Please reach out to senators this weekend to discuss cities' concerns with a plan that would make sweeping land use law changes. The Senate Judiciary I Committee intends Tuesday to resume a discussion it began this week on HB 483 Land-Use Regulatory Changes. Among other changes, the bill would incentivize litigation at local taxpayer expense, weaken protections for neighboring property owners of new developments, and undermine infrastructure performance guarantees that protect new property owners and local taxpayers.
The League opposes this bill in its current form and urges you to contact your legislators to let them know of the potential harm created by HB 483. This bill disrupts local land-use regulations that work in concert to protect all municipal property owners. In your discussions with legislators, let them know about the specific ways that local land use rules have protected the investments of property owners in your city or town, and urge them to slow down and consider how the wide-ranging changes in this bill may affect those citizens and their investments. Click here for more background on the bill. Contact: Erin Wynia
House members banded together Wednesday in response to concerns raised by League members over three land use regulatory reforms, improving each of them before voting unanimously to send those proposals and others to the Senate. The League appreciates all House members recognizing these concerns and, in particular, thanks Reps. Skip Stam, Dan Bishop, Dennis Riddell, and Chris Millis for their work on these measures. Following the changes, these three provisions do the following:
The League will continue to work with proponents of these provisions as they receive further consideration to address outstanding concerns, and appreciates their willingness to listen to the viewpoint of the state's municipalities. Contact: Erin Wynia
State and local agencies may soon gain the authority to satisfy public records requests exclusively through electronic means. Both the House and Senate advanced identical public records provisions in their respective regulatory reform bills this week (House provision, Section 2.11; Senate provision, Section 18), suggesting agreement between the two chambers. The provision would allow public agencies to exclusively fulfill public records responsibilities by making public records or computer databases available online in a downloadable format. This provision may conflict with current law, which requires agencies to produce records in any format in which they exist, upon request. Legislators stated in committee debate that they included this provision at the request of the state’s registers of deeds, who had raised concerns that their offices were becoming less efficient by having to respond to requests for paper copies of records that were already available publicly online.
Meanwhile this week, the House attempted to move a bill that would direct an interim study group to take a broader look at streamlining the provision of public records. However, parliamentarians ruled the bill ineligible for consideration this session, so if the idea becomes law, it would do so as part of a different omnibus bill later this session. Contact: Erin Wynia
As budget negotiations continued, and with hope that the legislative session's end is in sight, the House and Senate were busy this week taking action on a variety of legislation. The following bills saw activity and may be of interest to municipalities: