Southern Utah, 0222 UTBJ, Vol. 35, No. 1. 41

Authorby Victoria Carlton
PositionVol. 35 1 Pg. 41

Southern Utah

No. Vol. 35 No. 1 Pg. 41

Utah Bar Journal

February, 2022

January. 2022

by Victoria Carlton

H.B. 82 and Utah’s Pursuit of Affordable Housing

In response to astronomical growth in housing costs, the Utah Legislature recently passed House Bill 82. The governor signed H.B. 82 into law in March 2021. The law prohibits municipalities and counties from restricting internal accessory dwelling units (IADU) in all residential zones. An IADU is a residential unit within a single-family dwelling or detached from a single-family dwelling but on the same lot.

Some municipalities, like Springdale, Utah, a town at the base of Zion National Park, previously restricted these types of rental units in residential zones. See Springdale Town Code § 10-7A-2. Now, however, these municipalities must allow IADUs, with some restrictions. See Springdale Town Code § 10-22-9 (noting the allowance of IADUs with certain restrictions); see also Santa Clara City Ordinance No. 2021-14 (adding Chapter 22 to Title 17 to its Code, allowing IADUs with a business license and permit recorded on the property); Nephi City Code Ordinance No. 09-21-2021-A (removing the secondary kitchen restriction, which referred to a restriction of secondary dwellings in residential zones. The Nephi City Council also noted possible amendments to clarify these types of units within the restrictions allowed by statute.). Homeowner’s Associations are also prohibited from restricting internal accessory dwelling units. Utah Code Ann. § 57-8a-218(15).

The Housing Affordability Issue and IADUs

Simply google “housing crisis in Utah” and you will find various articles written in the Salt Lake Tribune,

Deseret News, Standard Examiner,

Spectrum, and other Utah news outlets. At the current rate of growth, some estimate that Utah needs 27,600 additional housing units annually to keep up with the demand for housing. Eskic D. Wood, et. al., Housing Affordability: What are Best Practices and Why are They Important? Kem C. Gardner PoliCy institute, November 2020, wpcontent/uploads/Best-Practices-Dec2020.pdf. Yet, over the past five years, “the number of new dwelling units in Utah has averaged 21,150 units, about 75% of the number required to meet the annual demand over the next five years.” Id. at 2.

In March 2021, the sponsor of H.B. 82, Representative Raymond P. Ward, stated before the Senate’s Revenue and Taxation Committee that the legislature is...

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