2016 Bills

HB360: Requiring Public Notice For Local Land Use Regulations

This bill passed the House unanimously but was not considered in the Senate for lack of time.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

Under Utah law, the legislature has granted political subdivisions (cities and counties) authority to regulate local land use. This comes in the form of a fairly comprehensive section of code known as the Land Use, Development, and Management Act (“LUDMA”). However, despite the balance between government regulatory power and property rights that this comprehensive section of code might attempt to strike, local political subdivisions are given additional authority to implement any land use regulation they want even if it exceeds the standards outlined under LUDMA. This exceptional regulatory authority undermines the rights of property owners who often have little to no say in how local government may attempt to restrict their right to use their property.

House Bill 360, sponsored by Representative Mel Brown, is a simple but important change which would require a locality attempting to pass a local ordinance that exceeds LUDMA, to make that fact explicit in the public notice given prior to the ordinance’s consideration. Local land use authority poses a large risk to property rights. It is important that this regulatory authority is closely monitored and appropriately scrutinized to ensure that property rights are protected. This change to public notice will help accomplish that.