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The City Café

For those interested in sharing ideas and perspectives regarding local government.

Urban Land Use Institute:

ULCT’s Jodi Hoffman, Meg Ryan, and Cameron Diehl (plus other city officials) attended the Land Use Institute conference on October 12.  Jodi presented a legislative preview of land use and water issues and moderated a discussion on HOAs.  Salt Lake City’s Neil Lindberg gave a case law update.  Spanish Fork’s Junior Baker explained the municipal perspective on billboard policy.  Ogden’s Mark Stratford detailed the municipal impact of the recent Jensen v. Jones water decision.  He said cities require developers bring water rights to the city before the city will approve the development.  The water right must go through the change application process at the State Engineer’s office, but often the city subdivision approval process is completed prior to the state engineer process.  The State Engineer may decide that the water right could have been subjected to forfeiture for historical or statutory reasons and thus only approve a portion of the water right.  Cities, however, would then be “on the hook” to provide water for the development.  Thus cities are concerned about the timing, the role of the State Engineer’s office as the investigator and adjudicator, and creating a more defined process in statute for what the State Engineer can and cannot do in determining the validity of the water right.

 

Broadband Advisory Council:

The Broadband Advisory council met and discussed progress that has been made with respect to broadband deployment to Utah.  Lincoln spoke to the council about a presentation that he will be making to the Public Utilities Interim Committee on October 19th.  Lincoln, with UDOT, UEN and DTS will be presenting on what is currently being done with fiber deployment by each organization and how they are currently sharing fiber.  The rest of the meeting was presentations given to the Broadband Advisory Council by UEN and Utah State Library.

 

Governors Advisory Council for Optimization State Government

The meeting was held up at the State Capitol and discussed the different areas that needed agency alignment.  There were two areas that we at the League were asked to look at and see if there were benefits to consolidating or realigning. The first area would be in the interaction between local governments and the DABC the second area is creating a better collaboration of fiber deployment between all branches of government.  We suggested DABC create an “Outreach/interface” subcommittee along with a “How to” handbook for economic development.  As far as fiber deployment we talked about some small efficiencies that can be made with fiber deployment.

 

Joint Highway Committee Meeting:

On Friday, Lincoln attended the Joint Highway Committee meeting in Vernal, UT.  This committee is charged with the disbursement and prioritization of certain transportation funds within the state.  Lincoln provided a brief legislative update on transportation issues and took the opportunity to discuss critical municipal transportation issues with Sen. VanTassell of Vernal and Sen. Okerlund, of Monroe…ensuring that any transportation funding increases be shared with local governments for ongoing construction, maintenance and preservation.

 

Internal Meetings:

In addition to the meetings listed above, staff also conducted three internal meetings this week to settle in on our legislative strategy related to land use issues, justice court issues, and issues related to local tax authority.

 

Upcoming Meetings:

Next week will be a busy week for the ULCT with our monthly Legislative Policy Committee meeting on October 17th, Legislative Redistricting meetings on the 17th and 18th and Legislative Interims on October 19th.  We have several items on the interim agenda and will report on those issues in next week’s report.

 

Please call if you have any questions.

Your ULCT Legislative Team

 

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