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Legislative Updates

Updates on a couple of bills, starting with billboards.

February 2, 2021

Updates on a couple of bills, starting with billboards.


Today SB61 – Outdoor Advertising Amendments will be heard in committee at 3:40 pm.  Also, as we noted yesterday, another billboard bill, SB144 – Billboard Restrictions Amendments, was introduced.  Here’s some commentary on these bills from Scenic Utah, an organization that advocates for better and more transparent policies that reduce billboard clutter, hold outdoor advertisers accountable, and uphold the rights of government entities to regulate and ban billboards on both safety and aesthetic grounds.


SB 61, together with its newly introduced companion bill (SB 144), represent a culmination of the billboard lobby’s influence-peddling. Legislation backed by the outdoor advertising industry over the last 20+ years has resulted in death by a thousand cuts to local communities and the ability of our elected leaders to control billboards. SB 61 and SB 144 are capstones.

On the other big planning-related issue being debated on the Hill right now, ADUs and housing affordability, it was reported in yesterday’s League Legislative Policy Committee meeting that House Speaker Rep. Brad Wilson indicated that passing a bill addressing this issue is his top priority right now.  There are three bills in the hopper at this point as we reported yesterday, HB82 1st Substitute, HB82 2nd Substitute, and HB273.  League staff and member officials are working to negotiate these bills.  The question was raised in the meeting of just opposing these bills, but it was noted in response with the Speaker saying passing a bill on this issue is his top priority right now, something will pass and simply opposing it outright will likely result in something with little input from local governments.


Here’s a news story about last Friday’s committee hearing on HB82, and an  opinion piece by Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs on housing affordability including options for ADUs.


It was also reported in yesterday’s LPC meeting that House leadership and bill sponsor Rep. Paul Ray acknowledge that HB98 – Local Government Building Regulation Amendments will not pass in its current form, but something likely will.  Negotiations on how to deal with delayed plan checks and building inspections, and some building design standards, are on-going.


All this, and still no bills yet from the Land Use Task Force process or from the Commission on Housing Affordability.  Stay tuned.



Wilf Sommerkorn

Co-Chair, APA Utah Legislative Committee


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