Suggested approach to geologic hazards ordinances in Utah (C-79)

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Engineering Geology

By: G. E. Christenson

The purpose of geologic hazards ordinances is to encourage prudent land uses in areas of geologic hazards for the protection of the health, safety, and property of the citizens of the city or county enacting the ordinance. Geologic hazards can be considered at various times during planning and development, but in general are best considered early in the process. Some geologic hazards cannot be mitigated or are too costly to mitigate and, therefore, are best avoided. Other hazards are easily mitigated and need not influence land use significantly as long as the hazard is identified. Because of this, general hazards information should be utilized in developing local master plans and zoning ordinances so that land use can then take into account geologic hazards. Identification of hillside protection zones, critical environmental zones, and sensitive land zones are common ways of addressing hazards in zoning ordinances. Development in such zones is either prohibited or restricted unless certain requirements are met prior to development.

The purpose of this report is to outline a series of steps which can be followed by local government in order to effectively consider geologic hazards. These steps may be incorporated into: 1) zoning ordinances in hillside protection zones, critical environmental zones, or geologic hazards overlay zones; or 2) site development codes and subdivision ordinances. The report is written for local government planners and sets forth an approach which should ensure consideration and mitigation of hazards and at the same time maintain maximum flexibility in implementation and land-use decision making. This report is not a comprehensive review of all possible approaches or types of ordinances in which geologic hazards may be addressed. It is also not a model ordinance, although it includes some definitions which may be used in an ordinance. A glossary of terms is included at the end of the report.

Other Information:
Published: 1987
Pages: 16 p.
Location: Utah
Media Type: Paper Publication

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