Tuesday, August 30, 2005

RDA Revision, Wal-Marts, and Referenda

A bit of odds and ends that have come to my attention in the last day or two:

Yesterday's Deseret News ran a story on the RDA revision being worked on by the League of Cities and Towns. A good story that summarizes pretty well what is being worked on. Something is indeed needed to give communities the tools to enhance and encourage job growth and revitalization of communities.

Today's Trib has a story about an apparent settlement between Riverton City and the opponents of the rezones for Wal-Mart and other associated development. This was likely to have been the next court ruling in Utah on the issue of referenda for land use decisions, but it now appears that the fight has been settled. Good for Riverton City, though some further clarification from the Courts about what is referendable might have been helpful.

And on a related front, Lora Lucero in Albuquerque forwarded on to me a story out of South Dakota where the state supreme court ruled that the approval of a conditional use permit by a local government, in accordance with the procedures and rules set down in the local ordinance, was an administrative act and hence was not referendable.

In response, the citizens opposed to the CUP have started an initiative petition that would add the wording, "The approval of any conditional use request is a legislative decision," to the state code. Thus, they are trying to change by fiat what is considered an administrative and legislative action, with regard to conditional use permits.

I've seen a comment from another land use attorney that simply trying to declare the action such in the state code won't cut it, but others are not so sure.

Why not just call everything a legislative act and make it all subject to referendum? That's the logical conclusion such action leads to.

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