HB 180: Agricultural and Property Protections
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As drafted, the bill ensures that land owners applying for an agriculture protection area, industrial protection area, or mining protection area have a remedy in the case that their application for these legal protections—designed to avoid government takings—is rejected.
A forthcoming modification to the proposal will also ensure that applicants are granted these protections if they qualify (rather than it being up to the municipality’s discretion). Further, the bill will also ensure that eminent domain involving a contested piece of property—as was the case in Farmington—is a last resort; if a municipality owns existing property or can acquire a property without a contested taking, then they must do so before pursuing an eminent domain action involving an unwilling property owner.
Property rights are fundamental and deserve heightened protection against arbitrary and capricious acts of the government. A person should not be compelled to forfeit their land merely because some elected officials want it, when reasonable alternatives are available.