When does a vested right expire?

If a land use is already established, the vested right lasts forever, except for a few exceptions in Utah law(11). In the case of development agreements, annexation agreements, district area plans, community plans, and village plans, the vested right and approval lasts until the agreement expires or until the time specified in the approval(12). For site plans, conditional uses, and plat approvals, the vested right expires at the time specified by City ordinances(13).


(11) Utah Code Annotated § 10-9a-510(2)

(12) See Tooele Associates Ltd. Partnership v. Tooele City, 2012 UT App 214. The Tooele court held that a City has a contractual obligation to uphold a development agreement and treat the developer fairly and in good faith. A City cannot hinder the developer’s performance of the contract or withhold additional approvals needed for the developer to proceed in accordance with the development agreement. The City cannot breach their own contractual obligations, despite any minor breaches of the other party

(13) Judkins v. Fronk, 234 P.2d 849 (Utah 1951). In this case, the property owner was issued a building permit for a gas station; thus, he had a vested right to build despite the fact that the zoning changed shortly thereafter. However, the court held that upon the expiration of that permit, no vested right existed

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1. What is a vested right?
2. What is a land use?
3. What is an application?
4. When does a vested right occur?
5. When does a vested right expire?
6. Can the City, or the citizens through an initiative or referendum, take away a vested right?
7. What are the consequences for taking away a vested right?