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APA Utah News & Events


January 13, 2023 by Nicole Mason


January 11, 2023

By Wilf Sommerkorn

*Follow Wilf’s blog from our website:

Legislative Updates

With a tip of the hat to The Polar Express, I am revealing the first land use-related bills of the 2023 legislative session! (Doesn’t quite roll of the tongue like “the first gift of Christmas,” does it?).

First, let me just say this is shaping up to be a … I don’t know what kind of … session with regard to land use.  That’s because we really haven’t gotten any real language on what’s going to be in various bills that are being talked about, not even the Land Use Task Force bills.  It’s a long story, some of which I’ve recounted portions of in the past, but bottom line is, we just really don’t know what we’re going to get on land use issues this session.  There are hints that it’s going to be a significant session with regard to land use issues – statements from legislators that all hell is going to break loose, statements in the press that Speaker Wilson, who has worked in real estate as a commercial developer and homebuilder, indicated cities will be in the policy crosshairs.!!

Okay, with that introduction, let me get to the bills.  They are beginning to appear as the start of the session is now less than a week away.

The first is a bill that will make some modifications to the transit-oriented development investment zones – SB84 – Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone Amendments.  Most of these relate to the specific zone that the previous year’s bill mandated be established in Summit County, but there are some other changes as well. Nothing earth-shattering, but for those involved in these, something to stay on top of.

The next is a bill that is not specifically land use-oriented, but does affect local land use processes.  It is SB43 – Public Notice Requirements.  This bill comprehensively creates a new system of public noticing standards for all public notices in state and local government, including for land use processes.  It creates three main categories of notice, Class A, Class B, and Class C, each with varying requirements depending on the kind of action being noticed.  Most of our land use process noticing requirements become Class A notices, but there is one that is Class C.  The bill is huge because it changes the noticing requirements for everything in state and local government, so let me give you some reference points.  To see the language creating the new three classes, go to line 9512 in the bill.  To see the changes for land use processes, go to lines 2400-2522 for municipalities, and lines 4385-4819 for counties.

There is also SB27 – Transportation Revisions.  Mostly what it does related to land use is make some minor modifications to the station area planning requirements for those communities that have transit stations and are required to prepare these plans.  But it also makes an overall change that relates to all general plans – the bill would require that all amended or newly adopted general plans are sent to their AOG within 45 days of adoption.

Finally we have SB76 – Water Amendments.  This bill adds some more provisions and requirements to the general plan preparation requirements for the water use and preservation element.

Just to give a flavor of what may be coming, here’s a list of bills that have been filed for and are currently in process of being written – we have not seen the language of these bills yet.

Affordable Housing Amendments – Sen. Anderegg

Housing Affordability Amendments – Rep. Whyte

Single-Family Housing Amendments – Rep. Ward

Utah Lake Authority Amendments – Rep. Brammer

Airport Land Use Amendments – Rep. Ballard

Statewide Comprehensive Transit Plan – Sen. Anderegg

Water Conservation Amendments – Sen. Sandall

We also are aware that Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, co-chair of the Housing Affordability Commission, is working on a bill that will address housing and land use, but we have no idea what is going to be in that bill.  It is not listed among the bills being worked on as he has asked this bill to be protected and confidential.  Hmmm…

So it begins.  Plenty more to come.  Stay with us and help us out.  It’s going to be a most interesting year…

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