Controversial Land Use Law in Utah

A battle is brewing in Utah over a Senate bill that banned voters from overturning land use decisions, and the power plant that is the first significant land use to be impacted by the law.
October 10, 2008, 12pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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"At the heart of this case is Sen. Brent Goodfellow's SB53, which sailed through the Legislature with broad support and took effect May 5.

The new law prohibits the use of local initiatives to enact or change land-use ordinances. It also prohibits initiative efforts related to a city or county's implementation of land-use laws.

In April, the Attorney General's Office said that courts would likely strike down SB53 because it restricts a fundamental right guaranteed by the Utah Constitution.

On May 2, a group dubbed the Right To Vote committee submitted more than enough signatures to Sevier County, but Sevier Power's attorneys argued that SB53 nullifies that effort because county officials failed to validate the signatures until June 20.

Owens argued that SB53 is overly broad and unconstitutional."

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Published on Thursday, October 9, 2008 in The Salt Lake Tribune
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