The House gave final passage Thursday to bill to temporarily freeze the boundaries of unincorporated Salt Lake County to allow study of how best to provide services there.
It passed SB216 on a 67-4 vote, and was sent to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.
Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has described the bill as amounting to “pressing the pause button” on incorporation and annexation battles.
House members from unincorporated areas of the county uniformly praised the bill and urged its passage.
The bill would freeze the boundaries of the unincorporated-area townships where they are now until Nov. 15, 2015, an exception being made for an effort already underway to annex the Olympus Hills subdivision into Holladay.
An earlier version of the bill sought to allow non-contiguous, unincorporated communities to become a city, but the legislation now lays out a process for the county and community leaders to create a municipal-services district.
Over the next year, this process will evaluate how services can still be delivered to this far-flung collection of communities — Kearns and Magna, Copperton and White City, Millcreek and Emigration Canyon — taking advantage of the county’s existing economies of scale.
Going this route conceivably allows Millcreek residents to reactivate their incorporation drive, with an eye on getting the measure on the ballot as early as November of 2015, or 2016 at the latest.
Under the bill, the new city could still remain in the municipal-services district even while gaining independence and electing its own slate of close-to-home, local government leaders.