In Utah’s 2023 legislative session, the senate passed a bill with major ramifications for the southern Utah area - specifically, consequences for the process of developers applying for subdivision permits.
2023’s State Bill 0174 was a long and detailed reform of Utah’s housing and subdivision processes, and the bill can be read on le.utah.gov. There are a few specific consequences of the bill that are particularly pertinent to the housing and subdivision development market in Kane County and nearby areas: the bill implements a state-wide structured process for accepting or denying applications for subdivisions. Beginning December 31, 2024, the county will have a strict limit on how long they take to review a subdivision application, as well as a strict limit on the number of times such an application can be reviewed and amended. According to the bill, once an application is received, the county has 15 days to review the application and determine if it is complete and has all the necessary information. After that determination, the county will be limited to a single public hearing regarding the application, and four twenty-day review cycles to request additional information where deficiencies are found.
This bill will, according to its proponents, accelerate the process to obtain subdivision permits by limiting how often government bodies and developers bounce the application back and forth making revisions and adding conditions. Many counties represented at the legislature responded that, by nature of the stricter requirements and harsher time limits, more applications will be denied by default, simply due to the developer not presenting the information in a timely manner.
Kane County in particular has multiple such subdivision debates currently proceeding. This bill will limit such debates in the future - the county being limited to a single public hearing per subdivision application puts increased weight on the efficiency and communication of that single public hearing.
Additionally, the county is now limited on how much feedback can be provided to a developer, with both a time limit and a cap on how many times an application can be reviewed.
According to county sources, the bill will take full effect December 31 2024. SB0174 can be reviewed online at https://le.utah.gov.