Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/11/1998 03:39 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
            HB 17 - DNR APPROVE PLATS IN UNORG.BOROUGH                         
CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced HB 17 to be up for consideration and                
noted there was a proposed committee substitute.                               
MR. BRETT HUBER, Staff to Senator Halford, said the changes begin              
on page 1, section 1, the purpose section.  The primary intent of              
the bill was to make sure that when parcels are subdivided and sold            
that there was adequate access provided to them.  It also provides             
that the purpose of the bill is not to establish engineering or                
other standards for subdivisions.  The second change is in section             
10 which restates the purpose section, putting it into the statute.            
The reason is because the regulatory authority (page 6) says the               
commissioner may adopt regulations to implement the provisions of              
AS40.15.380, but only those that are necessary and in accordance               
with the purposes stated in AS 40.15.300. On page 5, (g) and line              
12, a 5/8 inch x 24 inch rebar and cap monument replaces a primary             
type monument.  On page 8(b) the OTE and remote parcel are removed             
from the list of exceptions.                                                   
Number 557                                                                     
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked why that was done.                                      
MR. HUBER explained that the OTE and remote parcels are basically              
programs that are no longer utilized and doesn't have any current              
inventory.  The effect of this amendment is that there would be no             
effect on ones that are already out there other than the definition            
of subdivision.  It would, by not having them in this portion,                 
affect subsequent subdivision of those type of parcels that are out            
there now.                                                                     
SENATOR LINCOLN said one of her constituents wrote from Glen Ellen             
about transfers of lands being done with a deed, but without a                 
survey, and that the added expense and time needed for DNR to                  
review plats will only decrease the number of subdivision surveys              
being done now.  He was suggesting that transfer of lands using                
this mechanism is time-consuming and expensive and if it's just a              
transfer of title, why go through this process?                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said he thought the concern expressed by the                  
sponsor was subdivision creations that had no practical access and             
no common repository for the records.  The bill is intended to be              
limited to just those issues.                                                  
MR. HUBER said he thought it referred to land transfers that are               
not resulting from a subdivision.  This bill only affects                      
subdivision plats.                                                             
SENATOR TAYLOR said it looks like, to the sponsor, a plat meant                
either a record of survey or a subdivision.                                    
Number 508                                                                     
CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked if anyone could answer this letter which was            
from Mr. Jack Phillips, a registered land surveyor.                            
MS. JANE ANGVIK, Director, Division of Lands, replied that they did            
not have a copy of his letter, and she would be happy to look at               
it.  She thought this bill would provide for a record of private               
land transfers and that that would be good.                                    
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if DNR supported the amended version.                    
MS. ANGVIK replied that they do support the committee substitute.              
She added that a review of a plat costs $200 per plat by                       
regulation.  It will take a person longer to transfer a piece of               
land under this bill, but that's because they actually have to                 
record what they have done.  It would cost the division more money             
because they would have to review the plat, but the individual gets            
some assurance that there is access to the subdivision, assurance              
that there is a place in the public record that indicates it                   
happened and that the land has been surveyed.                                  
MR. HUBER added that there is a provision in the bill that says if             
the review doesn't take place within 45 days, it is deemed                     
approved.  So it doesn't end up being caught in a back log.                    
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if it would cost everyone $200 to have a plat             
MS. ANGVIK answered yes.                                                       
SENATOR TAYLOR asked why.                                                      
MR. GERALD JENNINGS, Head Surveyor, answered that it would cover               
staff time because an additional plat survey assistant would have              
to be hired, if this bill passes.                                              
MS. ANGVIK added that right now the surveyors review all incoming              
and outgoing titles for the State of Alaska.  They spend a lot of              
time reviewing boundaries for the oil and gas lease sales and                  
sports, etc.                                                                   
SENATOR LINCOLN asked if they considered a plat to be a                        
MR. JENNINGS replied yes.                                                      
SENATOR LINCOLN asked what the records of survey are.                          
MR. JENNINGS explained they are surveys of lands which haven't been            
surveyed prior to this point.  Up till now, people have been able              
to create subdivisions of land by simply writing out legal                     
descriptions and not doing a survey.  The record of survey law was             
passed several years ago to provide a mechanism for getting the                
subsequent surveys in the record.                                              
SENATOR TAYLOR asked if they charged for native lands being                    
conveyed to individuals from the federal government.                           
MS. ANGVIK said yes, they currently charge everyone $200.                      
MR. JENNINGS explained further that $200 was charged for the first             
lot and $50 per additional lot.                                                
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said the committee substitute limits its purposes             
to guaranteeing that there's really buildable access and to insure             
that DNR doesn't become bottle-necked by adding more regulations               
than necessary.                                                                
SENATOR TAYLOR said he found it disturbing that every single time              
they take up new legislation some department has to jump on it as              
a new revenue source to go out and hire a new person.                          
SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt the committee substitute to HB 17.               
There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                
MR. WALT WILCOX, Staff to Representative James, sponsor, supported             
the committee substitute.                                                      
CHAIRMAN HALFORD said they would hold the bill and adjourned the               
meeting at 4:45 p.m.                                                           

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