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Legislative Updates

Two Weeks

February 21, 2021

Two weeks, everyone, two weeks.  That’s all the time left in this year’s general legislative session, and as usual, there’s a lot left to be done.  Not least of which is, we still haven’t seen the Land Use Task Force bill – it don’t look good, Freddie!


First, the long-awaited Transit Reinvestment Zone bill is out, only now it has added the better descriptor of Housing in the title.

SB217 – Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone Act is intended to incentivize higher density (and maybe more affordable?) housing in communities with a commuter rail station.  This bill has been worked on by a number of people, not least of which is the staff of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, who put out this summary of the bill.  Good wishes for the success of this bill!


Another new bill out yesterday address short term rentals – again, but in a very limited way.  SB221 – Short Term Rental Amendments would prohibits a municipality or county from enacting or enforcing an ordinance that would not allow owner-occupied short-term rentals, and prohibits a municipality or county from using tax revenue to rent a short-term rental for the purpose of enforcing an ordinance that prohibits renting a short-term rental.  This to some extent seems to sort of negate what Rep. Ward tries to do in the ADU bill which would allow local governments to prohibit ADUs from being used as short term rentals.  Hmmm.


I’m getting lots of inquiries about what’s happening with HB98 – Local Government Building Regulation Amendments , and what I know is that there are still negotiations on-going over the terms of this bill.  It will have a lot of detailed provisions and exceptions in it, at least there were in the version I saw several days ago, so this one will take some scrutiny to figure out how it’s going to work.  Kudos to several people, but principally to Gary Crane, Layton City Attorney, who has been shepherding this baby for the local governments.  And yesterday, there was an interesting story about this bill on KUTV News that alluded to the sponsor’s conflicts with the subject of the bill, and the strong opposition from local elected officials.


And finally, here’s an interesting perspective on the Colorado River water governing commission proposal being pursued by House Speaker Brad Wilson, HB297 – Colorado River Amendments.  Issues like this just ain’t easy!


See you all Monday.


Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee




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