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KILL SB 157 County Zoning Bill
WEDNESDAY MORNING FEBRUARY 4TH: Senate Bill 157–the County Zoning Bill–will be heard in House State Affairs at 7:30 am in Room 414 of the Capitol.
There has been a lot of media attention on Senate Bill 157 and what it does. The Governor, industry, and some legislators say it’s a simple bill that directs counties to “get their ordinances in order.” Dakota Rural Action, many county commissioners, farmers, ranchers, and rural residents say it takes away local control.
So, how do you sort through the hype?
We think the easiest way to do that is simply to READ THE BILL.
The link above takes you to the SD Legislative Research Council’s website. Scroll down the page to “bill text versions” and click on the latest version.
Here are some specific issues with SB 157 [Bill Sections indicated in brackets]:
SB 157 undermines local control in the following specific ways:
- Removes the supermajority vote option for conditional use permits (currently counties have option of simple or supermajority) and forces a simple majority of members present vote on permits. [Section Two & Six]
- Nullifies counties’ ability to set their own expiration date for permits issued and sets in place an across-the-board standard of two years following the conclusion of an appeal–no matter how long that appeal process takes. [Section Fifteen]
SB 157 puts people out of the democratic process in the following specific ways
- It entices counties to move to a “special permitted use” process that is administratively approved–no public notice or hearing–undermining due process rights and increasing potential of strife between neighbors [Sections Three & Four]
- Severely limits those who have standing to file an appeal–beyond even what the courts have previously ruled [Section One]
- Subjects those who do appeal to costs of preparing proceeding transcripts, which can run into the thousands of dollars [Section Eleven]
- Subjects those who appeal and lose to paying attorneys fees of the winner (though if an appealing party wins, they cannot get attorney fees paid by the county) [Section Fourteen]