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Our bill tracker is more or less up to date. Check that out for our analysis on the bills we have taken a position on, and the status of bills we are watching.   

We participated in one hearing this week, on HB 527. This is a bill limiting Part I zoning. We will opposed the bill as written. The limitations are excessive, and it essentially prevents any new Part I zoning from being adopted. The sponsor is supporting amendments that will fix most issues with the bill. We will keep our eyes on it. 

There is a new bill to track. Unbelievable, right? SB 397. It requires a fee, so it’s fiscal and you can still introduce fiscal bills. It will allow ADU’s in any zoning district that allows single-family dwellings. Not necessarily the worst idea, but it does preempt local authority and we typically do not support preemption bills. The committee will discuss this bill next week. 

There are still a few bills that are floating around that have not had executive action. Amendments are possible, if not certain. We need to continue to watch these bills. What is tough with these amendments is the hearing has already happened, so our ability to shape the amendments depends upon the willingness of the people proposing them. You can see the amendments by going to the LAWS site and looking up the bill number. 

SB 174 – This is the bill that will affect the way we approach conditions of approval. It is still up in the air what the final bill will look like. We worked with MACo and League on some amendments that the sponsor seemed receptive too. This is one to watch.

SB 294 – We had supported this bill, which created a process for a referendums on Part II zoning, but amendments are proposed that would limit new part II zoning. Please see amendment SB0294.002.002. We were able to convince those proposing the amendment to continue to allow county zoning authority through a land use map. Their original proposal essentially eliminated county part II zoning authority. 

HB 450 – The intent of this bill was to require that court ordered splits follow zoning, but there is an amendment that just tosses that who concept in the can and does the exact opposite. What was a simple nonpartisan bill is now a potential mess. 

SB 231 – What started out as a bill on water rights is now a bill on family transfers and part II zoning. There are multiple amendments floating around. We will see which one sticks. 

We are close to the end but we are not over the hump. We do know that there will certainly be changes to the processes we administer. We have already begun conversations with MACo about training for planners immediately following the end of the session.