Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/24/2002 02:00 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
           HCR 27-LOCAL BOUNDARY COMMISSION PROCEDURES                                                                      
                                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE DREW SCALZI, bill sponsor, introduced the                                                                        
legislation by stating the following:                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     The Local Boundary Commission (LBC) is charged with the                                                                    
       review of petitions seeking local boundary changes,                                                                      
     approval or  denial of those  petitions as submitted  or                                                                   
     as the LBC sees fit to modify them.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     What happened  recently in my  area is that the  City of                                                                   
     Homer  asked for an  annexation petition  that was  very                                                                   
     excessive as to what was finally  ratified and agreed to                                                                   
     by  the  LBC. In  asking  for  25 square  miles  of  new                                                                   
     property, they  were essentially more than  doubling the                                                                   
     size of the  community. They felt that it was  up to the                                                                   
     LBC to  make that  determination. The  LBC did so  after                                                                   
     two  years   of  very   tense  and  contentious   public                                                                   
     testimony.  Having been  involved in  that, my  attitude                                                                   
     was I'm  glad we  had a third  independent party,  which                                                                   
     was  the LBC,  to make  that decision.  However, it  did                                                                   
     drag  a lot  of people  through  an unnecessary  process                                                                   
     when this  was excessive  in nature.  The City of  Homer                                                                   
     finally was satisfied  with a 4.5 mile are  that the LBC                                                                   
     had modified it down to.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     What  this resolution  asks is  that the  LBC adopt  new                                                                   
     regulations  that   would  allow  them,  early   in  the                                                                   
     process,  to  remit  a petition  that  is  significantly                                                                   
     deficient.  If it was  too excessive  they could have  a                                                                   
     hearing and  they could find it  was way out of  line or                                                                   
     if it  was too small and they  would be able to  send it                                                                   
     back to the city and say, do  your homework again, we're                                                                   
     not going  to do it  for you. Nor  are we going  to drag                                                                   
     the public through an arduous process.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
 He said the LBC is in support of the resolution.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON called for testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ABIGAIL  FULLER  testified  in  support  of HCR  27.  Although  it                                                              
doesn't  address all  the concerns  she has about  the process  of                                                              
changing  boundaries,  the LBC  does  need to  be  able to  reject                                                              
petitions out of  hand and send them back for  revision when there                                                              
clearly is  a problem.  "This bill  is a small  step in  the right                                                              
direction."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VI JERRELL, PhD.  testified in support of HCR 27,  which urges the                                                              
LBC to adopt  standards and procedures to enable  them to return a                                                              
petition  when  they  determine   the  petition  is  substantially                                                              
deficient or in need of substantial supplementation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PETE   ROBERTS,  President   of  the   Citizens  Concerned   About                                                              
Annexation, testified in support of HCR 27. He believes that:                                                                   
   · Cities shouldn't be able to select the manner in which an                                                                  
     annexation is held. That decision should be made by the LBC.                                                               
   · Major hearings should be held mid way through the process so                                                               
     what is said at the hearing can have some affect on the                                                                    
     process.                                                                                                                   
   · The LBC should set the regulations to use due process                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON agreed with the testifiers, it is a small                                                                    
step, but this is a start in the right direction.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
There was no further testimony.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He asked for the will of the committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR AUSTERMAN made a motion to move HCR 27 and attached                                                                     
fiscal note from committee with individual recommendations.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    

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