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Legislative Updates

Morris: Why do you bang your head against that brick wall? Boris: Because it feels so good when you finally stop!

March 11, 2021

Well, the session has been over for nearly a week, and it feels so good now that it’s stopped!


As noted through all our update messages, there was a lot that happened on land use, a bunch of which was not anticipated.  So now we need to assess what happened.  As promised, here are some recap sessions to try and get a handle on what’s different in the world of Utah land use administration and practice as a result of the session.


APA Utah and the Utah League of Cities and Towns will jointly do a quick and dirty recap of the significant changes to LUDMA and the practice of land use, things you need to know that have changed.  We don’t intend this to be a real get-down-in-the-weeds detail on what’s changed, but more an overview to let you know where things have been altered and if you’re doing something in those areas, you need to take a deeper look.  This recap is scheduled right now for March 24, noon-1:30 pm.  It will be on Zoom, thus discussion and questions will be fairly limited.  More details coming.


The League, at their mid-year conference in St. George, will also have a one-hour workshop similar to the one just mentioned.  That conference will be live in-person at the Dixie Center.  It will be held on the morning of April 23.  Requirements to attend apply (for COVID), so check out the conference webpage to get details.


And finally, APA Utah’s spring conference, due to COVID having messed up timing and things, will be held in sessions over a period of a few weeks in May.  A legislative update session where more detail about the bills will be discussed will be held live on May 13 at Bountiful City Hall.  There will be a session following with more detailed information on HB82 (the ADU bill), HB98 (plan checks, inspections, and design standards limitations), and SB164 (housing affordability).  Watch for details about this from APA Utah.


Other sessions on these and other bills will happen later in the year as well.


Unhappiness by local officials over some of the actions taken by the legislature on land use continues to bubble, as noted in this story from the Ogden Standard.  Will it mean changes in the next session?  Undoubtedly.  The Commission on Housing Affordability will continue to meet and discuss options, including as promised the provisions for inclusionary zoning that were taken out of SB164 this year to allow more time to work on this.  Impact fees, permit fees, and other things (billboards?) will also surely be discussed again.  Looks like this will be a busy interim for land use issues, and will the Land Use Task Force be up to it?  Hmmm…



Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee

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