"It has a lot of bugs to be worked out. Some things just need to be thrown out," said Scott Carter, community and economic development director for Layton City. For instance, one clause that could impact city officials would allow a Class B misdemeanor charge "if some developer decides he doesn't like what I'm doing. He could take me to court and get me prosecuted.
"Developers become the de facto planners," he said. "Here (with the bill), the playing field isn't equal. Citizens are out" as far as having input.
"The way it's written, it's wide open. It doesn't make any accounting for lack of (adequate) utilities, which is a shortfall," Carter said.
Under the proposed law, Thacker said, a "rezone can't diminish the reasonable expected return (on investment) for the owner. The provision says zoning decisions shall conform as reasonably as possible to the needs of the property owner."
"There could be a lot of argument about that," he said. "What is reasonable? What kinds of impacts does a city have to suffer and still be reasonable? This just disconnects planning from the development. City planning is completely muddled -- the ability to plan your city with services and infrastructure."
The law "proposes a shift in power from the community to the property owner. Determining where that balance falls is what the Legislature does. What are they going to do? It's community needs vs. individual rights," Thacker said.
"Mansell is a real estate guy who has attacked the planning side from the day he walked into the Legislature," Carter said. "I think he's forgetting the good things (in planning legislation) that have happened.
"It's strange timing when we developed last year's planning act we thought that was a good process, working to be sure all (involved parties) are in compliance. This (new proposal) yanked the rug right from under us. The timing is strange," Carter added.
"We need to work out an across-the-board solution. It's (proposal) got to be a knee-jerk reaction. We punish the guilty, but not everybody," he said.
Among aspects of the bill, it would require city staff to review applications within 45 days, vote on a rezone within 28 days after issuance of a staff report, base impact fees on actual development expenses, and approve cul-de-sacs that are 600 feet deep. Zoning could not be based on "public clamor" or the "whims of members of the legislative body (city council)."