Airport Zoning Regulations

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Airport, defined in §72-10-401 of Utah State Code (as amended) is defined as any publicly used area of land or water that is used, intended to be used, for the landing and taking-off of aircraft and utilized or to be utilized in the interest of the public for these purposes.

According to §72-10-402, the Airport Zoning Act, was enacted by the State Legislature due to the following findings:

  • An airport hazard (i.e., any structure, tree, object of natural growth, or use of land that potentially obstructs or otherwise impacts the safe and efficient utilization of the navigable airspace required for the flight of aircraft in landing or take-off at an airport) endangers the lives and property of users of the airport and of occupants of land in its vicinity;
  • An obstruction of the type that reduces the size of the area available for the landing, taking-off, and maneuvering of aircraft tends to destroy or impair the utility of the airport and the public investment in the airport;
  • The creation or establishment of an airport hazard is a public nuisance and an injury to the community served by the airport in question;
  • It is necessary in the interest of the public health, public safety, and general welfare that the creation or establishment of airport hazards be prevented;
  • This should be accomplished, to the extent legally possible, by exercise of the police power, without compensation;
  • Both the prevention of the creation or establishment of airport hazards and the elimination, removal, alteration, mitigation, or marking and lighting of existing airport hazards are public purposes for which political subdivisions may raise and expend public funds and acquire land or property interests in land.

Additionally, during the 2023 General Session the State Legislature (through H.B. 206) modified this section to also include the following finding:

  • The establishment of an airport overlay zone best prevents the creation of an airport hazard, and promotes the public health, safety, and general welfare.

Special Note: The Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman has provided funding for this training program from the 1% surcharge on all building permits in the State of Utah.

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