By Lisa Brown. Posted: Feb 6 2019
SB34 - Affordable Housing Modifications - is one of the primary bills we are watching this legislative session because of the potential it has to impact local development. Currently a substitute revision of the bill (SB34S01) has been approved by the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee, and is waiting for a second reading before the Senate. We will update the bills' status as it progresses through this session, as it seems likely some measure of this bill will pass.
SB 34 modifies the requirements cities and counties must include in their General Plans pertaining to "moderate income housing" - defined as housing that falls below 80% of the AIM (area median income). To do this they must implement at least two approved strategies from a list of approximately twenty in order to qualify for TIF funds (transportation investment funds). They must also adhere to specific reporting requirements for how they are planning for and implementing moderate income housing.
Utah for Responsible Growth has concerns with various aspects of this bill, notably its potential for government overreach. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Jake Anderegg, made it clear during the committee hearing that this bill is currently soft on cities - i.e. most cities will likely qualify for TIF funds right now - but that the intent is to up the pressure on cities in the future by adding more requirements and regulations pertaining to development. Hence this bill is intended to be a stepping stone for greater state control over what local governments can and must build.