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Cottonwood Heights Journal

City makes changes to idling code

Nov 11, 2020 09:59AM ● By Cassie Goff

Receiving a citation for idling will now occur after only one warning. (Photo courtesy of Cottonwood Heights)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

In June 2018, the City Journals reported on a new ordinance that was passed regarding idling within the City of Cottonwood Heights. The ordinance made idling for over 1 minute illegal. Idling drivers would be given a warning, then a citation for a reoccurring offense.

In 2019, the Utah State Legislature passed a statue which changed their idling code for all municipalities within the state H.B. (House Bill) 148 – Vehicle Idling Revisions sponsored by Senator Curtis Bramble and Representative Patrice Arent.

Now, Cottonwood Heights is making revisions to their Idling Code (Chapter 9.62 – Idling Vehicle of the Cottonwood Heights City Code of Ordinances) in order to meet the state’s requirements.

One of the changes to be made to the code addresses challenges that occur on private property. “The biggest challenge pertaining to code enforcement for idling on private property are drive-thrus,” explained Cottonwood Heights Police Chief Robby Russo during the Oct. 6 City Council meeting.

“Functionally, it makes more sense to not enforce idling on private property,” Russo said.

However, he noted that business owners can put up educational signs requesting drivers waiting in drive-thrus to turn off their engines.

Another change that needs to be made to the Cottonwood Heights city code includes legal repercussions for idling over 1 minute on public property. The state legislature changed the language in their bill from three warnings before a citation, to one. Cottonwood Heights will do the same.

“It’s easier to track with one warning,” said Russo. “Like seat belt laws, the whole intent of this ordinance is education.”

“The changes address idling on private property, but still keeps the desire and intent related to handling idling issues throughout the city,” said Russo. 

The Cottonwood Heights City Council voted on the changes to the city’s Idling Ordinance on Oct. 20.