Chief Sponsor: Joel Ferry

Senate Sponsor: Jani Iwamoto


8     General Description:
9          This bill modifies provisions related to quality growth.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     defines terms;
13          ▸     directs the use of ranking criteria;
14          ▸     prioritizes funding for working agricultural land; and
15          ▸     makes technical changes.
16     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17          None
18     Other Special Clauses:
19          None
20     Utah Code Sections Affected:
21     AMENDS:
22          11-38-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 310
23          11-38-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 368
24          11-38-302, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 345

26     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
27          Section 1. Section 11-38-102 is amended to read:
28          11-38-102. Definitions.
29          As used in this chapter:

30          (1) "Affordable housing" means housing occupied or reserved for occupancy by
31     households with a gross household income equal to or less than 80% of the median gross
32     income of the applicable municipal or county statistical area for households of the same size.
33          (2) "Agricultural land" has the same meaning as "land in agricultural use" under
34     Section 59-2-502.
35          (3) "Brownfield sites" means abandoned, idled, or underused commercial or industrial
36     land where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental
37     contamination.
38          (4) "Commission" means the Quality Growth Commission established in Section
39     11-38-201.
40          (5) "Infill development" means residential, commercial, or industrial development on
41     unused or underused land, excluding open land and agricultural land, within existing, otherwise
42     developed urban areas.
43          (6) "Local entity" means a county, city, or town.
44          (7) (a) "Open land" means land that is:
45          (i) preserved in or restored to a predominantly natural, open, and undeveloped
46     condition; and
47          (ii) used for:
48          (A) wildlife habitat;
49          (B) cultural or recreational use;
50          (C) watershed protection; or
51          (D) another use consistent with the preservation of the land in or restoration of the land
52     to a predominantly natural, open, and undeveloped condition.
53          (b) (i) "Open land" does not include land whose predominant use is as a developed
54     facility for active recreational activities, including baseball, tennis, soccer, golf, or other
55     sporting or similar activity.
56          (ii) The condition of land does not change from a natural, open, and undeveloped
57     condition because of the development or presence on the land of facilities, including trails,

58     waterways, and grassy areas, that:
59          (A) enhance the natural, scenic, or aesthetic qualities of the land; or
60          (B) facilitate the public's access to or use of the land for the enjoyment of its natural,
61     scenic, or aesthetic qualities and for compatible recreational activities.
62          (8) "Program" means the LeRay McAllister Critical Land Conservation Program
63     established in Section 11-38-301.
64          (9) "Surplus land" means real property owned by the Department of Administrative
65     Services, the Department of Agriculture and Food, the Department of Natural Resources, or the
66     Department of Transportation that the individual department determines not to be necessary for
67     carrying out the mission of the department.
68          (10) (a) "Working agricultural land" means agricultural land for which an owner or
69     producer engages in the activity of producing for commercial purposes crops, orchards,
70     livestock, poultry, aquaculture, livestock products, or poultry products and the facilities,
71     equipment, and property used to facilitate the activity.
72          (b) "Working agricultural land" includes an agricultural protection area established
73     under Title 17, Chapter 41, Agriculture, Industrial, or Critical Infrastructure Materials
74     Protection Areas.
75          Section 2. Section 11-38-202 is amended to read:
76          11-38-202. Commission duties and powers -- No regulatory authority --
77     Rulemaking -- Criteria.
78          (1) The commission shall:
79          (a) make recommendations to the Legislature on how to define more specifically
80     quality growth areas within the general guidelines provided to the commission by the
81     Legislature;
82          (b) advise the Legislature on growth management issues;
83          (c) make recommendations to the Legislature on refinements to this chapter;
84          (d) conduct a review in 2002 and each year thereafter to determine progress statewide
85     on accomplishing the purposes of this chapter, and give a report of each review to the Political

86     Subdivisions Interim Committee of the Legislature by November 30 of the year of the review;
87          (e) administer the program as provided in this chapter;
88          (f) assist as many local entities as possible, at their request, to identify principles of
89     growth that the local entity may consider implementing to help achieve the highest possible
90     quality of growth for that entity;
91          (g) fulfill other responsibilities imposed on the commission by the Legislature; and
92          (h) fulfill all other duties imposed on the commission by this chapter.
93          (2) The commission may sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of equipment or personal
94     property belonging to the program, the proceeds from which shall return to the fund.
95          (3) The commission may not exercise any regulatory authority.
96          (4) In carrying out the commission's powers and duties under this chapter, the
97     commission shall adopt ranking criteria that is substantially similar to the ranking criteria used
98     by the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program and Agriculture Land Easement as
99     determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service under the United States Department
100     of Agriculture.
101          Section 3. Section 11-38-302 is amended to read:
102          11-38-302. Use of money in program -- Criteria -- Administration.
103          (1) Subject to Subsection (2), the commission may authorize the use of money in the
104     program, by grant, to:
105          (a) a local entity;
106          (b) the Department of Natural Resources created under Section 79-2-201;
107          (c) the Department of Agriculture and Food created under Section 4-2-102; or
108          (d) a charitable organization that qualifies as being tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3),
109     Internal Revenue Code.
110          (2) (a) The money in the program shall be used for preserving or restoring open land
111     and agricultural land.
112          (b) (i) Except as provided in Subsection (2)(b)(ii), money from the program may not be
113     used to purchase a fee interest in real property in order to preserve open land or agricultural

114     land, but may be used to establish a conservation easement under Title 57, Chapter 18, Land
115     Conservation Easement Act, or to fund similar methods to preserve open land or agricultural
116     land.
117          (ii) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(b)(i), money from the fund may be used to
118     purchase a fee interest in real property to preserve open land or agricultural land if:
119          (A) the parcel to be purchased is no more than 20 acres in size; and
120          (B) with respect to a parcel purchased in a county in which over 50% of the land area is
121     publicly owned, real property roughly equivalent in size and located within that county is
122     contemporaneously transferred to private ownership from the governmental entity that
123     purchased the fee interest in real property.
124          (iii) Eminent domain may not be used or threatened in connection with any purchase
125     using money from the program.
126          (iv) A parcel of land larger than 20 acres in size may not be divided into separate
127     parcels smaller than 20 acres each to meet the requirement of Subsection (2)(b)(ii).
128          (c) A local entity, department, or organization under Subsection (1) may not receive
129     money from the program unless [it] the local entity, department, or organization provides
130     matching funds equal to or greater than the amount of money received from the program.
131          (d) In granting money from the program, the commission may impose conditions on
132     the recipient as to how the money is to be spent.
133          (e) The commission shall give priority to:
134          (i) working agricultural land; and
135          (ii) after giving priority to working agricultural land under Subsection (2)(e)(i),
136     requests from the Department of Natural Resources for up to 20% of each annual increase in
137     the amount of money in the program if the money is used for the protection of wildlife or
138     watershed.
139          (f) (i) The commission may not make a grant from the program that exceeds
140     $1,000,000 until after making a report to the Legislative Management Committee about the
141     grant.

142          (ii) The Legislative Management Committee may make a recommendation to the
143     commission concerning the intended grant, but the recommendation is not binding on the
144     commission.
145          (3) In determining the amount and type of financial assistance to provide an entity,
146     department, or organization under Subsection (1) and subject to Subsection (2)(f), the
147     commission shall consider:
148          (a) the nature and amount of open land and agricultural land proposed to be preserved
149     or restored;
150          (b) the qualities of the open land and agricultural land proposed to be preserved or
151     restored;
152          (c) the cost effectiveness of the project to preserve or restore open land or agricultural
153     land;
154          (d) the funds available;
155          (e) the number of actual and potential applications for financial assistance and the
156     amount of money sought by those applications;
157          (f) the open land preservation plan of the local entity where the project is located and
158     the priority placed on the project by that local entity;
159          (g) the effects on housing affordability and diversity; and
160          (h) whether the project protects against the loss of private property ownership.
161          (4) If a local entity, department, or organization under Subsection (1) seeks money
162     from the program for a project whose purpose is to protect critical watershed, the commission
163     shall require that the needs and quality of that project be verified by the state engineer.
164          (5) [Each] An interest in real property purchased with money from the program shall
165     be held and administered by the state or a local entity.