Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/08/1995 03:45 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                   
 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           
 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             
 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                  
 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             
 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            
 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            
 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.                               

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