Urban Affairs – Unicameral update

Lawmakers established inland port authorities, implemented the provisions of a constitutional amendment related to economic development, updated the annexation law, and created a register for building inspectors.

LB156, presented by Omaha Senator Justin Wayne, establishes up to five inland port authorities in Nebraska. An inland port authority can be established in a metropolitan, primary or first-class city or in a county with more than 20,000 inhabitants.

An eligible city and one or more counties that contain an eligible city – or in which the extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction of such a city is located – may also form a common inland port authority.

To be eligible, an inland port site must be at least 300 acres in size and meet two of the following criteria:
• one mile of river or navigable waterway;
• one mile from a main railway line;
• two miles from a major airport; or
• two miles from any federal highway or divided four-lane highway.

An inland port authority is authorized to engage in marketing activities, issue and sell tax bonds, and acquire rights of way and property. All authorities established under the bill will be administered by an appointed board of directors.

Lawmakers passed LB156 on a 47-0 vote.

Wayne also introduced LB25, which implemented the provisions of a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2020. The bill, passed 48-0, extends the maximum payback period for tax increase funding by 15 years to 20 years if more than half of the land in a project is designated as extremely devastated.

Nebraska home inspectors will need to register with the state effective Jan. 1, 2023, under a bill introduced by Omaha Senator Steve Lathrop. LB423 requires inspectors to register with the Nebraska Secretary of State, pay a fee, and provide a certificate of liability insurance of at least $ 250,000. The bill sets a maximum registration fee of $ 300 and allows an inspector to list any national home inspection certification they hold.

Senators passed LB423 on a 41-2 vote.

LB9, introduced by Bellevue Senator Carol Blood, considers lands, lots, tracts, streets and highways to be contiguous with a first-class town for annexation purposes, even though federally owned areas are located between the potentially annexed lands and the business boundaries of a city.

Any modification of the electrical service requires the approval of the electrical utility currently serving the potentially annexed area. LB9 also allows special assessment of agricultural or horticultural land within city or village limits if the land is subject to use zone regulations compatible with air installation or is in a plain. floodable.

The bill, which was passed 46-0 and entered into force immediately, only applies to first-class cities located in counties with at least three first-class cities.

LB131, introduced by Senator Megan Hunt of Omaha, adds “or as provided by law” to the list of reasons why a municipality can forgo reading an ordinance three times before it is passed.

The measure, voted 40-7, includes provisions from seven other bills:
• LB99, introduced by Senator Fremont Lynne Walz, which exempts areas designated as extremely devastated from the maximum percentage of a town or village that can be designated as devastated under the Community Development Act;
• LB161, introduced by Urban Affairs Commission, which makes several technical changes to the Building Construction Act;
• LB162, also introduced by the committee, which establishes uniform procedures for detaching a territory from the corporate boundaries of a municipality;
• LB218, introduced by Wayne, which adopts the Uniform Plumbing Code 2018 as the state default plumbing code;
• LB549, also introduced by Wayne, which allows municipalities that operate a natural gas plant or natural gas system to apply to the state for an emergency grant to cover up to 80% of extraordinary costs associated with an event. extreme weather and provides a weather, a general fund transfer of $ 4 million to fund the grants;
• LB556, introduced by Lincoln Senator Matt Hansen, which clarified that municipalities can add requirements to a redevelopment contract to comply with their full redevelopment plan, affordable housing action plan or other objectives established by the municipality; and
• LB647, introduced by Norfolk Senator Michael Flood, which allows first-class towns to increase their bond threshold from $ 2 million to $ 5 million when constructing or purchasing a public building without the people’s vote.

Health and Improvement Districts can build off-street parking lots under LB81, introduced by Senator Robert Hilkemann of Omaha. The bill, passed 40-0, allows IDS to acquire, buy, own, erect, construct, equip, operate or maintain off-street parking facilities.

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