Herriman has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country for its size during the last decade, according to city data, making it a fitting location for a ceremonial bill signing Tuesday where Utah Gov. Spencer Cox touted 10 different growth-related laws passed by the legislature this session.

Dozens of current and former lawmakers, local leaders, transportation officials, housing advocates and more accompanied the governor, speaking briefly to the bevy of bills that Cox said are aimed at “managing growth and growing in the right way.”

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Cox told reporters that Herriman, and other parts of southwest Salt Lake County, exemplify that sentiment, pointing to the “density that we’re seeing in different places.”

“I talk about Daybreak a lot. One of the things I really like about Daybreak is you have different types of housing all in the same neighborhoods. You have multi-family housing, which is cheaper, and rentals, then you have starter homes and middle income homes and higher income homes all in the same neighborhood,” Cox said, referring to the new, walkable community built on reclaimed mining land, which will soon be home to Salt Lake City’s Triple-A baseball team, the Bees.

“What we know from the data is that actually leads to better outcomes. When people from different wage classes get to live in the same neighborhoods, it’s actually really good for those neighborhoods,” Cox said.

Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation, and Gov. Spencer Cox talk in Herriman after attending a ceremonial bill signing related to managing growth in the state on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The Daybreak neighborhood is roughly five miles north of Tuesday’s event, located in South Jordan — like Herriman, and much of the state, it’s growing fast.

For 31 of the past 32 years, the Beehive State has experienced net migration growth, Cox said. In the last decade, that growth propelled Utah to the 30th most populated state in the country, according to U.S. Census data, moving it from the bottom tier to the middle of the pack. In 2022, 62% of the state’s growth came from outside of the state, the governor said.

Cox, speaking before the ceremonial signings, stressed that growth is a double-edged sword. It “presents some wonderful opportunities, and of course some unique challenges.”

“We understand that if we’re going to maintain our high quality of life, and we’re going to make use of a place where our kids and grandkids can live, we really must focus on providing more housing opportunities. We need to build more trails and recreation opportunities and invest more in strategic infrastructure,” he said.

Though the bills have already been passed, there were 10 new laws the governor and lawmakers highlighted Tuesday:

  • SB240: First-time homebuyer assistance program.
  • HB364: Housing affordability amendments.
  • HB499: Homeless services amendments.
  • HB231: Low income housing property tax exemption.
  • HB406: Land use, development and management act.
  • SB174: Local land use and development revisions.
  • HB301: Transportation tax amendments.
  • HB44: Transportation corridor funding amendments.
  • SB27: Transportation revisions.
  • SB185: Transportation amendments.