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Salt Lake City loses its lawsuit over the Inland Port

Hand about to bang gavel on sounding block in the court room. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

SALT LAKE CITY – A judge has tossed Salt Lake City’s lawsuit against the Inland Port project on Wednesday, ruling that the state did not violate the Utah Constitution.

The ruling is seen as a major blow to opponents of the 16,000 acre trade hub planned for the westside of the city.

Former Salt Lake City mayor Jackie Biscupski had argued the state overstepped its bounds when it created an 11-member board to control the project, bypassing the authority of the city on issues like land use and taxation.

3rd District Court Judge James Blanch rejected the city’s lawsuit, ruling the Inland Port Authority Act does not violate the “Ripper Clause” of the state constitution. The clause covers local powers like land use zoning, municipal taxes, and municipal functions.

Inland Port Authority Chairman Jack Hedge released a statement saying they were “pleased” with the ruling and, “look forward to continuing the work with our great municipal and county partners to the benefit of all the citizens of Utah.” Governor Gary Herbert expressed similar sentiments.

However, new mayor Erin Mendenhall said she was disappointed with the decision and that the city will appeal to the Utah Supreme Court.