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Richmond’s land-use laws are changing

February 3rd, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Kate Rouse

RICHMOND–Significant changes are pending for Richmond’s Land Use Development and Land Management Ordinance, City Manager Marlowe Adkins said Tuesday at the city’s monthly Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

“There’s going to be significant changes,” Adkins said about the new ordinance currently in drafting stages. “Significant–that’s different than earth-shaking,” he added.

A few years ago, Adkins realized that substantial changes to Utah’s Land Use Development and Management Act (LUDMA) were made by the Utah Legislature in recent years. Those changes have left Richmond’s own land use development and management ordinance somewhat behind the times, he said.

Adkins said that when Richmond residents want to build or develop their land, the discrepancies could cause problems if the Richmond ordinance doesn’t line up with the recent changes to Utah land use law.

Adkins and one other city employee are in the process of redrafting the Richmond land use ordinance to comply with LUDMA. “We’re taking the time to do it right,” Adkins said.

The planning and zoning commission is in the process of reviewing the ordinance and offering suggestions, and once approved, it will be sent to the City Council for approval, then posted online for everyone to see. Adkins hopes the new ordinance will be approved and available to the public by the end of this year.

“The whole goal is to come up with an ordinance that will be easy and usable by the citizen(s),” Adkins said. Once posted online, Richmond residents who have questions about what and where they can build, or just how many animals they can own, should be able to find answers on richmond-utah.com, the city’s website.

Adkins said one of the significant changes will be the way in which residents can appeal land use and development decisions. “In the past, we’ve had a board of adjustment (to handle appeals),” Adkins said. “(With the new ordinance) there will be a choice of an appeals judge or the board of adjustment.”

Adkins said the city council has the right to appoint the appeals judge, and that Richmond will have the option to jointly hire a judge together with other towns and cities. He said the judge should be familiar with Utah’s Land Use Development and Management Act, and stay current of all changes made by the state legislature.

Other changes will need to be made to Richmond’s current land use ordinance to comply with LUDMA, Adkins said, but since the new ordinance is still pending approval, the draft is not yet available to the public in its entirety.


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