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Legislative Updates

New ADU bill out, and other things

February 18, 2021

The promised 4th Substitute HB82  – Single Family Housing Modifications was just adopted by the House today – not passed, just the new version substituted.  The bill is circled on the House floor, and should come up for a vote by the full House pretty soon.  Here’s the text comparison with the currently adopted version of the bill.  League staff have being working diligently on this bill and deserve credit for much of what has changed with this bill.  Here’s the alert from the League about the new version:

The 4th substitute is substantially similar to the “ULCT 3” proposal for which LPC adopted a neutral position. Although still a mandate, the 4th substitute is no longer a “one-size-fits-all” approach, recognizes that cities have unique needs and challenges, and is strengthened by new enforcement tools for cities. ULCT appreciates Rep. Ward’s efforts to strike a balance between internal ADUs as an affordable housing solution and the tools local governments need for their distinct communities. For these reasons, ULCT officers and the ADU working group have agreed to take a neutral position on the 4th substitute. Please see the highlights of the 4th substitute below.

Part 1: Zoning

  • Most cities and towns shall allow internal ADUs in 75% of the area zoned primarily residential. Cities with main campuses of colleges/universities of 10,000 students shall allow internal ADUs in 33% of the area zoned primarily residential.

Part 2: Standards

  • An internal ADU must exist inside the footprint of the home, be a detached dwelling, and be the primary dwelling of the owner of record.
  • An internal ADU must comply with health, building, and fire codes, and have rental agreements for at least 30 days.
  • A city may require a business license, that the dwelling exterior appearance not be altered, and one on-site parking spot.
  • A city may prohibit the installation of a separate utility meter for an internal ADU.
  • A city may decline an internal ADU in a mobile home, for a dwelling with a failing septic tank, or on a lot of 6,000 square feet or less.
  • A city may not regulate the total internal ADU size, lot size, or frontage.

Part 3: Enforcement

  • Cities and towns may use short-term rental websites to ensure that internal ADUs are not advertised or rented as vacation rentals.
  • Cities and towns may impose a lien against the owner that, after a period to cure compliance issues, has a daily fine of up to $1,000.


Also, another big deal – SB144 – Billboard Restrictions Amendments is up for hearing in committee tomorrow morning at 8:00am.  This is not the bill that has been the subject of a lot of work and negotiation, SB61 (about converting billboards to digital).  There has been little discussion about this bill, other than it is pretty much opposed by everyone except the billboard industry.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens with it in committee tomorrow morning.


Also up for hearing is HB256 – County Land Use and Development Amendments at 4:00 pm.


A couple of new bills out today as well:


SB201 – Public Notice Amendments, which would remove the requirement for advertising public notices for meetings in newspapers.


SB213 – Municipal Annexation Amendments, which just stipulates that property that is part of an incorporation study cannot be annexed.  Not sure why this bill is needed, as HB115 – Municipal Boundary Modifications, which was worked on by the Land Use Task Force, includes the same restriction.


And finally, something from a past legislative session showing up in the effects on today’s world – here’s a news story about the installation of new cell phone poles for 5G networks, which was the subject of a bill in the 2018 legislative session.  Interesting to see how it’s working out, or not, depending…




Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee

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