2014 LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY

Summary of Bills That Affect Land Use, Land Development, Property Rights, or Eminent Domain

 

These summaries are provided for informational purposes only,

and do not reflect legal conclusions or opinions on any legislation.

 

Please refer to the bill text, or to the language of the Utah Code.

The full text of each bill may be found at www.le.utah.gov, or by clicking on the Bill Title.

 

All bills are listed under the number assigned during the 2014 General Session.

 

List of Bills Discussed

In Numerical Order

House Bills

H.B. 16: Wrongful Lien Amendments

H.B. 25:  Eminent Domain Amendments 

H.B. 26S1:  Association Liens Amendments

H.B. 29:  County Recorder Index Amendments

H.B. 42:  Construction Lien Amendments

H.B. 44S4:  Interstate Electric Transmission Lines

H.B. 93:  Property Tax Assessment Amendments

H.B. 115:  Condominium and Community Association Lien Amendments

H.B. 158:  Grazing and Timber Agricultural Commodity Zones in Utah

H.B. 160:  Utah Wilderness Act

H.B. 192:  Initiative and Referendum Petition Amendments

H.B. 220S2:  Land Use Amendments 

H.B. 238:  Local Referendum Requirements Amendments

H.B. 245S2:  State Fire Code Amendments

H.B. 262S2:  Local Governing Body Voting Amendments

H.B. 326:  State Construction Code Revisions

H.B. 370:  Canal Safety Amendments

H.B. 382S2:  Limited Purpose Local Government Entities

H.B. 422S1:  Initiative and Referendum Impact Disclosure

           

Senate Bills

S.B. 17: Water and Irrigation Amendments

S.B. 21S1:  State Construction Code Amendments

S.B. 52:  Utility Relocation on Highway Projects

S.B. 134:  Taxation Related Referendum Amendments

S.B. 147S4:  Residential Rental Amendments

S.B. 169S2:  Public Meetings Materials Requirements

S.B. 184S1:  Local Government Inspection Amendments

S.B. 187:  Highway Right-of-Way Amendments

S.B. 237:  Urban Farming Amendments

S.B. 274S1:  Water Jurisdiction Amendments

S.B. 275 Redevelopment Agency Modifications

 

Bill Summaries

 

The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman has classified several bills adopted in 2014 based on the impacts on land use, development, or eminent domain.

They are presented here in three categories:

(1) Significant or Direct Impact;

(2) Moderate or Indirect Impact; and

(3) Low or Co-incidental Impact

 

Significant or Direct Impact

 

H.B. 25:  Eminent Domain Amendments 

Amends:

10-8-2                         13-43-206

11-13-314                   78B-6-501

13-43-204                   78B-6-505

13-43-205                   78B-6-522

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

         This bill revises the required notice that must be given when a condemning agency acquires private property, clarifying property owner’s rights.  An eminent domain action may not be initiated until at least 30 days after the notice was given. The bill also makes relatively minor changes to the list of public uses that warrant eminent domain.

         In addition, a property owner who believes that a governmental agency (or private entity with condemnation authority) is occupying property without permission may ask for an Opinion from the Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman, to determine if the agency has a legitimate claim for the occupancy and use.  This process will be basically the same as the Advisory Opinion process already in use.

 

H.B. 192:  Initiative and Referendum Petition Amendments

 Amends:

20A-7-203

20A-7-303

20A-7-503

20A-7-603

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          Each signature line on petitions for initiatives and referenda must include a statement that the signor has read and understands the law which is proposed to be enacted or repealed.

 

H.B. 220S2:  Land Use Amendments  (Amends LUDMA)

Amends:

10-9a-103               17-27a-103

10-9a-509               17-27a-508

10-9a-608               17-27a-608

10-9a-609               17-27a-609

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

        An applicant for a land use or development is entitled to substantive review of the application under the ordinances in effect on the date the application is considered complete.

          Before acting on a petition to vacate or amend a subdivision plat, the land use authority must send notice to the owners of any portion of the plat, as well as any affected entities (ie., utilities).  The bill also clarifies that if no other body is named as the “land use authority,” the authority is the legislative body of the city or county.

 

H.B. 422S1:  Initiative and Referendum Impact Disclosure

 

Amends:                             Enacts:

20A-7-101                          20A-7-602.5

20A-7-502.5

20A-7-513

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          This bill requires a “legal and financial impact statement” for each initiative or referendum proposed for a local entity.  This statement is to be prepared by the budget officer of the entity, and is a good faith estimate of the fiscal and legal impacts of the action.

            The legal impacts include effects on individual property rights, the entity’s legal liability, and effects on local ordinances.

 

S.B. 187:  Highway Right-of-Way Amendments

Amends:

72-5-104

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

Section 72-5-104 is the “Road by Prescriptive Use” statute.  S.B. 187 repeals the requirement that a valid road barricade must be physically manned.   It also clarifies that a parking lot is not considered a “street” or “road,” meaning that parking lots are not subject to the prescriptive use provisions.

 

Moderate or Indirect Impact

 

H.B. 29:  County Recorder Index Amendments

 Amends:

17-21-6

         County recorders are required to maintain an index of water rights, recording them in the same manner as other property-related information.Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

 

H.B. 160:  Utah Wilderness Act

Enacts:

63L-7-101               63L-7-106

63L-7-102               63L-7-107

63L-7-103               63L-7-108

63L-7-104               63L-7-109

63L-7-105

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          This bill enacts a new chapter in the Utah Code, authorizing the creation of wilderness areas on state-owned lands.  The designation will be recommended to the Governor by the Department of Natural Resources.  SITLA parcels are exempt from wilderness designation.  Privately-owned land is also exempt, but the owner may donate the parcel to the State.  If access to a privately-owned parcel is blocked by a wilderness area, the state must provide reasonable access, or offer a similarly-situated parcel in exchange for the private property.

 

H.B. 238:  Local Referendum Requirements Amendments

Amends:

 20A-7-601

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          If a local government imposes a tax or payment obligation on only a portion of the local government’s jurisdiction, a petition for a referendum on the action only requires signatures from the voting precincts subject to the new tax or payment.  In addition, only the voters in the affected precincts may vote on a referendum.

 

H.B. 370:  Canal Safety Amendments

Amends:

73-5-7

73-10-33

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          By July 1, 2017, the State Engineer’s office must compile an inventory of all open, artificial canals and irrigation ditches which carry more than 5 cfs of water.  The Engineer’s office is also charged to provide technical support to local districts preparing management plans for canals.

 

H.B. 382S2:  Limited Purpose Local Government Entities

Amends:

17B-2a-404

17D-1-103

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          A Limited Purpose Local Government Entity is considered a “political subdivision” of the State, confirming that special service districts are subject to state laws in the same manner as other political subdivisions.

 

S.B. 17: Water and Irrigation Amendments

Amends:

73-2-25

73-3-18

73-3-26

73-3-29

73-5-3

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          This bill clarifies some language in Title 73, including the duties of the State Engineer’s office.  It imposes penalties for well-drilling without a permit, and provides that a person may take reasonable steps to alter a stream without a permit, when it is necessary to avoid a threat caused by the stream.

 

S.B. 134:  Taxation Related Referendum Amendments

Enacts:

 20A-7-613

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          This bill creates a new section governing referenda on property tax increases.  It establishes a time frame and petition requirements for such referenda.

 

S.B. 184S1:  Local Government Inspection Amendments

Amends:

10-5-132

10-6-160

15A-1-104

17-36-55

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          Local governments must ensure that building inspections occur promptly after inspection fees have been paid.  If an inspection does not or cannot occur within three business days, the locality must engage a private inspector to perform the work.

          A local building official may not withhold approval of a construction project for a building code violation unless the official identifies the code provision and the reasons why the project violates the code.  A certificate of occupancy may not be withdrawn, unless there are changes to the project which require a building permit.

S.B. 274S1:  Water Jurisdiction Amendments

Amends:

 73-3-31

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          A State land agency may not impose additional conditions on a livestock watering right, (such as access rights, development infrastructure, etc.)  A livestock watering right no longer needs to be jointly owned by the land agency.  If a reduction in grazing causes a partial loss of water rights, the State Engineer must reserve the water rights for future livestock grazing.

 

S.B. 275 Redevelopment Agency Modifications

Repeals:

 17C-2-701

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

 

         Section 17C-2-701, “Railroad Crossings Within Urban Renewal Project Area,” is repealed in its entirety.

 

 

Low or Co-incidental Impact

 

H.B. 16: Wrongful Lien Amendments 

Amends:

38-9a-102

76-6-503.5

78B-5-201

78B-5-408

 

 

 

Enacts:

38-9-101

38-9-201

38-9-301

38-9-302

38-9-303

38-9-304

38-9-305

Renumbers and Amends:

38-9-102 (was 38-9-1)

38-9-103 (was 38-9-2)

38-9-202 (was 38-9-3)

38-9-203 (was 38-9-4)

38-9-204 (was 38-9-6)

38-8-205 (was 38-9-7)

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

         This bill addresses the procedures for “nonconsensual common law liens.”  The language provides for judicial review if a lien is challenged, along with other technical changes to the lien statute.

 

H.B. 26S1:  Association Liens Amendments

Amends:

57-8-37

57-8-44

57-8a-208

57-8a-301

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          Along with technical definitions and clarifications, this bill provides that an association member who is fined may request an informal hearing, and may sue to challenge the fine in district court.

 

H.B. 42:  Construction Lien Amendments

Amends:

14-1-20

14-2-5

38-1a-102

38-1a-501

38-1a-503

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          The eligibility for construction and preconstruction liens is modified by H.B. 42, including rules on priority between liens and mortgages.

 

H.B. 44S4:  Interstate Electric Transmission Lines

Enacts:

 63M-4-402

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          H.B. 44 addresses interstate electric transmission lines that do not provide electric service within in Utah.  Interstate carriers are required to obtain a certificate of need from the State Office of Energy Development as well as file with federal agencies.

 

H.B. 93:  Property Tax Assessment Amendments

Enacts:

 59-2-301.6

 Effective Date:  January 1, 2015

          Starting in 2015, property assessments must reflect “diminished productive value” that results because of parcel size limitations imposed by a zoning ordinance, or because of easements on the property.

 

H.B. 115:  Condominium and Community Association Lien Amendments

Amends:

 38-12-102

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          This bill requires that a lien filed by a condominium HOA or a community association must comply with notice requirements, and must be sent by certified mail.

 

H.B. 158:  Grazing and Timber Agricultural Commodity Zones in Utah 

Amends:

63J-8-102

63J-8-105

63J-8-105.5

63J-8-105.7

 

Enacts:

63J-8-105.8

63J-8-105.9

 

 

 

Repeals

 63-8-105.6

 

 

 

 

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          This bill establishes several Grazing Agricultural Commodity Zones and Timber Agricultural Commodity Zones throughout the State.  The intent of these zones is to promote grazing and timber harvesting, and to request cooperative management between federal, state, local, and private interests.  The new language does not impose specific regulations in the zones.

 

H.B. 245S2:  State Fire Code Amendments

Amends:

15A-3-104

15A-5-202.5

15A-5-204

 Effective Date:  July 1, 2014

          This amendment to the Fire Code provides exceptions to required sprinkler systems, and makes other modifications related to hazardous and environmental conditions.

 

H.B. 262S2:  Local Governing Body Voting Amendments

 Amends:

 10-3-507

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          If there is a vacancy on a city council, actions may be taken with a majority vote of the existing members.

 

H.B. 326:  State Construction Code Revisions

Amends:                             Enacts:

 15A-3-106                          15A-3-106.5

 Effective Date:  March 29, 2014

          This bill modifies required fire ratings for photovoltaic cells, and delays implementation of updates to the 2012 IBC code, regarding labeling of photovoltaic systems.

 

S.B. 21S1:  State Construction Code Amendments

Amends:

 15A-1-204

 Effective Date:  July 1. 2014

          Structures used solely for the sale of seasonal crops are exempt from the State Construction Code’s permit requirements.

 

S.B. 52:  Utility Relocation on Highway Projects

Amends:

 72-6-116

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          The Utah Department of Transportation must pay for at least part of the costs to relocate a utility facilities (including underground and above-ground structures and equipment), if the relocation is due to a state highway project.

 

S.B. 147S4:  Residential Rental Amendments

 

Amends:

57-8-10

57-8-13.8

57-8-13

57-8a-209

57-17-3 

Enacts:

 57-8-10.1

 

 

 

 

Repeals and Reenacts:

 57-17-5

 

 

 

 

Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          This bill imposes some limits on an HOA’s authority over unit rentals.  An HOA may not require pre-approval of tenants, or demand documents from prospective tenants.  When a tenant leaves the unit, the owner must refund any deposits or prepaid rent, or face civil penalties.

 

S.B. 169S2:  Public Meetings Materials Requirements

Amends:

 52-4-203

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          A public body shall require electronic or “hard” copies of any materials submitted to the body by any participant, which is related to discussion of an item on the meeting agenda.

 

S.B. 237:  Urban Farming Amendments

Amends:

59-2-1702

59-2-1703

59-2-1705

 Effective Date:  May 13, 2014

          This bill amends provisions related to urban farmland, expanding coverage to include counties of the second class.  Farmland in urban areas are to be assessed as agricultural, if the parcel is larger than two acres.  If the land is developed, the owner must pay rollback taxes for the previous five years.

 

 Code Sections Amended or Adopted by the Summarized Bills

 

 

 


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