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Legislative Updates

Settling Down

March 4, 2021

Well, it looks like things are finally settling down, with pretty much all the main actions taken with just some loose ends to wrap up.


But be forewarned, there are going to be a number of things that will be different about how the practice of land use planning and regulation takes place in our state after this session, some of which were not anticipated.


HB82 – Single-Family Housing Modifications 5th substitute passed in the Senate yesterday with the changes talked about in earlier updates.  The bill goes over to the House now for their concurrence in the changes made in the Senate.  With this bill, ADUs that are internal to a home are allowed statewide but with a number (a lot!) of conditions and restrictions.


SB164 – Utah Housing Affordability Amendments 2nd substitute is awaiting action by the full House.  There is a 3rd substitute for the bill that is out, which will likely be adopted when the bill comes up for action and then passed by the House.  This 3rd substitute takes out the requirement to increase the number of moderate income housing strategies that was in the original bill because with the passage of HB82, Sen. Anderegg agreed to do so.  The bill also would set up an affordable housing program for school districts.


HB98 – Local Government Building Regulation Amendments, with all the changes on inspections, plan checks, and design requirement limitations addressed earlier, is awaiting a vote by the Senate.  This bill will also mean a lot of changes to the way everyday land use regulation takes place.


Now, as to HB409 – Municipal and County Land Use and Development Revisions, as I’ve editorialized earlier, there are a lot of changes in this bill that will make LUDMA much more “verbose” (my euphemism for complicated), particularly in the provisions for lot line adjustments.  Also, there is provision that was included in the bill in mid-February that was not fully discussed by the full Land Use Task Force that will give a 10-year exemption from any land use code changes to newly recorded subdivisions.  This whole issue is rather involved and will take more explanation of why it happened than I can give here, just be aware this will be a significant change to how land use is done in Utah.  There are things that can be done to make it somewhat “easier” or at least more logical.  For that, be sure to watch for upcoming post-legislative sessions from APA Utah and from the League.


SB217 – Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone Act is in the House awaiting a vote.  The word is that there will be a 2nd substitute to make mainly technical changes, which after the House vote will then need to back to the Senate for concurrence.


HB115 – Municipal Boundary Modifications is in the Senate and should pass.


Most of the other bills we are following are either relatively minor in their impact, already passed, or dead.  We will do a complete list of the bills and their status in an upcoming update.


And be aware, we think it is particularly important this year after all the dust from the session is settled, to make yourself aware of the many changes that will be coming about due to the bills passed (or are about to pass) this year.  The APA Utah executive committee has decided to combine the annual post-legislative update session with its annual conference which will take place in May, both in-person and virtually, over a series of several sessions.  The League will likely also be doing some information sessions, so watch for these.



Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee

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