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Legislative Updates


November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

As promised, here’s a quick update on what the Land Use Task Force is working on, from what I’ve gleaned from notes I’ve seen, from conversations, and from reports on the LUTF in League LPC and Commission on Housing Affordability meetings.

For all the frequent meeting and talking that’s been going on by the LUTF, there is really not that much that seems to be moving forward.  The main items seem to be these:

  • HB409 vesting – you may recall that during this year’s legislative session, HB409, among other things, placed a 10-year limit on local governments from requiring any building or design standards on building permit applications more strict than those that were in place on the date of final plat approval. There is proposed language which would clarify these restrictions and remove the 10-year deadline, but essentially the requirement would be left in place.
  • Annexation petitions – during recent annexation kerfluffles, there have been questioned raised about the standing of petitions when annexation petitions conflict with other types of actions filed by third parties, such as incorporation or other actions. Language is apparently forthcoming to deal with some of these issues.
  • Improvement development standards – there has been considerable discussion over the last few years about the variation in design and engineering standards for city improvements that are required for subdivisions and other development. The PRC has expressed a desire to establish uniform improvement standards statewide, but this has been resisted by local governments because of variations in local conditions and preferences.  There appears to be some possibility that this year will see some kind of standardization requirement with possible options for justifiable variations.  This makes me think of Cam Diehl’s recent comment that if a lone or a few cities are doing something different from everybody else, expect legislation to deal with it!
  • Inclusionary zoning – this looked like a policy that might get some traction this year, but it has apparently stalled over the issue of incentives/compensation for developers if they are required to provide affordable housing through IZ. I will note that in the piece I wrote earlier this year, I noted that research shows that most “successful” IZ programs around the country do include incentives for provision of affordable housing.  Not sure this will go anywhere this year.

The LUTF has also talked about the efforts to link housing with economic development programs and incentives, but this seems to be being handled more thoroughly by the Unified Economic Opportunity Commission, which I mentioned in the first post on this blog.

There has also been discussion about administrative issues with how building and development permits are being handled by local jurisdictions, but League staff are working hard to address these issues with the individual communities rather than let them lead to sweeping legislation.  And the housing design restrictions that were passed during the last legislative session have been discussed, but no agreement on what to do seems to have been reached.

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