WHAT WE DO?
The Emigration Canyon Metro Township is a Utah municipality. As such it is a governmental entity with general police powers. It can, within its jurisdiction, create and enforce laws; and it has limited taxing power. It was created by a vote of the residents of Emigration Canyon in 2015. The Township is governed by an elected council consisting of five members, one of whom is selected by the others to be the chair/mayor. The Council is the legislative body of the Township. The chair/mayor is the chief executive officer of the Township.
The Township has all of the municipal powers available to Utah municipalities under the Utah Municipal Code with the exception of certain taxing powers. It does not have the power to enact a property tax or a municipal energy taxes (sometimes called franchise taxes).
The Township council has the authority to enact laws and ordinances to carry out its responsibilities such as land use and development regulations (zoning). As long as these laws are not inconsistent with the Utah Municipal Code and other state statutes.
The Township is a member of the Greater Salt Lake County Municipal Services District. This District provides six municipal type services to the residents of the Township. The Township is also participating member of the Unified Police Department and the Unified Fire Authority located in Salt Lake County.
WHAT WE DO?
The Emigration Canyon Planning Commission is a board created and appointed by the Emigration Canyon Metro Township Council. The Township is required by state law have an ordinance establishing a planning commission. The ordinance defines the number and terms of the members, and alternate members, if any, and the mode of appointment. The ordinance also establishes rules of order and procedure for use by the planning commission and the procedures for filling vacancies and removal from office. The Metro Township Council has the power to amend and change this ordinance from time to time as it feels is in the best interest of the Township.
The ordinance also details the authority of the Planning /Commission. Not all planning commissions in Utah will have the same power and authority. The Utah State law requires the Planning Commission to have some minimal duties and authority. These duties include making a recommendation to the Township Council for adoption and amendment of the general plan and making recommendations to the Township Council on the adoption or amendment of land use regulations, zoning maps, or official maps. No other powers or duties are required to be given to the Planning Commission by the Metro Township Council. The planning commission does not have any other inherent powers.
The Planning Commissions is not a policy making body. It recommends policy to the policy makers. The requirement of state law is that the planning commission is to be involved in making recommendations to the Metro Township Council regarding certain land use regulations. If the Metro Township Council does not accept the recommendations, there is nothing the planning commission can do. The state code specifically provides that the Council can adopt a recommended ordinance, reject it, or revise it.
The ordinance and code adopted by the Township Council has given the Township Planning Commission a role as the Land Use Authority for the Township in some land use matters such as the granting or denial of conditional use permits. A Land Use Authority is the individual or body that makes the decision as to whether or not a permit or approval is given to a land use applicant. When the Planning Commission is acting as the Land Use Authority it must follow and implement the Township code, ordinances and state law. It is acting in an administrative role. Administrative functions are usually not discretionary. Utah law specifically provides that a land use applicant is entitled to approval of his or her application if the application conforms to the local law and if all fees have been paid.