Chief Sponsor: Jacob L. Anderegg

House Sponsor: Kay J. Christofferson


9     General Description:
10          This bill amends provisions related to Department of Transportation adjudication
11     processes and relocation or acquisition of pole barns as part of right-of-way acquisition.
12     Highlighted Provisions:
13          This bill:
14          ▸     defines terms;
15          ▸     requires the Department of Transportation to appoint and cover the costs of an
16     administrative law judge to preside over administrative proceedings in certain
17     circumstances;
18          ▸     requires the Department of Transportation to classify certain structures affected by
19     right-of-way acquisition in the manner that benefits the owner;
20          ▸     grants rulemaking authority to the Department of Transportation to establish
21     administrative procedures in accordance with relocation assistance; and
22          ▸     makes technical changes.
23     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
24          None
25     Other Special Clauses:
26          None
27     Utah Code Sections Affected:

28     AMENDS:
29          57-12-3, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2004, Chapter 223
30          57-12-9, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
31          57-12-13, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2020, Chapter 290

33     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
34          Section 1. Section 57-12-3 is amended to read:
35          57-12-3. Definitions.
36          As used in this chapter:
37          (1) "Agency" means:
38          (a) a department, division, agency, commission, board, council, committee, authority,
39     political subdivision, or other instrumentality of the state or of a political subdivision of the
40     state whether one or more; and
41          (b) any other person whose use of the power of eminent domain results in a person
42     becoming a displaced person.
43          (2) "Business" means any lawful activity, excepting a farm operation, conducted
44     primarily:
45          (a) for the purchase, sale, lease, or rental of personal or real property, and for the
46     manufacture, processing, or marketing of products, commodities, or any other personal
47     property;
48          (b) for the sale of services to the public;
49          (c) by a nonprofit organization; or
50          (d) for assisting in the purchase, sale, resale, manufacture, processing, or marketing of
51     products, commodities, personal property, or services by the erection and maintenance of an
52     outdoor advertising display or displays, whether or not such display or displays are located on
53     the premises on which any of the above activities are conducted.
54          (3) "Department of Transportation" means the Department of Transportation created in
55     Section 72-1-201.
56          [(3)] (4) "Displaced person" means any person who, after the effective date of this
57     chapter, moves from real property, or who moves the person's personal property from real
58     property, or moves or discontinues the person's business or moves the person's dwelling as a

59     result of the acquisition of the real property, in whole or in part, or as a result of a written order
60     of the acquiring agency to vacate real property for a program of purchase undertaken by an
61     agency or as a direct result of code enforcement activities or a program of rehabilitation of
62     buildings conducted pursuant to a federal or state assisted program.
63          [(4)] (5) "Family farm" means a farm operation which is conducted:
64          (a) on two sections (1280 acres) or less; or
65          (b) as a sole proprietorship or through an entity which is wholly owned by members of
66     the same immediate family.
67          [(5)] (6) "Farm operation" means any activity conducted solely or primarily for the
68     production of one or more agricultural products or commodities, including timber, for sale or
69     home use, and customarily producing such products or commodities in sufficient quantity to be
70     capable of contributing materially to the operator's support.
71          [(6)] (7) "Nonprofit organization" means all corporations, societies, and associations
72     whose object is not pecuniary profit, but is to promote the general interest and welfare of the
73     members, whether temporal, social, or spiritual.
74          [(7)] (8) "Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, or association.
75          (9) (a) "Pole barn" means a building or structure used in conjunction with a farm
76     operation that:
77          (i) uses poles as the primary load-bearing structure; and
78          (ii) does not have a foundation.
79          (b) "Pole barn" includes any building or structure that met the definition of a pole barn
80     in Subsection (9)(a) at any time in the five years preceding the proposed acquisition.
81          [(8)] (10) "Small business" means a business which has a gross annual income of less
82     than $1,500,000.
83          Section 2. Section 57-12-9 is amended to read:
84          57-12-9. Rules of displacing agency.
85          (1) (a) A displacing agency may enact rules to assure that:
86          (i) the payments and assistance authorized by this chapter are administered in a manner
87     that is fair, reasonable, and as uniform as practicable;
88          (ii) a displaced person who makes proper application for a payment authorized by this
89     chapter is paid promptly after a move or, in hardship cases, is paid in advance; and

90          (iii) any person aggrieved by a determination as to eligibility for a payment authorized
91     by this chapter, or the amount of a payment, may have the person's application reviewed by the
92     head of the displacing agency.
93          (b) Each displacing agency that has not adopted rules under Subsection (1)(a) shall
94     comply with the rules promulgated by the Utah Department of Transportation relating to
95     displaced persons in right-of-way acquisitions.
96          (2) Each displacing agency shall comply with the procedures and requirements of Title
97     63G, Chapter 4, Administrative Procedures Act, in its adjudicative proceedings.
98          (3) (a) For a financial assistance claim made by a displaced person under this chapter
99     or 42 U.S.C. Secs. 4601-4655, for which the Department of Transportation is the displacing
100     agency in a circumstance described in Subsection (3)(b), the Department of Transportation
101     shall, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 6a, Utah Procurement Code, procure, appoint, and
102     cover the costs of:
103          (i) an administrative law judge to preside over the proceedings; and
104          (ii) a stenographer to record and transcribe any relevant hearing or proceeding.
105          (b) The requirements of Subsection (3)(a) shall apply to any financial assistance claim
106     by a displaced person where:
107          (i) the financial assistance claim is valued at more than $50,000; or
108          (ii) there is a question of law affecting the denial of a financial assistance claim.
109          (c) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the
110     Department of Transportation may make rules to establish administrative procedures in
111     accordance with this part.
112          Section 3. Section 57-12-13 is amended to read:
113          57-12-13. Procedure for acquisition of property.
114          (1) (a) As used in this section, "fee simple owner" means the owner of a fee simple
115     interest in real property.
116          (b) "Fee simple owner" does not include a tenant, lienholder, or other claimant of an
117     interest in real property.
118          (2) Any agency acquiring real property as to which it has the power to acquire under
119     the eminent domain or condemnation laws of this state shall comply with the following
120     policies:

121          (a) Every reasonable effort shall be made to acquire expeditiously real property by
122     negotiation with the fee simple owner.
123          (b) Real property shall be appraised before the initiation of negotiations, and the fee
124     simple owner or his designated representative shall be given an opportunity to accompany the
125     appraiser during his inspection of the property.
126          (c) (i) Before the initiation of negotiations for real property, an amount shall be
127     established which is reasonably believed to be just compensation therefor, measured by an
128     undivided interest in the real property being acquired, and such amount shall be offered to the
129     fee simple owner for the property.
130          (ii) In no event shall [such amount] the amount established as described in Subsection
131     (2)(c)(i) be less than the lowest approved appraisal of the fair market value of the property.
132          (iii) Any decrease or increase of the fair market value of real property prior to the date
133     of valuation caused by the public improvement for which such property is acquired or by the
134     likelihood that the property would be acquired for such improvement, other than that due to
135     physical deterioration within the reasonable control of the fee simple owner, will be
136     disregarded in determining the compensation for the property.
137          (iv) The fee simple owner of the real property to be acquired shall be provided with a
138     written statement of, and summary of the basis for, the amount established as just
139     compensation.
140          (v) Where appropriate the just compensation for real property acquired and for
141     damages to remaining real property shall be separately stated.
142          (vi) If a pole bard is impacted as a result of a real property acquisition under this
143     chapter, the acquiring agency shall:
144          (A) determine whether the fee simple owner would receive greater net proceeds by
145     classifying the pole barn as real property or as personal property; and
146          (B) classify the pole barn in the manner that results in the highest net proceeds to the
147     fee simple owner.
148          (d) No owner shall be required to surrender possession of real property acquired
149     through federal or federally assisted programs before the agreed purchase price is paid or there
150     is deposited with a court having jurisdiction of condemnation of such property, in accordance
151     with applicable law, for the benefit of the owner an amount not less than the lowest approved

152     appraisal of the fair market value of such property or the amount of the award of compensation
153     in the condemnation proceeding of such property.
154          (e) The construction or development of a public improvement shall be so scheduled
155     that, to the greatest extent practicable, no person lawfully occupying real property shall be
156     required to move from a dwelling (assuming a replacement dwelling will be available) or to
157     move his business or farm operation without at least 90 days' written notice from the date by
158     which such move is required.
159          (f) If an owner or tenant is permitted to occupy the real property acquired on a rental
160     basis for a short term or for a period subject to termination on short notice, the amount of rent
161     required shall not exceed the fair rental value of the property to a short-term occupier.
162          (g) In no event shall the time of condemnation be advanced, on negotiations or
163     condemnation and the deposit of funds in court for the use of the owner be deferred, or any
164     other coercive action be taken to compel an agreement on the price to be paid for the property.
165          (h) If an interest in real property is to be acquired by exercise of the power of eminent
166     domain, formal condemnation proceedings shall be instituted. The acquiring agency shall not
167     intentionally make it necessary for an owner to institute legal proceedings to prove the fact of
168     the taking of his real property.
169          (i) If the acquisition of only part of the property would leave the fee simple owner with
170     an uneconomic remnant, an offer to acquire the entire property shall be made.