Join Now

Legislative Updates

Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day

February 8, 2021

Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day

Monday, Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way

Oh Monday mornin’, you gave me no warning’, of what was to be

  • The Mamas and Papas, 1966

 

This classic 60’s rock song kind of captured the tone of this day for planning issues at the legislature.

 

Let’s start with affordable housing and the ADU bill, both of which were up for discussion today with different bills.

 

At noon today, the Utah Commission on Housing Affordability met and discussed the particulars of SB164 – Utah Housing Affordability Amendments.  Commission co-chair, Sen. Jake Anderegg, is the sponsor of the bill.  The bill addresses a variety of housing assistance and land use and local regulatory and fee issues, and these were all discussed by the Commission and through comment from attendees.  No vote was taken as to whether the Commission would support the bill.  The co-chairs (Anderegg and Rep. Steve Waldrip) decided to postpone a vote until Commission members had an opportunity to offer alternative language for provisions in the bill.

 

Then later in the afternoon, the House Business and Labor Committee took up for a second time consideration HB82 – Single-Family Housing Modifications.  This link is a comparison of the 3rd substitute bill, which was the bill that was presented for consideration by the committee today.  The discussion on the bill was pretty pointed and direct both in favor and opposed, centering primarily on the issue of local control vs. state preemption.  Those on the local government side stated that such issues should be left to local communities and their officials who have a better feel for what would work best in their communities, and that each community faces different circumstances which would be best addressed by more tailored provisions.  On the other side, the argument was that local officials are sometimes driven exclusively by the local residents’ concerns which may not reflect the more urgent broader needs of the state’s current and future residents, and a state-level approach is needed.  Committee member Rep. Jim Dunnigan made good points on the local control side, while Rep. Mike Schultz gave a pretty impassioned speech about the need for a broader state-level hand.  In the end, the Committee voted 12-2 to report the bill out favorably, so it now goes to the House floor for a vote.  It’s worth a listen if this topic is important to you.

 

Here are a few recent media pieces related to these bills and issues:  a Trib story on legislative activity https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2021/02/07/heres-how-utah-lawmakers/; an opinion piece in support of local control https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2021/02/08/beth-chardack-dont-deny/; and a piece from Forbes on the positive aspects of state exemption when locals may not have a broad enough perspective https://www.forbes.com/sites/adammillsap/2018/03/06/when-states-should-preempt-local-governments/?sh=6241ac3a1ece

 

 

Also this afternoon, the Senate Natural Resources committee was scheduled to have a hearing on SB144 – Billboard Restriction Amendments, but it was pulled from the agenda and not considered.  Fox 13 News had a pretty good story about the two billboard bills in the legislature tonight, but it’s not showing up on their website yet.  I’ll send it along as soon as it does.

 

Looking forward to Tuesday, Tuesday – no bills scheduled for committee consideration!

 

 

Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee

Other Updates »