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Legislative Affairs

Affecting Utah Planning Policy

The APA Utah Legislative Committee is a standing committee of the Chapter under the direction of the Chapter Executive Committee.  Much of what planners, planning commissioners, and elected officials do in community planning and land use regulation is dictated by state law, the Legislative Committee provides a way for Chapter members to have a role in the development of  state policies and codes. 

Legislative Involvement

The Legislative Committee serves as the Chapter’s primary vehicle for influencing land use legislation by monitoring bills, testifying and commenting in legislative committee hearings, distributing information on proposed legislation to, and educating state legislators and staff. The Legislative Committee serves Chapter membership throughout the year by providing legislative updates during the session and educating planners on new legislation that impacts the planning community.

Additionally, Legislative Committee works closely with allied policy groups such as the Utah League of Cities and Towns and the Utah Association of Counties to provide important practitioner perspective to shape public policy.


The transcript from the April 14, 2020 APAUT/ULCT Legislative Update presentation is HERE.  meeting_saved_chat April 14 2020

Find the 2020 Legislative Update Companion Guide HERE 2020 Legislative Update Companion Guide 4_14_20  and the Zoom presentation HERE:2020 Legislative Update Zoom 4_14_20

The video recording will be posted soon.


This is a summary, just released from Legislative Research, of the bills for the Special Session. LegislationSummaries_v1_April_14




Land Use Task Force

Legislative Committee members also participate on the Land Use Task Force, a group composed of local government officials and representatives of the real estate development and building industries, to address issues and work out proposals for action, either legislatively or through local collaboration. LC members frequently advocate for policies consistent with APA Utah and National APA positions on important planning issues.

Interim committee meetings for August start today, with a couple of items of interest.


First, the Business and Labor interim committee will be discussing Accessory Dwelling Units today at 1:30 pm.  Our understanding is this will focus mainly on building code issues, but there may be broader discussion as well.


On Wednesday at 1:15 pm the Political Subdivisions interim committee will be discussing Annexation and Eminent Domain.  Annexation is a particularly hot topic right now with the goings on between the town of Hideout and Summit County and what may happen in the special session (see below).  Eminent Domain was the subject of a controversial bill during the last general session, and it looks like that will be the topic in tomorrow’s meeting.


Also on Wednesday the Transportation interim committee will be discussing Statewide Comprehensive Rail Planning, including expansion of the Frontrunner service.  Meeting will be at 8:30 am Wednesday.


On Thursday, the 6th Special Legislative session will be held, with a couple of items of particular interest to planners.  The controversial annexation amendment from the general session that led to the Hideout annexation controversy is on the docket for repeal.  In case you missed it, here’s the latest on that hot issue.


Also an amendment to the local referendum process is on the call for the session.  This is being prompted by the proposed referendum in Tooele County.  The change would change the timing required for referenda for general laws, as opposed to land use laws (which have a shorter time frame).  This stems from Tooele County officials determining that the referendum for the development project in Erda is a general law issue, not a land use law (though how a rezone action would not be considered and land use law is beyond me!).  A general law referendum would have to wait until November 20201 for a vote, while the timing for a land use law referendum could be held this November, thus the desired amendment to move things along.



Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee


Get Involved

If you would like to be involved with Legislative Committee or have legislative questions please contact Wilf Sommerkorn or Angela Price.