Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/17/1998 09:25 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 17(RES)                                    
"An Act establishing the Department of Natural                                 
Resources as the platting authority in certain areas of                        
the state; relating to subdivisions and dedications;                           
and providing for an effective date."                                          
Co-Chair Sharp noted that Representative Jeannette James was                   
the sponsor of the bill but since the House members were                       
under the call order, she was unable to attend this portion                    
of the meeting.  He asked if any members of her staff were                     
present and could speak on her behalf.  There was no one                       
from her office present.                                                       
Senator Adams pointed out there had been a similar bill in                     
the Legislature during a different session.  He shared that                    
the only reason it died was because of the adjournment                         
frenzy that particular year.  He didn't think the Department                   
of Natural Resources had any problem with the legislation.                     
He felt the fiscal note adequately reflected the funding                       
associated with the platting authority.  He didn't know of                     
any opposition to this bill, which would establish DNR as                      
the platting authority and amend the definition of                             
subdivision.  He expressed a desire to see the bill moved                      
out of committee.                                                              
Co-Chair Sharp noted that he and Senator Torgerson had heard                   
the bill in the Resources Committee and were both                              
comfortable with it also.  Just for the record, he wanted to                   
hear comments from JANE ANGVIK, the Director of the Division                   
of Lands.  Via teleconference from Anchorage, she briefly                      
stated that the division supported HB 17.                                      
Senator Torgerson had one question.  He wanted to know if a                    
title search would be required before any of the properties                    
could be plotted.  Ms. Angvik responded it was not required.                   
She continued saying that a title search was necessary in                      
order to buy or sell land, but particularly in an                              
unorganized borough, it was currently possible to record any                   
document.  What this legislation would do, she explained,                      
was allow a review of the survey to determine its accuracy.                    
Senator Torgerson indicated his consideration of drafting an                   
amendment to require a title search and that the title                         
search must be kept by the department for future reference                     
for incorporation and taxation in rural Alaska if that ever                    
came to fruition.  He felt that would fit into the intent of                   
this legislation.                                                              
Senator Adams requested a new fiscal note from the                             
department if the title searches were to be required. He                       
felt the amount would be substantial and although he didn't                    
mind the increase, thought it needed to be appropriated.                       
Ms. Angvik asked for clarification that Senator Torgerson                      
intended the title searches be done on private land.                           
Senator Torgerson affirmed.  Ms. Angvik commented that would                   
be unusual.  In answering the senator's question why, she                      
said it was because the department only did title searches                     
for state land.                                                                
Senator Torgerson commented that before a property tax                         
notice could be issued on private land, a title search must                    
be done.  He assumed a title company would be hired to do                      
the search.  His intention was that a plat could not be                        
recorded without having first performed a title search.                        
Co-Chair Sharp asked if Senator Torgerson meant for the                        
title search costs to be paid by the property owner or                         
individual requesting the plat as opposed to DNR.  Senator                     
Torgerson affirmed.                                                            
Ms. Angvik assured the committee that the department had no                    
objection to the requirement of a title report as well as a                    
Co-Chair Sharp ordered the bill held in committee until the                    
next day's scheduled meeting to allow Senator Torgerson to                     
draft the amendment.                                                           

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