Is Brighton the only town in America without the right to control its own land use?
The Town of Brighton is the only incorporated town in Utah, and maybe America, that cannot regulate its own land use.
Private property rights are key to our freedom. In fact, the Utah State Constitution defines the ownership of property as a Constitutional right, and the Utah Constitution also gives more protection to private property than the Federal Constitution does.
As we know, land ownership and land values are largely determined by the land use regulations we enact. Land-use regulation determines the value of private property. Most of the value of the property is determined by what you can do with the property.
For this reason, land use needs to be regulated at the lowest possible level of government. Our Cities, towns, and in some cases counties are the level where land use can be regulated most reasonably.
Unfortunately, we have a situation in Utah where we have a town that does not have the right to govern its own land use.
The new Town of Brighton was created just last year. When the town was incorporated, Salt Lake County got the legislature to approve a highly unusual scheme where Salt Lake County continues to control the land use in the Town of Brighton.
This must stop. The citizens of Brighton deserve the right to make their own land-use ordinances. I will work with the County Council and State Legislators to remove the Town of Brighton from the Mountainous Planning District and Commission; thereby allowing the Town of Brighton to set up its own Planning Commission, seated with residents from its own town, as is practiced throughout the State of Utah and across America.