Utah cities this week are lining up in opposition of SB170, even as "replacements" for the controversial measure are being unveiled.

The first replacement to Sen. Al Mansell's controversial land-use bill was introduced Monday. SB267 has three main components: expanded requirements for impact fees, notice about zoning decisions and a stipulation that zoning decisions be made with "reasonable diligence."

A second bill, expanding the office of Utah's property rights ombudsman, is anticipated to be introduced later this week.

"This is a win-win," said Chris Kyler with the Utah Association of Realtors. "This is what we were truly after. SB170 played an important role in forcing both parties to the table in earnest to come up with a better result."

Officials with the League of Cities and Towns have yet to take a position on the first of the replacement bills. Jodi Hoffman, legislative consultant for the league, said during a meeting Monday that the bill was "relatively innocuous."

The second bill may bring more of a fight.

Regardless of the replacement bills, league members said they wouldn't step down the opposition to SB170. Members were encouraged to continue passing resolutions opposing the bill.

"The reality is, SB170 isn't going to be pulled," said Hoffman. "It's something that's going to be looming over us the entire session."

Cities across the state plan to pass resolutions opposing the measure tonight. While the league has provided most cities with a prepared resolution, Provo has drafted its own. The city's resolution condemns the bill for undercutting decades of planning and zoning laws.

The draft resolution also rejects the "flawed process used to prepare SB170 and urges members of the Legislature to reject any bill" on the subject unless it is the result of "an inclusive process which involves all the stakeholders."

That statement is a reference to Mansell's apparent reliance on a small percentage of developers who wish to amend — or "gut," opponents say — last year's extensive rewrite of LUDMA — the municipal and county Land Use, Development and Management Act.

That rewrite was the product of a task force that included 73 government officials, developers, homebuilders, Realtors, surveyors, lawyers and planners, said Neil Lindberg, attorney for the Provo City Council and a former task force member.

"This bill, SB170, proposes far-reaching changes to land-use law as we've known it in Utah," Lindberg said. "It isn't a good idea for making policy to have one side come out with a major piece of legislation and drop it in the lap of the other side. It seems like a flawed process."

Kyler says the two replacements for SB170 are ready for review and will "move through the process in an orderly fashion."

Mansell was not available for comment Monday.


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