Legislature(2019 - 2020)BUTROVICH 205

03/18/2020 03:30 PM RESOURCES

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Moved CSSB 189(RES) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Moved CSSB 217(RES) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
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             SB 204-STATE LAND SALES; PLATS; RIVERS                                                                         
5:11:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be  SENATE  BILL  NO.  204,  "An Act  relating  to  state  lands;                                                               
relating to the authority of  the Department of Natural Resources                                                               
over state owned  lands; relating to the disposal  of state land;                                                               
relating to the leasing and sale  of state land for commercial or                                                               
industrial  development;  repealing establishment  of  recreation                                                               
rivers  and  recreation river  corridors;  and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
CHAIR MICCICHE noted that this was the first hearing for SB 204.                                                                
5:12:20 PM                                                                                                                    
MARTIN PARSONS,  Director, Division  of Mining, Land,  and Water,                                                               
Alaska  Department  of   Natural  Resources,  Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                               
explained  that  SB  204  is   a  land  sale  bill  the  governor                                                               
introduced  to  help the  Division  of  Mining, Land,  and  Water                                                               
(DMLW) make  lands available to  fulfill the need and  desire for                                                               
Alaskans to own a piece of Alaska.                                                                                              
5:13:02 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PARSONS commenced his presentation,  SB 204 State Land Sales;                                                               
Plats; Rivers. He displayed slide 2,  Why and How DNR sells State                                                               
land? that made the following points:                                                                                           
   • Alaska Constitution                                                                                                        
        o Article 8, Section 1 -It is the policy of the State to                                                                
          encourage   the  settlement   of  its   land  and   the                                                               
          development of  its resources by making  them available                                                               
          for maximum use consistent with the public interest."                                                                 
        o Article 8, Section 9        requires reservations of                                                                  
          minerals (as required by Section  6(i) of the Statehood                                                               
          Act)  and reservations  for access  to these  resources                                                               
          (implemented by AS 38.05.125).                                                                                        
        o Article 8, Section 10 requires public notice and                                                                      
          "other safeguards of the  public interest" when selling                                                               
          state land.  No disposals or  lease of state  lands, or                                                               
          interests therein,  shall be made without  prior public                                                               
          notice and  other safeguards of the  public interest as                                                               
          may be prescribed by law.                                                                                             
   • Alaska Statute Title 38                                                                                                    
        o AS 38 serves as an "owner's manual" for Alaska's                                                                      
          Statehood   Act   entitlement   lands,   dealing   with                                                               
          management as well as conveyance.                                                                                     
        o Most of the authority of Land Sales is codified within                                                                
          AS Title 38, Chapter 05 The Alaska Land Act.                                                                          
He explained that  slide 2 provides an overview of  why the State                                                               
sells  land, the  authorities, and  the constitutional  framework                                                               
but  not necessarily  the requirements.  One of  the department's                                                               
primary  purposes   is  to  provide   for  the   development  and                                                               
settlement of state land, but  the State reserves the minerals as                                                               
part of Alaska's Statehood Act.                                                                                                 
MR. PARSONS emphasized that land  sales are subject to the public                                                               
interest.  The land  sales program  is not  a land  giveaway. The                                                               
department does  not make  land available  where the  public does                                                               
not have  an opportunity to weigh  in on how the  State sells the                                                               
land.  Land sales  go  through the  normal  public process  under                                                               
Title 38, the statutes the  make lands available under the Alaska                                                               
Land Act.                                                                                                                       
5:14:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PARSONS displayed slide 3,  SB 204 - State Platting Authority                                                               
for  State  Land Managed  by  DNR,  that contains  the  following                                                               
   • State assumes platting responsibilities for state lands                                                                    
     within and outside of municipal boundaries.                                                                                
   • Consolidation  of   platting    requirements   will    add                                                                 
     efficiencies to  the development of state  land for disposal                                                               
     to  Alaskans; reducing  costs and  time  necessary to  bring                                                               
     state lands  onto the market  helping to fulfill  the demand                                                               
     for state land parcels.                                                                                                    
        o Where appropriate the state will be consistent with                                                                   
          municipal construction and subdivision stipulations                                                                   
          into the subdivision designs to the maximum extent                                                                    
        o Road Rights of Ways will be platted consistent with                                                                   
          DOT&PF requirements                                                                                                   
             square4 Access to subdivisions will meet "Collector road"                                                          
        o Reduces development costs making projects economically                                                                
        o Provides predictability in development costs and                                                                      
        o Reduces rework of plats                                                                                               
He  said  platting  and  land   sale  development  would  all  be                                                               
consistent with AS  38.04.065. The State would  work closely with                                                               
municipalities and boroughs throughout the planning process.                                                                    
MR. PARSONS explained  that the portion of the bill  that slide 3                                                               
addresses  also  deals  with  the  effects  on  the  Division  of                                                               
Forestry,  the   Alaska  Trust  Land   Office,  and   the  Alaska                                                               
Department  of Military  Affairs (DMVA)  where the  State accepts                                                               
opportunities to plat roads into  certain areas. For example, the                                                               
Division of  Forestry could access  a burnt stand of  timber that                                                               
was dried and would be  excellent firewood; the division would be                                                               
able to bring that online in  a very quick and predictable manner                                                               
while taking municipal concerns into account.                                                                                   
He said  one of the things  that DMLW would look  at is reserving                                                               
rights-of-way  for roads  within a  subdivision. DMLW  would work                                                               
with  the   Alaska  Department   of  Transportation   and  Public                                                               
Facilities (DOT&PF) to  make sure that there would not  be a need                                                               
to come  back at a  later date to  purchase or widen  a right-of-                                                               
way.   DMLW  would   also  work   with  the   boroughs  and   the                                                               
municipalities to  make sure  the width  of the  right-of-way was                                                               
correct for any future land development.                                                                                        
MR.  PARSONS highlighted  that lands  developed within  a borough                                                               
would go  on their tax  rolls for  tax collection. He  added that                                                               
boroughs take responsibility  of the roads once  the State brings                                                               
the roads up to standards.                                                                                                      
CHAIR MICCICHE  apologized and  asked him  pause his  overview so                                                               
Commissioner  Feige would  provide her  opening statement  for SB
5:18:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CORRI  A.  FEIGE,  Commissioner,  Alaska  Department  of  Natural                                                               
Resources, Anchorage,  Alaska, stated  that Article 8,  Section 1                                                               
of the  Alaska Constitution states that  it is the policy  of the                                                               
State  to  encourage   the  settlement  of  its   lands  and  the                                                               
development  of  its  resources  by  making  them  available  for                                                               
maximum use consistent with the public interest.                                                                                
She detailed that  SB 204 focuses on state  land availability for                                                               
sale and development to drive  the state's economy. The bill aims                                                               
to  make   more  land  available   to  Alaskans   and  commercial                                                               
activities to directly impact municipal  tax bases, jobs, and the                                                               
state's economic growth.                                                                                                        
COMMISSIONER FEIGE said she believes  SB 204 will increase demand                                                               
for  state  land  parcels.  The   Alaska  Department  of  Natural                                                               
Resources  (DNR)  will meet  increased  demand  by creating  more                                                               
efficient ways for  subdividing and offering state  land for sale                                                               
to increase  the supply  of land  parcels available  for purchase                                                               
and development.                                                                                                                
She stated  that SB 204 would  increase the supply of  state land                                                               
parcels through the following four key actions:                                                                                 
   1. Extension of state platting authority to all state                                                                        
         land managed by DNR to allow for lower cost of                                                                         
       subdivision and faster conversion of state land to                                                                       
     sale-ready parcels.                                                                                                        
   2. An increase in the cap on the land disposal income                                                                        
     fund  from  $5  million   to  $7.5  million  to  offset                                                                    
     inflation,  which has  never been  done since  the fund                                                                    
     came into  existence, and further to  make more funding                                                                    
       available for land subdivision and construction of                                                                       
   3. The bill aims to create a new commercial land use                                                                         
       program that allows the public to nominate parcels                                                                       
     within economic opportunity zones or state determined                                                                      
     commercial development areas.                                                                                              
   4. The bill will repeal the unenforceable management                                                                         
      restrictions on certain state land parcels that have                                                                      
      actually hindered the very activities that they were                                                                      
     originally intended to encourage.                                                                                          
COMMISSIONER  FEIGE summarized  that growing  the economy  of the                                                               
state and building  stronger municipal tax bases  have one common                                                               
denominator and  that is land.  Getting more land  into Alaskans'                                                               
hands,  while   still  protecting   access  for   recreation,  is                                                               
essential for diversifying Alaska's  economy that is less reliant                                                               
upon oil  and gas  jobs for  individual employment  and financial                                                               
5:22:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PARSONS  displayed slide 4,  SB 204 - Increase  Land Disposal                                                               
Income Fund Cap, that contains the following information:                                                                       
   • Increase spending authority from the Land Disposal Income                                                                  
     Fund for project.                                                                                                          
   • The cap on the Land Disposal Income Fund is proposed to be                                                                 
     increased  from  $5.0 million  to  $7.5  million to  provide                                                               
     additional  capital  for  the   department  to  develop  and                                                               
     dispose of  state lands  and to  offset inflation  since the                                                               
     fund was established in 2000.                                                                                              
        o $5 million cap has not adjusted in 20 years                                                                           
        o Personnel and Development costs have increased                                                                        
          significantly,   reducing    the   available   "working                                                               
        o Will result in more acreage available for sale and                                                                    
          construction of access.                                                                                               
He detailed that the Land  Disposal Income Fund, enacted in 2000,                                                               
revitalized the  department's land  sale program. The  $5 million                                                               
cap allows the  department to spend up to $5  million on surveys,                                                               
design, appraisal  hiring, road construction, and  other types of                                                               
amenities that are necessary for land sales.                                                                                    
He said costs have increased over  the course of 20 years and the                                                               
department  estimates that  increasing  the cap  to $7.5  million                                                               
takes inflation into  account. He emphasized that the  cap is not                                                               
an  appropriation. The  $7.5 million  cap would  simply authorize                                                               
the  program to  receive the  money and  allow the  department to                                                               
build more access roads to make more land available.                                                                            
5:24:59 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PARSONS  displayed slide 5, Land  Sales Competitive Programs,                                                               
and discussed the following bullet points:                                                                                      
   • Sealed-Bid Auction Sales                                                                                                   
        o Available to Alaskan residents                                                                                        
        o Online/Paper Bid system during set bidding period                                                                     
   • Over-the-Counter Purchase                                                                                                  
        o Open to the public world-wide throughout the year                                                                     
   • Remote Recreational Cabin Sites                                                                                            
        o Stake it yourself program                                                                                             
        o Lease to sale conversion                                                                                              
He  said  the  sealed-bid  auction is  the  department's  initial                                                               
offering of land  that is only open to Alaskans.  Parcels that do                                                               
not sell go into the over-the counter purchase program.                                                                         
MR. PARSONS  said the Remote  Recreational Cabin  Staking Program                                                               
is very  popular. In an identified  area, people can stake  up to                                                               
20 acres, clear the land, and  start to build a cabin while under                                                               
lease.  After a  period of  time the  program converts  the lease                                                               
into a sale. This land is typically more remote.                                                                                
He  clarified  that  the  land sales  program  does  not  include                                                               
MR.  PARSONS  displayed  slide  6,   SB  204  -  Additional  Sale                                                               
Authorities, and discussed the following bullet points:                                                                         
   • Provides for ease of Land Sales purchase contracts                                                                         
        o Modifies     auction     requirements    for     easier                                                               
          administration of land offerings                                                                                      
             square4 Allows for more modern sale options, including                                                             
               online auctions                                                                                                  
        o Increase max contract term to 30 years                                                                                
             square4 Currently capped at 20 years                                                                               
             square4 Allows for longer financing of higher value                                                                
He explained  that the department  would like to change  the ways                                                               
it offers,  contracts, and  finances land.  Currently DNR  is not                                                               
able to  offer online land  auctions like an eBay.  The requested                                                               
changes  to the  program include  extending the  maximum contract                                                               
length from  20 years to  30 years. Extending the  payment period                                                               
would open lands up for more Alaskans to participate.                                                                           
5:27:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PARSONS displayed  slide 7,  SB  204 -  Commercial Use  Land                                                               
Sales, and discussed the following points:                                                                                      
   • This new statute governing the leasing and sale of state                                                                   
     lands deemed suitable for commercial development, within                                                                   
     Qualified Opportunity Zones or in state determined                                                                         
     commercial development areas.                                                                                              
        o Land can be nominated by the public                                                                                   
        o Leasing option to complete requirements for sale and                                                                  
          allow immediate commercial activity                                                                                   
        o After conclusion of the lease requirements a sale will                                                                
        o Individuals have requested a program to allow for such                                                                
        o The   number   of   acres   identified   for   proposed                                                               
          development will be significant and the number of                                                                     
          acres conveyed will depend on the proposals received                                                                  
He  explained  that  individuals  who had  ideas  about  creating                                                               
remote lodges  for hunting or  eco-tourism fostered the  idea for                                                               
the  commercial land  sale program.  The idea  is to  develop the                                                               
program in Qualified Opportunity Zones  designated by the IRS for                                                               
economically depressed areas.                                                                                                   
MR.  PARSONS  detailed that  an  individual  or the  State  could                                                               
identify  a 5  to 20-acre  parcel and  submit a  development plan                                                               
that  describes   structures,  the  workforce,  and   the  skills                                                               
required   to  develop   the  project.   The  participant   would                                                               
ultimately pay for surveying and appraisal costs.                                                                               
He said program  participants would receive a  five-year lease to                                                               
show the  land is  being developed according  to plan.  The State                                                               
would convert the  lease to a sale if the  participant is meeting                                                               
their   plan   requirements.   Initial  leasing   prevents   land                                                               
speculation.  The  department's intent  with  the  program is  to                                                               
create economic diversity.                                                                                                      
5:29:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. PARSONS  displayed slide 8,  SB 204 - Repeal  of Recreational                                                               
Rivers Statutes, and discussed the following points:                                                                            
   • The bill repeals statutes relating to the designation of                                                                   
     certain rivers in southcentral Alaska as recreation rivers,                                                                
     in order to allow for more effective management of state                                                                   
        o Reduction of current limitations on land management                                                                   
        o Repeal will end unenforceable management issues and                                                                   
          restrictions on recreational and commercial use on                                                                    
          over 260,000 acres                                                                                                    
             square4 Provides for generally allowed uses                                                                        
             square4 Allows expansion of Land Use opportunities                                                                 
        o May increase acreage available for inclusion in the                                                                   
          Land Sales program or new commercial development                                                                      
MR. PARSONS  detailed that the  Susitna Recreational  Rivers Plan                                                               
and  accompanying  statutes set  aside  lands  in the  1980s  and                                                               
'90sfor  access along  certain riverways  like  Kroto Creek,  the                                                               
Deshka  River,  and  the  Little   Susitna  River.  However,  the                                                               
statutory  stipulations within  the  plan  are unenforceable  and                                                               
restrictive for commercial recreation development.                                                                              
He  said the  notion of  repealing the  recreational plan  raised                                                               
concerns about  access. The  department would have  to do  a plan                                                               
amendment for  reclassifying lands contained within  the area and                                                               
initiate a public process to address concerns.                                                                                  
SENATOR KIEHL  said he had  questions for the department  that he                                                               
would hold for the next hearing due to time constraints.                                                                        
CHAIR MICCICHE suggested the members  submit any questions to his                                                               
office and he  would forward them to the department  so they will                                                               
be prepared  to answer them  at the  next hearing. He  noted that                                                               
the sectional analysis would not be heard today.                                                                                
5:33:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   MICCICHE   held  SB   204   in   committee  for   further                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 217 DNR Land Sales Averages 3.06.20.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 217
SB 217 DOR Presentation 03.18.2020.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 217
SB 217 DRAFT Land Voucher layout (2).PDF SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 217
SB 217 Draft Amendment v. A.1.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 217
SB 204 v. A.PDF SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 204
SB 204 Sponsor Statement 2.25.20.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 204
SB 204 Sectional Analysis 2.25.2020.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 204
SB 204 Fiscal Note DOT-COM 02.18.2020.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 204
SB 204 Fiscal Note DNR-MLW 02.18.2020.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 204
SB 204 DNR Presentation 03.18.2020.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 204
SB 189 ADF&G Followup answers to committee questions.pdf SRES 3/9/2020 3:30:00 PM
SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 189
SB 189 Support Document - Stocking FAQ 02.29.2020.pdf SRES 3/9/2020 3:30:00 PM
SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 189
SB 189 Support Document - ADFG Response 3.4.20.pdf SRES 3/9/2020 3:30:00 PM
SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 189
SB 189 Support Document - Surcharge Revenue Breakdown revised- 03.04.2020.pdf SRES 3/9/2020 3:30:00 PM
SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 189
SB 189 Draft Amendment A.2.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 189
SB 189 Draft Amendment A.3.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 189
SB 189 Written Testimony SEAGO 03.18.2020.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 189
SB 217 Draft amendment A.2.pdf SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 217
SB 189 Conceptual Amendment #1 to amendment #2 A.3.docx SRES 3/18/2020 3:30:00 PM
SB 189