vacated” The petition to vacate plats of Dixie Springs Projects, Blocks A, B, C & D of plat “A” was approved by the County Commissioners and on the approval of the County Attorney, J. Ralph Atkin. … Mr Atkin will prepare an appropriate order. The road bond in the amount of $45,000 held by the clerk on Time C.D. was approved to be released to Wayne John.”

8/21/1972. Washington County Planning Meeting. “Dixie Springs Subdivision – table from July, 1972, vacation of plat and approval of amended plat. Located between Washington and Hurricane in the Dixie Springs area of Washington County – Great Western Horizons, applicant. This was again tabled as no one appeared on it”

Sep 1972, Dec 1972, Jan 1973. Washington County Planning Meeting. Tabled. No one there.

2/26/1973. Washington County Planning Meeting. “Dixie Springs Subdivision – approval of amended subdivision plat. Located between Washington and Hurricane in the Dixie Springs area of Washington County – Great Western Horizons, applicant. Wayne John was present, representing Great Western Horizons.
Comments and recommendations were given by the Planning Consultant. Abandonment of the previous Dixie Springs Subdivision was discussed. Mr. John stated that he is getting the signatures of most of the people who had been sold lots in the old subdivision and would advertise in the newspapers in the area where the people live of those he is unable to get, and let them know of the abandonment and the new subdivision plans.
There was discussion about the types of homes, maintenance of the open area, septic installation, and other issues.
Scott McGregor moved we give preliminary approval subject to the Planning Consultant’s recommendations, and the County Attorney’s approval of Plat C and D, and the general overall plan provided they get all the signatures of the owners of the previous subdivision, which has been abandoned. (The motion was approved).
Wayne John suggested that the old plat be re-instated so the people that were sold the lots and do have deeds on the same, will have a plat to match their deeds to. The County Attorney feels there is no need to reinstate.”

4/30/1973. Washington County Commissioners Meeting. “Dixie Springs Blocks A, B, C, D and E, Plat A Order Rescinded: Commissioner Church moved, seconded by Commissioner Webb, put to vote by Chairman Bowler, that the Order Vacating Blocks A, B, C, and D, Plat A, Dixie Springs Subdivision dated July 21, 1972, signed by Chairman Bowler, and recorded in the Recorder’s office, be rescinded. The County Attorney will prepare an order.”

6/18/1973. Washington County Commissioners Meeting. “Final approval – Dixie Springs Subdivision, amended plat. Located between Washington and Hurricane in the Dixie Springs area of Washington County, Great Western Horizons, applicant. Tabled from the May 21, 1973 meeting. No one appeared to represent Great Western Horizons. Because this has been carried from meeting to meeting and no one appeared on the matter, Scott McGregor moved that the Motion for final approval be denied. This was seconded by Robert Perry, put to vote by Chairman Bowler, and each voted Aye.”

1973 - 2019

Lot Transfer Process

Clarence Jolley had purchased many lots in Dixie Springs and wanted to see the subdivision succeed. While he had a financial interest in seeing the subdivision succeed, he also was relentless. He worked for years to get the lot owners to agree to transfer their lots to CCD LLC (the Title Company), and on the same day that occurred, an equivalent amount of land in lots in the new platting would be transferred back to them. These lots were as close as possible to the land they had previously owned. Clarence traveled around the country to talk personally to lot owners to get their agreement. People were suspicious since they had already been taken by the developer. Clarence got the people to trust that he would do the land swap as promised. 2 or 3 lot owners did not agree and they did not become part of Dixie Springs, but I would not find out what happened to the land they owned.

Clarence had to work through the mess that the County created by approving the second plat map that Great Western Horizons proposed. Clarence started the process of getting owners to agree to the land swap after Mr. John was sent to prison. I do not know when Clarence started the process of getting the lot owners to agree to the land swap, but this process was completed on 5/1/1998. Great Western Horizons quit all claims of its title and interest in Dixie Springs on 8/17/1993.

When the lots transferred in 1998, the people that owned the lots knew that SIDs would be applied. They agreed because the SIDs would provide access to the land and utilities. Without this, the land would be worthless.

1993. An ecology study for Sand Hollow was started in 1993.

1993 Annexation Request

7/8/1993. The property owners of Dixie Springs requested annexation into the City of Hurricane. The Washington County Commissioners supported the annexation, but it did not occur. It is interesting that the request for annexation shows the plat map that was rescinded in 1973. The annexation request is an interesting read. It states that lot owners have been “stranded for many years not being able to do anything...” They were also concerned that the water rights they acquired for Dixie Springs would be taken back for non-use.

1993 Annexation Request

8/17/1993. Great Western Withdraws

8/17/1993. Great Western Horizons quit all claims of its title and interest in Dixie Springs.

1994. The feasibility study was completed for the Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Lot Transfer Occurs

5/1/1998 was a big day for Dixie Springs. This is the day that the transfer occurred from the old plat map to a plat map that is close to the one we have today. It is also the day that the CC&Rs were applied to the lots.

1998 Plat Map

5/1/1998. All of the lots in Dixie Springs were transferred to CCD LLC. The lots were exchanged for lots close to where the lots were that they had with the equivalent amount of land.

5/1/1998. On that same day the lots moved to CCD LC, it was platted into the sections we have now. After the transfer, the following companies associated with Clarence Jolley owned 477 lots. Clarence was the “owner” of the CC&Rs until he sold most of his lots just after the last set of CC&Rs were published in 2014.

Plat Mardyne Industries, Clarence Jolley Trustee SW Land Management, Clarence Jolley Dixie Springs Inc, Clarence Jolley
A 13 32 61
B 24 37 44
C 22 36
D 8 31 45
E 39 9
F 24 43
G 9

5/1/1998. Original CC&Rs filed by Dixie Springs, Inc.

SIDs and the Building of the Infrastructure

11/30/1998. Special Improvement District was created by Washington County. Improvements were expected to cost $19,254,800 at $13,650 per lot.

2000. Work started on the Sand Hollow reservoir.

3/14/2000. Washington County Planning Commission Meeting. The SIDs created in 1998 had not been finalized. Reed Noble, the agent for the planner for Dixie Springs, we requesting an amended plat map to bring road adjustments to accommodate a water line for the Conservancy District. The road would be the major access into the subdivision and Sand Hollow Reservoir.
Reed Noble said they lost 14 lots with this revision, but these individual owners would exchange for new holdings in Plat “G”. They needed to obtain 38 signatures and of those 37 signatures have been secured.
There was a lot of discussion about this change and they tabled the request until the Commission could look at the Hurricane Street Master Plan and information about the Southern Corridor.

3/28/2000. Washington County Planning Commission Meeting. “AMENDED PLAT. Request permission to amend the subdivision plat for Dixie Springs - Phase “C”, generally located southwesterly of Hurricane, Utah. Reed Noble, agent.”
With the amended plat, the initial roadway will be a centrally located access with a divided 4 lane highway. There were concerns about having only one road to access Dixie Springs. After discussion, the revised plat map was approved.

2002. The Sand Hollow Reservoir was completed in 2002. Sand Hollow State Park was dedicated April 2003.

12/1/2004. Washington County Intention resolution for Dixie Springs SID, No. 2004-1.
The original SID was created by Washington County in 1998 but nothing was ever done. The original SID encompassed all of the plats in Dixie Springs. Then a new SID was created by Washington County that only encompassed plats A, B and G. I could not find any reason that the SID was changed to only cover part of Dixie Springs, but it may have been too big a project to take on all at once.

2/1/2005. The Washington County Commission held a public hearing for the creation of the SID for plats A, B and G. Special Improvement District (SID) No. 2004-1, will be $11,478,077.00. That cost will be divided among 542 lots, resulting in a total assessment per lot of $21,177.00. One owner complained because the amount of the SIDs had been greatly increased:
“Kelly Mandel, a property owner in the Dixie Springs Subdivision, voiced concerns with a letter she received from the County. She said item #6 in the letter deals with street improvements. She wanted to know if the current property owners would be assessed more fees when additional areas are developed. Commissioner Gardner said no additional fees will be added to the lots involved in this phase of the SID. The final figure will be set and no additional costs will be added with new phases. Ms. Mandel said when she bought her property, she was told the SID assessment would be $13,600.00. Then in April of 2004 she was told the SID assessment would be $16,000.00. Now she has been informed that the assessment will be $21,478.00. She noted that this assessment has almost doubled since they purchased their property.”
There were no other people that wanted to talk, and no other opposition to the SID had been received by the County.

2/15/2005. Special Improvement District for plats A, B and G was approved. Total cost was estimated at $11,641,077. The estimated cost per lot was $21,478. It could be paid in 10 annual installments.

3/1/2005. Washington County Commission Meeting Minutes. “Dixie Springs SID. Mr. Whitehead said bids for the Dixie Springs Special Improvement District were received this morning. They were opened and are now being analyzed. The bid will tentatively be awarded at the April 5, 2005, Commission Meeting.”

4/5/2005. Washington County Commission Meeting Minutes. “AWARD OF BID / CONSTRUCTION / DIXIE SPRINGS SID / RON WHITEHEAD. Administrator to the Commission John Willie said bids were called for in March of 2005. Five (5) firms bid on the project. He said Creamer & Noble Engineers have reviewed the bids and the low bid was by Golf Services Group, Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska. Their proposed bid was $5,741,405.30, approximately $200,000 beneath the engineer’s estimate for this project. MOTION: Motion by Commissioner Ence to accept the bid of Golf Services Group, Inc., in the amount of $5,741,405.30 to perform all work for construction of the Dixie Springs Subdivision, Plats A, B, and G Construction Project.”

6/7/2005. Washington County Commission Meeting Minutes. PUBLIC HEARING AND CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST FOR PLAT AMENDMENT, DIXIE SPRINGS SUBDIVISION SECOND AMENDMENT AND EXTENSION PLAT “B,” KIMBALL L. YOUNG, APPLICANT/CREAMER & NOBLE ENGINEERS/STEVE LAYTON, PROJECT MANAGER. They want to amend one (1) large lot to create six (6) smaller lots, which would go with the rest of the development. The amendment was approved.

6/27/2005. Washington County Commission Meeting Minutes. Agreement between Washington County and Water Conservancy District re Purchase of Property Dixie Springs Subdivision and Dedication of Public Roadways. Washington County Commission Meeting Minutes. WASHINGTON COUNTY TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN WASHINGTON COUNTY AND THE WASHINGTON COUNTY WATER CONSERVANCY DISTRICT REGARDING THE PURCHASE OF PROPERTY IN CONNECTION WITH THE DIXIE SPRINGS SUBDIVISION AND THE DEDICATION OF PUBLIC ROADWAYS. This Resolution involves property that the County will be purchasing for the Dixie Springs Special Improvement District for a detention basin. It also deals with the dedication of two (2) roads for that project.

7/12/2005. Washington County Commission Meeting Minutes. Engineering Services Agreement between Washington County and Rosenberg Associates/Dixie Springs SID. Washington County Commission Meeting Minutes. “CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION NO. R-2005-967 AUTHORIZING WASHINGTON COUNTY TO EXECUTE AN ENGINEERING SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN WASHINGTON COUNTY AND ROSENBERG ASSOCIATES FOR THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT OF THE RESIDENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS IN THE DIXIE SPRINGS SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT, LOCATED NEAR HURRICANE, UTAH Chairman Eardley said three (3) competitive bids were received for this project. Rosenberg Associates was the low bidder. Action taken today will be subject to legal review by the County Attorney’s Office and approval by the Public Works Department. The resolution was approved.

8/9/2005. Washington County Commission Meeting Minutes. “CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTION OF ORDINANCE NO. 2005-884-O VACATING THE HALF ROAD WITHIN LOT 226, DIXIE SPRINGS SUBDIVISION AMENDMENT AND EXTENSION, PLAT “B” MOTION: Motion by Commissioner Gardner to adopt Ordinance No. 2005-884-O Vacating the Half Road Within Lot 226, Dixie Springs Subdivision Amendment and Extension, Plat “B.” Approved.

7/25/2006. Creamer and Noble Engineers sent a letter to all the property owners of Dixie Springs asking them to sign a petition to annex Dixie Springs into the City of Hurricane. The reason is Washington County was hesitant about sponsoring the SIDs required to construct Plats C, D, E and F. They also stated in the letter that the contractor, Gulf Services, Inc, was unable to complete the majority of the work for Plats A, B and G. Their bonding agent hired another contractor to complete the work. This was a fairly expensive process for the bonding agent but there were no added costs for the property owners. The new contractor was Interstate Rock Products and they expected them to complete the work in September of 2006.

12/19/2006. Dixie Springs was annexed into the City of Hurricane. There were no houses in Dixie Springs when Dixie Springs was annexed into the City of Hurricane.

Building and Hurricane Special Assessment Area

3/26/2007. The first building permit for Dixie Springs was approved by the City of Hurricane. It was for Jerry Schulz, lot A73, 4162 Tanner Circle. He was very proud of that first permit, and asked the folks at the city to take a picture of him with the permit. The first permit for a lot in Plat B was approved for B28 on 5/31/2007, and for Plat G for G69 was 8/31/2007.

Here are the permit numbers for the first few years of Dixie Springs:

Year Number of Permits
2007 42
2008 16
2009 13
2010 19
2011 34
2012 53

Some builders built a lot of spec homes in 2007 and before the crash in 2008. Two of the builders that had the most homes at that time, Stonewood Builders and Almega Homes, went out of business after the crash in 2008. Some homes were not finished, and others were finished but sat empty for many years.

6/23/2008. Dixie Springs Assessment Area created for plats C, D, E, and F. This was done just before the crash of 2008 so it took until August of 2013 to open up phase 2. When people saw that the assessments were coming, some people went to the city of Hurricane to ask if they would just take their land since they did not want to pay the assessment, but the City could not take their lots. The City of Hurricane had a very hard time funding the improvements for phase 2 because it was considered a very risky project. They managed to get bonds that were to be paid off in 15 years. Dixie Springs has done so well that the bonds were paid off in half that time.

Here is the letter sent to the property owners:
“On November 15, 2007 the Hurricane City Council approved a resolution to start the process of creating the Dixie Springs phase II Improvement District. This replaces the resolution approved on October 18, 2007. This was necessary because of a problem with the first mailing so the process was started over to meet the legal requirements of the district. As part of this process, we are sending you a copy of the resolution. The resolution contains information on the district such as the improvements to be provided and the estimated cost per lot of these improvements. The estimate is higher than estimated at the beginning of the year. Costs have risen, reviews have added things that were missed, cost for the reserve funding and other legal requirements have been added. The actual cost when completed will govern the assessment. We expect the bids to be lower than the estimate since construction has slowed some in the area and we are bidding during the winter when contractors from other areas bid for work here as well. The process from here is as follows: On December 20, 2007 the City Council will hold a public hearing to consider creating the district. Anyone who has a protest should either come to the hearing or send a letter. If there are too many protests, the council may not adopt the district or may continue the hearing until the concerns or protests can be resolved. Once the Council has created the district, the project can be advertised for bid and construction started. We expect to be bidding to be in February or March. Once construction starts the improvements will be constructed over a period of around 12-15 months. Once the improvements are completed, the City will obtain financing over a 15-year period and assessments including interest will be sent to each property owner annually. Those who have paid the upfront $3,000.00 will be credited for this amount plus any interest collected on this amount. Those who have not paid the $3,000.00 will have this amount included with their assessment plus interest. Anyone wishing to pay their improvements in full will be given an opportunity to pay before the final financing is completed.”
The assessment per lot was $30,000. The assessments could be paid in 15 annual principal installments with the interest on the unpaid balance at a rate fixed by the Council. The whole assessment or any part if it could be paid without interest if it is paid within 25 days after the assessment become effective.

6/29/2010. Amendment 1 of the CC&Rs.

3/20/2013. Amendment 2 of the CC&Rs.

8/1/2013. Phase 2 opens.

8/26/2014. Amendment 3 of the CC&Rs.

9/25/2019. Clarence Jolley dies at the age of 91.

Census Numbers

In the 1980 census, Hurricane had 3815 people. In the 2017 census, Hurricane had 17,315 people. Dixie Springs has 1390 house lots. At an average of 2.8 people per household, a full Dixie Springs can have 4031 people.

Finally

Given the history, it is amazing that Dixie Springs has become the community it is. It was originally envisioned as an area suited to starter homes. No one could have anticipated what it would become.