Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/15/1994 09:07 AM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 SURVEY) before the committee as the next order of business.                   
 SENATOR STEVE RIEGER, prime sponsor of SB 355, explained that a               
 problem relating to defective surveys of land, one which was in his           
 district, was brought to his attention by some Anchorage assembly             
 members.  SB 355 was crafted to address the problem statewide where           
 there is a manifestly defective survey.                                       
 SB 355 provides that a person or a municipality, upon the                     
 resolution of a municipality, can bring an action in court with a             
 proposed replat.  The court can direct a survey and actually order            
 the replat in accordance with the proposal.                                   
 Senator Rieger pointed out that the language in the bill is                   
 borrowed from existing statutory language regarding earth slides              
 changing land boundaries, language which was enacted after the 1964           
 Number 422                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if Senator Rieger has received any comments on            
 the bill from the Alaska Society of Professional Land Surveyors.              
 ANN RINGSTAD, staff to Senator Rieger, responded that Patrick                 
 Callen has talked to her about the problem, and he has said that              
 the people in his organization support the concept of the bill and            
 that they will probably come up with a letter stating their                   
 support.  She added that Mr. Callen agrees that the problem must be           
 SENATOR LEMAN commented that his understanding is that when a                 
 monument is placed, even if it is misplaced, that's where it is,              
 and this legislation seems to run counter to that.  SENATOR RIEGER            
 said the intent is that this bill would trigger only when the                 
 survey was manifestly off.                                                    
 Number 478                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR said there are surveys all over this country that              
 are manifestly out of whack, and his concern about this is that it            
 may open up a variable Pandora's Box.  He directed attention to               
 paragraph (4) on page 4, and asked for an explanation of the                  
 language "... parcels or lots that are not found to be materially             
 incorrect."  SENATOR RIEGER responded that he had requested that              
 language so that if a parcel of land is being resurveyed a distance           
 away from an individual's property, it shouldn't have to affect               
 that individual's property.  Also, part of the thought in the bill            
 is that this is not an automatic process.  There is room for                  
 discretion because it kicks to a judicial process where there                 
 should be someone exercising some discretion.                                 
 Number 530                                                                    
 GEORGE NEWSHAM, Assistant Municipal Attorney, Municipality of                 
 Anchorage, spoke to two subdivisions in the Municipality of                   
 Anchorage that have been incorrectly surveyed.  The current statute           
 allows for a surveyor to correct his own survey within two years of           
 filing the plat, but the original surveyor is now unavailable and             
 the time period has long since passed within which to file a                  
 corrected plat on these two subdivisions.  He said what they are              
 looking for is an ability to try to make sure that a subdivision              
 that is badly surveyed, that is basically incomprehensible to a               
 surveyor or to somebody who is doing some planning for the                    
 municipality or the state to have an opportunity to correct it so             
 that everybody knows exactly what they have.                                  
 Mr. Newsham referred to the language in paragraph 4 on page 4, and            
 said it does negate some of that authority of the judge, and that             
 his concern is that the Legislature can impose some guidelines as             
 far as what is to control the judge's discretion.                             
 Mr. Newsham said the municipality is looking for some legislative             
 help to solve a problem that occurs throughout the state and to               
 make sure that the Superior Court is given the authority to hear              
 one case where all parties are in the court instead of being there            
 TAPE 94-21, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
 SENATOR RIEGER said that one of the reasons for having the language           
 "... or with the consent of the owner" in paragraph (4) is so that            
 there would be an escape valve if its clear that its even in that             
 owner's best interest to have different plat lines than what the              
 actual survey shows.  He asked Mr. Newsham  if that clause                    
 addresses his concern on that new paragraph (4).  MR. NEWSHAM said            
 it may, but the question he would raise is whether or not the                 
 person's property that has been built over has to give their                  
 consent.  He said it would solve some of his concern if the                   
 legislation would indicate who the actual person is that you need             
 to gain consent from.                                                         
 Number 035                                                                    
 SENATOR TAYLOR asked if we're going to bring all of these people in           
 to court to resolve a case, who is going to end up paying the                 
 attorney fees and costs.  MR. NEWSHAM answered that SB 355 is part            
 of a package that the municipality has put together.  One of the              
 parts of the package is the legislation that actually gives the               
 court the authority to change.  The second part of the package is             
 that they have amended their municipal code to allow for a survey             
 improvement district such that the cost of a survey, and resurvey             
 if necessary, and replatting will be born by the property owners if           
 the survey improvement district is formed.  If it is not formed,              
 they would not go forward.                                                    
 Number 055                                                                    
 SENATOR RIEGER pointed out that the survey improvement district is            
 because of the policy of the municipality and the bill doesn't                
 require that.  Section 11 of the bill just gives the court the                
 ability to assess the costs, and, in the case of Anchorage where              
 there is a survey improvement district, the court would obviously             
 say this is where the cost should be born.                                    
 Number 085                                                                    
 There being no further testimony on SB 355, SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS            
 asked for the pleasure of the committee.                                      
 SENATOR TAYLOR moved that SB 355 be passed out of committee with              
 individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so                  

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