UPDATE: March 16, 2018
Mayor Jackie Biskupski issues statement regarding Governor Herbert signing the Inland Port Authority Bill
“Although we are disappointed Governor Herbert signed SB234, we appreciate his willingness to call a special session this spring and provide a framework to address our four main issues with the bill: making sure the land use appeals follow state law and city codes; ensuring the port authority is limited to two percent of the tax increment for furthering the objectives of the inland port; reducing the size of the area covered under the bill; and having a board that equitably represents Salt Lake City’s interests.
We have consistently asked for these changes to the bill and discussed them with the Governor. Attached is our letter delivered to the Governor on March 12.
SB234 as enacted creates uncertainty for development and may cause delays, but we remain committed to an inland port moving forward quickly and successfully. We will continue to work in good faith with the Governor, legislators, residents, and property owners to ensure the issues of local authority are resolved.”
On Wednesday March 7th, Utah legislators voted for a revamped version of SB234, which allows an unelected board to usurp control of nearly 20,000 acres, or 1/3 of Salt Lake City land. Within 30 minutes, the Senate and House passed the bill with alarming changes such as:
- Undercuts Salt Lake City’s land use authority, a core municipal function, and giving it to an unelected board with no accountability to voters
- the ability of the board to take 100% of tax increment opportunities and use the revenue for purposes outside of Salt Lake City
- compromises environmental protections and eliminates the ability of the community to appeal land use decisions
This bill creates a dangerous precedent in which the State could enact similar legislation and quickly take over land use authority of other cities if State officials disagree with decisions made by those respective cities.
Phone number: 801-538-1000
SB234 passed through the Legislature in bad process. The Legislature has confirmed that Salt Lake City was not given the new version of the bill made public late Wednesday night (Deseret News).
The bill also compromises environmental protections. As reported in the Deseret News, the Salt Lake County Mayor stated he supports the bill. As Salt Lake County Mayor, he should be supporting SLC residents and our strong environmental values.
Phone number: 385-468-7000
For two years, the City has been working in good faith to develop the Northwest Quadrant, enacting a Master Plan, determining zoning, and establishing a Redevelopment Project Area – all with the help and hard work of community members, businesses, and private property owners in the area.
While this action by the Legislature causes confusion and delays for economic development, Salt Lake City will continue with the Northwest Quadrant Plan and with the development agreements that have already been made with property owners.
The Salt Lake City Council and Mayor’s Office are united in vigorously working to protect the rights of the City and our residents.