Cost to change ordinances


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 15, 2008
Salt Lake City
I've been trading some e-mails with my zoning commission about current ordinances and changing them. I was informed this morning it would cost me $1200 to apply for a change. I don't get the money back if it is unsuccessful.

Anyone have something similar to this?
In my town there is no cost such as that, but every municipality is different. I'd ask him for proof of what this $1200 pays for; for example, are those filing fees required by law or is that just his estimate on what you pay if you hired an attorney? If this fee is noted in a law as a filing fee or court fee then ask him to cite it for you so you can read the regulation or law for yourself.

You definitely should not believe what he tells you without proof.

Here is his e-mail:

The process to change the requirements of the zoning ordinance is to apply for a zoning code text amendment. The cost for this type of application is $1,200. Before spending this kind of money I would highly recommend that you meet with your local City Council representative to get a feel of how such an amendment may be looked at.
As part of your discussion with your Councilman, I would bring examples of what other cities are doing (you mentioned Taylorsville and I believe the Town of Elk Ridge, Utah County recently adopted a "Chicken Ordinance"). This is a tricky item as West Jordan continues its transition from its rural roots to an ever increasingly urban environment. If you choose to proceed with a text amendment please contact me with any other questions.


Scott Langford
It sounds like you're applying for a zoning waiver for only your property. It might be more effective (and cheaper) to try to gather some local support and then go to your councilman and persuade him to propose a change in the city ordinance.
Well, I noticed he did not actually cite the regulation. i.e. using proper legal citation naming the source ofthe law, the chapter number, section number etc. and shame on him! He should have done that, so again, do not believe anything he tells you until you read it for yourself.

I personally find it outrageous that citizens in your community are being discouraged from taking part in their own government unless they can pony up the cash to change a law; this totally stacks the deck in favor of deep-pocketed interests such as developers who want to turn farmland or rangeland into subdivisions because they can afford steep filing fees to initiate zoning changes favorable to them.

The best course may be to speak with councilman (who you elect by the way) and ask them for help locating this regulation so you can really see that all is involved and get them on board to change things because your interests are not being represented even in the law making process.
He referred me to the form used to apply, which conveniently did not include a fee schedule.

The form is specifically for development changes or property improvements to the zoning ordinances.
He clearly doesn't get it then, because as Mama Kate pointed out there must be some way for individual homeowners to apply for either a special building permit or a zoning variance (which are two differents things, btw. )

Do you know if you can have chickens in your town? If chickens are allowed, but your area is not zoned for it then that's one legal course of action, however, if they are not allowed at all that's a different course of legal action.

did you see this on KSL today? I dont know how close you are to provo, but its interesting to see that zoning laws are changing and maybe will move toward your area.

Provo may let residents keep 6 chickens at home
March 11th, 2009 @ 10:20am
PROVO, Utah (AP) -- The Provo Municipal Council is considering an ordinance that would allow people to keep up to six hen chickens at home.

Councilwoman Cindy Clark says chickens have become urban and many Provo residents already keep hen houses on their property to harvest eggs.

However, Council Chairwoman Cynthia Dayton says concerns over public health and nuisance issues need to be addressed.

A draft ordinance reviewed by the council on Tuesday requires the chickens to be kept in an outdoor enclosed area and moved to a hen house at night. It also requires the enclosed area to be cleaned weekly and made safe from predators.

Current city code doesn't allow people to keep chickens in residential areas
My cousin (also a member here) just sent me that article. A quick search over the last month revealed 3 other articles of the same nature for towns within 30 miles of me.

Chickens are allowed on RR (Rural Residential) zones. I am about .5 miles from the nearest RR zone.

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