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There’s got to be a better way to do annexations!

September 9, 2022 11:10 am
2022 Fall Conference

From Hideout to Grantsville, from Herriman to Providence and Plain City, the process of annexation of properties to municipalities in Utah is fraught with many problems. At one time, Utah’s state code included a phrase that explicitly stated that urban development should take place in incorporated communities. But disputes between those who wanted municipal services so they could develop their land and those who hoped urban development would never disrupt their rural lifestyles, let alone raise their taxes to pay for those municipal services, led in the 1990s to what some called the “annexation wars,” with sweeping legislative changes made to the state code to accommodate the various factions. The result was a mess of processes and contradictory procedures. Managing new urban growth invariably involves the growth of municipalities through annexations. While the code requires cities and towns to prepared annexation policy plans, they usually fall far short of their potential to anticipate and plan for new growth and expansion of necessary urban services. And how to balance the need to accommodate new growth, and preserve the rural, agricultural lifestyle in those outlying areas? We’ll talk about these issues in this session and see what are some ways to deal more effectively with the need to expand municipal boundaries to deal with growth.



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