Krejci v. Saratoga Springs

Utah Supreme Court

2013 UT 74; 322 P.3d 662

The Utah Constitution vests legislative power in the people, which may be exercised through initiatives or referenda. That power is limited to valid exercises of legislative authority, but not executive (or administrative) or judicial authority.

The people’s right to seek legislative changes through initiative or referendum is not derived from statute, but from the Utah Constitution.  As such, the legislature may not unreasonably restrict that right.

Legislative decisions  are characterized by  adoption of  new law (or consideration of changes to laws), and weighing broad, competing policy considerations.

Changes in zoning ordinances, including site-specific zoning decisions, are legislative in nature, and thus potential subjects for initiative or referenda.

Variances and conditional use permits are administrative in nature (in that they apply existing law rather than create new law), and so are not proper subjects for initiative or referenda.

Full Text of Krejci v. Saratoga Springs