The 2015 Utah's Freest Cities Ranking

Land Use Prohibitions

Category: Private Property

City zoning ordinances in Utah are largely of the standard Euclidean "permissive" variety, meaning they create geopgraphic zones for which they attempt to list a comprehensive set of permitted (or conditional) uses; any use not explicitly listed is presumed to be prohibited in that zone. This approach is often inflexible to case-by-case analysis and places the city's regulatory priorities far superior to a private property owner's use of their property. This power is based on the theory of the city's purported "police" power to regulate the health, safety, and welfare of the city.

All 50 cities included in our Index have language or practice that stipulates that any use of one's property that is not specifically enumerated as a permitted use in city law is, by default, prohibited. While some city laws appear to have a more strongly worded land use prohibition, each is similar enough that the substantive legal effect would likely be the same. For this reason, there is no variation from city to city and we did not score this metric in the Index as a result. However, we still kept this item for informational purposes.