SALT LAKE CITY — Under a mandate of the new law passed in last month’s special legislative session that she protested, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s administration is gearing up to update zoning regulations for an inland port in the city’s northwest quadrant.
Though not ruling out possible litigation to continue fighting the controversial Utah Inland Port Authority — the entity created by the Utah Legislature to guide the creation of a global trade hub — Biskupski is calling on the public to attend a series of meetings to give input on the zoning changes.
The new law, HB2001, which was supported by the Salt Lake City Council after it negotiated with state leaders, requires the city to update its zoning ordinance to support inland port uses by Dec. 31.
If the city doesn’t by that deadline, the city will lose its opportunity to regulate inland port uses, Biskupski said. However, the mayor pointed out the Inland Port Authority board still has the power to have final land use authority within the port jurisdiction — about 16,000 acres of undeveloped land west of the Salt Lake City International Airport.
“My administration will explore every possible opportunity to protect the city’s interests and our constitutional authority over how land is developed in our jurisdiction,” Biskupski said in a statement issued Friday, again hinting at the possibility of a lawsuit to undo the port authority on constitutional grounds.
“While we are being forced to expend tremendous effort and time to meet this arbitrary deadline, the troubling fact remains even our updated regulations can be overturned by the inland port authority board at any time,” Biskupski said.
The city is planning at least seven events over the next six weeks to take public input on issues including air quality, minimizing resource use within the port’s jurisdiction, respecting environmental sensitivity, and identifying neighborhood impacts or other community concerns, according to city officials.
“While we continue to explore our legal options, it is important that we update our zoning in the impacted areas to ensure our values are clearly defined prior to any significant action taken by the unelected inland port authority board,” Biskupski said. “This effort will also provide a meaningful way for the public to finally have their voices heard.”
The meetings include:
• Glendale Community Council meeting: Aug. 15, 7 p.m., Glendale Library, 1375 Concord Street
• Community open house: Aug. 20, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Day-Riverside Library, 1575 …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News