Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/08/1995 03:45 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SRES 3/08/95 SB 56 RIGHTS IN TIDE/SUBMERGED LAND CHAIRMAN LEMAN called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. and announced CSSB 56 (Res) to be up for consideration. GERON BRUCE, Department of Fish and Game, said he had reviewed the fiscal note with staff and that it is reflective of the true workload that would be associated with this bill. SENATOR LEMAN asked him to estimate how many applications they would see on an annual basis. MR. BRUCE replied that a large number of communities qualify under this bill and thought the volume would be large initially, but, he said, the fiscal note was not built on a specific number of applications. Staffing is needed for the approximately 1.2 million acres of tidelands and submerged wetlands in the legislatively designated areas. On the Kenai River, for instance, they have one third of one person per year assigned to it. SENATOR TAYLOR said he thought they were referring to the Commissioner of Natural Resources, because he is the one who conveys land. MR. BRUCE explained that ADF&G becomes involved in the process by providing information to the Commissioner of DNR for his decisions. SENATOR TAYLOR said he was trying to figure out why it took ADF&G seven times as much money to figure out whether or not to sell a piece of land to a municipality as it would the Commissioner who would be selling it. MR. BRUCE pointed out that the language, "or the proposed use of the land is consistent or compatible with the land use plan adopted by the municipality, the department, or the Alaska Coastal Policy Council," listed possibilities about how it could be classified for conveyance. In response to Senator Taylor's question, he said the ADF&G's job is not to advise about the cost of the sale, the platting, or the kinds of things DNR does, but to advise about the impacts on fish and wildlife habitat, the public use of the fish and wildlife that might occupy that area, and to protect the public access for the use of that fish and wildlife. It's a different and more complex function. Number 185 SENATOR TAYLOR said he was confused with language on page 4, lines 17 - 18. He couldn't figure out why they wanted to establish a standard that says they have to meet all these tests, including subtests (seven in all), and then within the third test the use of the land you're requesting has to be consistent with or compatible with a land use plan adopted by a municipality, the department, or the Alaska Coastal Policy Council - all three of which could have absolutely incompatible decisions based on that same chunk of land. SENATOR LEMAN explained that you don't have to be consistent with all of them because of the "or." SENATOR TAYLOR said Ketchikan had been trying to develop a property called Lewis Reef, zoned water front property, and hadn't been able to go anywhere because of total inconsistencies between National Marine Fisheries and Habitat Division of ADF&G. SENATOR HOFFMAN moved to rescind the motion to adopt amendment #1 and requested DNR to answer one question before the vote. SENATOR PEARCE objected. SENATOR HOFFMAN explained that amendment #1 eliminated the best interest finding and asked the department's position on this legislation. NICO BUS, Department of Natural Resources, said the department could not support this legislation with that modification. Number 269 SENATOR FRANK clarified that the City of Juneau, for instance, could preclude development by acquiring tidelands on Gastineau Channel. SENATOR LEMAN noted that a certain amount of this has already taken place and it has corrected some inequities. SENATOR FRANK said it was one thing if it was a city, but there were broader ramifications if it were a borough. SENATOR LEMAN said it still had to meet one of the four tests. SENATOR HOFFMAN said it's not even in the best interests of the state without the language that was deleted as amendment #1. SENATOR HALFORD asked if the state currently sold tide and submerged land in any way. MR. BUS said the department doesn't. SENATOR HALFORD asked if a municipality, under this bill, could sell and alienate title to tide and submerged lands. MR. BUS replied that it could. SENATOR LEMAN asked if there was an objection to the motion to rescind the action. SENATOR TAYLOR objected. SENATOR LEMAN asked for the roll to be called. SENATORS LEMAN, PEARCE, and TAYLOR voted no; SENATORS FRANK, HALFORD, LINCOLN, and HOFFMAN voted yes; and the motion passed. Number 412 SENATOR LINCOLN proposed amendment #2 which she passed to the committee members. SENATOR FRANK asked if a municipality meant boroughs, cities, city/boroughs, and unified municipalities. MR. BUS said that was correct. SENATOR FRANK asked which department decides if the use is compatible with the use proposed by a municipality. MR. BUS answered that it depends on which application it is. SENATOR FRANK asked what happens if there is a conflict between what the borough says as a land use planner and what the state says in their land use plan. MR. BUS said he didn't know the answer to that. SENATOR LEMAN asked for a roll call on the amendment. SENATORS LINCOLN, HOFFMAN, and FRANK voted no; SENATORS LEMAN, PEARCE, HALFORD, and TAYLOR voted yes; and the motion passed. Number 438 SENATOR LINCOLN asked what the DNR fiscal notes meant. MR. BUS explained that the $0 fiscal note is from the Division of Lands with a loss of revenue of $50,000. The loss is for those areas having revenue producing leases to the state that would be transferred to the municipality. He added that the estimate is now $50,000 - $100,000. Regarding the other fiscal note, in order for the state to track all the land conveyed to the municipalities under this bill, the department would have to develop a case type in their computer system. This would be a one time expenditure for a program change. SENATOR TAYLOR asked what formula they used to determine the price of these lands. MR. BUS replied that in the case of shore fisheries, there are regulations to be used as a guideline. SENATOR LINCOLN moved to adopt amendment #2 which are two recommendations from ADF&G which would improve this legislation. SENATOR LEMAN noted there was objection to the amendment. MR. BRUCE clarified that the amendment addresses their concern with legislatively designated areas such as game refuges, critical habitats, and the 1.2 million acres of tidelands and submerged lands that were designated to be managed with a priority for the protection and maintenance of the fish and wildlife habitat and for the use by people of the fish and wildlife and habitat that was in that area. The amendment would allow the Commissioner of ADF&G to also have a role in deciding whether or not to convey tidelands or submerged lands out of the legislatively designated areas. SENATOR TAYLOR said he thought the department forgot who originally designated the areas; and that this bill merely undesignates those areas. SENATOR HOFFMAN said the legislature reviewed all the areas that were designated and they should be left that way to be consistent until they are undesignated at the legislative level. SENATOR LEMAN asked for the roll call on amendment #2. SENATORS PEARCE, LEMAN, FRANK, HALFORD, and TAYLOR voted no; SENATORS LINCOLN and HOFFMAN voted yes; and the motion failed. SENATOR FRANK said he would like to understand it better before moving it from committee, because it has serious ramifications as far as governmental coordination being increased. If it were limited to cities, he wouldn't have a problem with it, he said. Number 526 SENATOR PEARCE moved to pass CSSB 56 (Res) with the appropriate fiscal notes from committee with individual recommendations. She noted that it would be picking up a Finance Committee referral. There were no objections and it was so ordered.