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Legislative Updates

New Bills To Be Aware Of

January 26, 2021

Things have been kind of quiet the last few days on the legislative front, but there are a few things to update on.

 

HB63 – Impact Fees Amendments was passed favorably out by committee yesterday.

 

HB151 – State Infrastructure Bank Amendments is up for hearing in committee this afternoon at 2:00.

 

HB171 – Agricultural Land Use Regulation is awaiting a vote on the House 3rd reading calendar.

 

 

A few NEW BILLS to make you aware of:

 

HB235 – Annexation Amendments – this bill modifies the requirement for the signatures needed for an annexation petition for rural real property.  Currently the code requires that 100% of the owners of all rural real property in the area proposed for annexation must have signed the petition.  This bill would modify that requirement, stating that 100% of all rural real property greater than 1,500 acres and consisting of two or more property parcels, must sign the petition.  Not sure what is prompting this change.

 

SB131 – Public Education Buildings Standards and Process – this bill is kind of a big deal for locating and building new public schools, doing major modifications, and closing school buildings.  Much of the bill is about the standards for building and financing schools, but it also has a significant component that requires school districts to prepare plans for future locations of school buildings, to submit them to the cities and counties where they would be located, and for the cities and counties to review and give input on whether such plans would be consistent with the community’s general plan and infrastructure plans.  Lots more detail about this in the bill, have a look.

 

 

Yesterday in the League’s LPC meeting, there was considerable discussion about a couple of our bills of interest.

 

There has been considerable discussion with Rep. Ward about his HB82 – Single-Family Housing Modifications, the ADU bill.  Rep. Ward is working to modify the bill to allow local governments to require a maximum of one additional parking space for a newly authorized ADU; clarifying that internal ADUs (that’s all this bill is about, it does not do anything with regard to ADUs separate from the main building) are only authorized by this bill in the existing footprint of the home (in other words, no additions to the house), and authorizes local jurisdictions to enforce the owner-occupancy requirement.  It’s anticipated that the bill will be heard in committee this Friday, so these proposed modifications should be coming out soon for everybody to take a look at.  And the rumor is still floating around that House leadership is considering a bill that would simply make ADUs a permitted use in all residential zones.

The discussion (such as it is on Zoom) in the LPC meeting by local officials indicated to me that there are many who are quite supportive of ADUs.  There are some concerns about the details of how they may be implemented, but a few even expressed their agreement with allowing them to be straight out permitted uses in most zones.  But there was a survey done of the attendees, and there is still considerable opposition to the bill with it’s current provisions.  It will be interesting to see how this bill goes.

 

Opposition by the League to HB98 – Local Government Building Regulation Amendments and SB61 – Outdoor Advertising Amendments remains absolute.

In addition to all the issues about allowing builders to select and hire their own inspectors and plan reviewers, the League’s talking points about HB98 include the fact that HB98 would eliminate important city design tools to encourage things such as water conservation, long-term maintenance for owners, buffering between incompatible land uses, and so on.

Talking points on SB61 include the fact that this bill would give billboard companies the unilateral right to convert any billboard, no matter its location or impact on nearby property owners; that the bill makes it very difficult to impose lighting intensity or to impose a lighting curfew; that future acquisition of billboards by local entities would be very expensive if their value includes the potential to be converted to electronic; and indicates that billboards already enjoy significant protections and exceptions from regular land use regulations in state code.

 

 

Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee

 

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