St. George city officials say business owner’s American flag pole too tall

ST. GEORGE — A St. George business owner feels he’s paying a price for patriotism after being issued a code-enforcement violation from the city of St. George stating that a flagpole displaying the American flag at his RV dealership is in violation of city ordinance.

However, city officials said the business owner didn’t obtain a conditional use permit for a variance allowing for the pole’s height, which they said is five times higher than what the ordinance allows.

For a short period of time, motorists traveling along Interstate 15 were greeted in St. George with a stunning symbol of national pride as a spectacular supersize American flag came into view just north of the Bluff Street Exit 6.

The flag, spanning 60 feet by 80 feet, waved through the sky from the top of a 150-foot pole erected approximately two months ago in the parking lot of Nielson RV at 341 E. Sunland Drive.

Two months after the pole was erected and approximately one week after the flag was raised, Scott Nielson, owner of Nielson RV, said he received a notice from the city dated April 18 stating his dealership was in violation of city code 10-14-13.

The notice stated:

“This over height flagpole has not been approved by planning commission or city council. Please correct the violations before 05/02/2017. A Code Enforcement Officer will check after this date to determine if the violations have been corrected.”

Nielson said he is trying to resolve the issue with city officials, who have told him he needs an exception, but no one with the city has been able to tell him what the exception will be.

“I don’t know what to do,” Nielson said, “I’m in a quandary because I don’t know if I need to cut the pole in half, if I can even fly the flag because how do I rectify the situation if the flag’s in the air and how do I meet the deadlines by May 2 if I don’t know what those exceptions are with the city?”

City officials said the issue has nothing to do with the American flag. The city’s issue is with the height of the flagpole and concerns that it may pose a safety risk, Marc Mortensen, St. George assistant to the city manager, said.


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