(IPJI note: The amendments to 214 are underlined and the most important parts have put emphasized - in red -by IPJI)



















House Bill 214 (AS PASSED HOUSE AND SENATE)

To amend Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Recreational Authorities Overview Committee, so as to remove the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority from the committee´s review; to amend Part 1 of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority, so as to provide for a renewal of the property lease to the authority; to extend the existence of the authority consistent with such lease renewal; to provide for advisory members of the authority; to provide for legislative oversight of the authority; to amend certain provisions relating to the master plan as to Jekyll Island; to clarify that the authority is exempt from certain taxation; to change certain provisions relating to Jekyll Island—State Park Authority powers, disposition of proceeds of sale, creation of reserve fund, and signing conveyances; to change certain provisions relating to conditions on sale of residential lots and commercial property, price, and payment into state treasury; to provide for legislative intent; to provide for related matters; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:

SECTION 1.
The Georgia General Assembly finds that Jekyll Island is home to some of the state´s most treasured natural and cultural resources and it is the expressed intent of this body to ensure the preservation of these resources for the enjoyment of all Georgians now and for future generations to come. For this reason, the state shall continue its commitment that not less than 65 percent of the land area of Jekyll Island which lies above water at mean high tide shall remain undeveloped. Jekyll Island proudly displays one of Georgia´s largest stretches of barrier island property. It is the expressed intent of this body that the beach areas of Jekyll Island will remain free and open for the use of the people of the state. Commercial improvement is intended to better existing and future development of the remaining 35 percent of Jekyll Island while retaining public access to the beaches for the pleasure of all of Georgia´s citizens. The General Assembly further finds that the deteriorating conditions of public and commercial facilities is of great interest to the legislature and to the public and that by significantly extending the existing lease authority for the island´s property, the state will thereby help to secure and encourage future investments and provide a basis for long-term revitalization of the island. Jekyll Island is recognized by this body as "Georgia´s Jewel," and its remarkable beauties are hereby preserved so that they may continue to shine for all citizens of Georgia.

SECTION 2.
Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 3 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Recreational Authorities Overview Committee, is amended by revising Code Section 12-3-20, relating to creation of the committee and duty to review designated authorities, as follows:
"12-3-20.
There is created as a joint committee of the General Assembly the Recreational Authorities Overview Committee to be composed of three members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and three members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate. The members of the committee shall serve two-year terms concurrent with their terms as members of the General Assembly. The chairperson of the committee shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives from the membership of the committee, and the vice chairperson of the committee shall be appointed by the President of the Senate from the membership of the committee. The chairperson and vice chairperson shall serve terms of two years concurrent with their terms as members of the General Assembly. Vacancies in an appointed member´s position or in the offices of chairperson or vice chairperson of the committee shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. The committee shall periodically inquire into and review the operations of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, the North Georgia Mountains Authority, and the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority and shall periodically review and evaluate the success with which each of the said authorities is accomplishing its statutory duties and functions as provided in this chapter."

SECTION 3.
Part 1 of Article 7 of Chapter 3 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority, is amended by revising Code Section 12-3-232, relating to creation, delegation of powers and duties, and duration of the authority, as follows:
"12-3-232.
(a) There is created a body corporate and politic to be known as the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority, which shall be deemed to be an instrumentality of the state and a public corporation, and by that name, style, and title such body may contract and be contracted with, sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, and complain and defend in all courts. The authority may delegate to one or more of its members, or to its officers, agents, and employees, such powers and duties as it may deem proper. The authority shall exist for 99 years and, upon the expiration thereof, shall exist for an additional 40 years.
(b) The authority is assigned to the Department of Natural Resources for administrative purposes only."

SECTION 4.
Said part is further amended by revising Code Section 12-3-233, relating to appointment of members to the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority, by redesignating subsections (d) and (e) as subsections (f) and (g) and inserting new subsections (d) and (e) as follows:
"(d) Two advisory members shall be appointed from the membership of the Recreational Authorities Overview Committee to serve on the authority in an advisory capacity only without voting privileges. One advisory member shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House and one advisory member shall be appointed by the President of the Senate. This subsection shall stand automatically repealed and reserved on December 31, 2009.
(e) Membership on the authority does not constitute public office and no member shall be disqualified from holding public office by reason of his or her membership."

SECTION 5.
Said part is further amended by revising Code Section 12-3-234, relating to accountability of members, as follows:
"12-3-234.
(a) The members of the authority shall be accountable in all respects as trustees. The authority shall keep suitable and proper books and records of all receipts, income, and expenditures of every kind and shall submit for inspection all of the books, together with a proper statement of the authority´s financial position, once a year on or about December 31 to the state auditor and to the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority Oversight Committee. The books and records shall be inspected and audited by the state auditor at least once in each year. The authority shall also submit a quarterly summary of each lease and contract agreement involving an amount in excess of $50,000.00 to the legislative oversight committee. Upon request, a copy of the lease or contract agreement or other documents so requested shall be provided to the members of the oversight committee.
(b) There is created as a joint committee of the General Assembly the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority Oversight Committee to be composed of three members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, one of whom shall be from the House Committee on State Institutions and Property, and three members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, one of whom shall be from the Senate Committee on State Institutions and Property. The members of the committee shall serve two-year terms concurrent with their terms as members of the General Assembly. The chairperson of the committee shall be appointed by the President of the Senate from the membership of the committee, and the vice chairperson of the committee shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House from the membership of the committee during odd-numbered years. The chairperson of the committee shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House from the membership of the committee, and the vice chairperson of the committee shall be appointed by the President of the Senate from the membership of the committee during even-numbered years. The chairperson and vice chairperson shall serve terms of one year beginning January 1, 2007. Vacancies in an appointed member´s position or in the offices of chairperson or vice chairperson of the committee shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. The committee shall advise the General Assembly regarding the authority´s compliance with the provisions required by this part. The committee shall meet upon the call of the chairperson."

SECTION 6.
Said part is further amended by revising subsection (a) of Code Section 12-3-241, relating to the lease to the authority, as follows:
"(a) To the authority is granted, for and on the part of the State of Georgia, a lease for a term of 99 years, beginning on February 13, 1950, which term shall be automatically extended an additional 40 years upon the ending of the initial term. The lease shall be for all of that island of the State of Georgia, County of Glynn, being known as Jekyll Island and the marshes and marsh islands adjacent and adjoining the same owned by the State of Georgia; being that island of 11,000 acres, more or less, lying east of the mainland coast of Georgia, County of Glynn, bounded on its easterly shore by the Atlantic Ocean; bounded upon its northerly shore by Brunswick River, bounded on its westerly shore by Brunswick River, Jekyll Creek, Jekyll River, and Jekyll Sound; and bounded on its southerly shore by Jekyll Sound, together with the adjacent and adjoining marshes and marsh islands; which properties may also be described as all of the lands acquired by the State of Georgia in a certain condemnation proceeding, State of Georgia vs. Jekyll Island Club, Inc., et al., filed June 6, 1947, in Glynn County Superior Court; which properties may also be described in all conveyances, conveying any and all parts of Jekyll Island and the adjacent and adjoining marshes and marsh islands to the State of Georgia, recorded upon the official deed books of Glynn County as of February 13, 1950, all and each one of said conveyances being, by reference, expressly incorporated into this Code section and made in their entireties, a part hereof."

SECTION 7.
Said part is further amended by revising paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 12-3-243, relating to Jekyll Island—State Park Authority powers, disposition of proceeds of sale, creation of reserve fund, and signing conveyances, as follows:
"(2)(A) The authority shall not survey, subdivide, improve, lease, sell, develop, or otherwise cause a project to be constructed on the 65 percent of the land area of Jekyll Island which the authority is not empowered to survey, subdivide, improve, and lease or sell pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection; provided, however, that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as to require the removal of any improvement on such land area which was completed on March 14, 1995.
(B) That portion of Jekyll Island lying south of 31 degrees, 1 minute, 34 seconds north latitude as such latitude is depicted on the 1993 USGS topographic survey 7.5 minute series quadrangle map shall always be included within the area of Jekyll Island protected by this paragraph, and the authority shall not enter into, renew, or extend any agreement or otherwise take any action regarding such southern portion of the island in violation of this paragraph on or after the effective date of this subparagraph, except as otherwise provided in this subparagraph. The removal of any improvement on such southern portion of the island which was completed prior to the effective date of this subparagraph shall not be required. Upon the expiration or termination of any lease of a lot for a single-family residence on such southern portion of the island, the authority may again lease such lot to the same or another lessee for a single-family residence or noncommercial purpose or the authority may set aside the lot for public use; but the lot shall not be further subdivided, and the authority shall not lease such lot for any multifamily residence or commercial purpose. Those properties used for the Jekyll Island 4-H center and soccer complex may continue to be used and improved for the same or similar purposes under an extension or renewal of an existing lease or under a new lease. This subparagraph shall not prohibit the construction and use of any public bicycle trails, public nature trails, or public picnic areas on such southern portion of the island by the authority. This subparagraph shall not be applied to impair the obligation of any valid contract entered into prior to the effective date of this subparagraph."

SECTION 8.
Said part is further amended by revising Code Section 12-3-243.1, relating to the master plan as to Jekyll Island, as follows:
"12-3-243.1.
(a) The authority shall, on or before July 1, 1996, cause to be created a master plan for the management, preservation, protection, and development of Jekyll Island. The master plan shall delineate, based upon aerial survey, the present and permitted future uses of the land area of Jekyll Island which lies above water at mean high tide and shall designate areas to be managed as environmentally sensitive, historically sensitive, and active use areas. The master plan shall also delineate the boundaries of the area or areas delineated on the master plan as the 65 percent of the land area of Jekyll Island which lies above water at mean high tide and over which the authority has no power to improve, lease, or sell pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 12-3-243. If the aerial survey demonstrates that the percentage of undeveloped land on Jekyll Island is presently less than 65 percent, then no further development of undeveloped land shall be permitted in the master plan.
(b) In the creation of the master plan, the authority shall, after preparation of a preliminary plan, give notice of the existence of the preliminary plan in the legal organs of Glynn and Fulton counties and in at least two newspapers of state-wide general circulation not less than 60 days prior to the meeting of the authority at which the preliminary plan is to be considered for final adoption. After giving this notice, the authority shall hold a public hearing at a convenient location on Jekyll Island and receive and consider such oral and written comments on the preliminary plan as may be presented.
(c) The authority, in the exercise of its authority to develop, manage, preserve, and protect Jekyll Island, shall be guided by and shall adhere to the master plan as the same may from time to time be amended as provided in subsection (d) of this Code section.
(d) The authority may, from time to time, amend the master plan but only in compliance with the following procedure:
(1) Any proposed amendment to the master plan shall be described in written form and, if capable of such description, in visual form and presented publicly at a regular meeting of the authority;
(2) After the proposed amendment is presented publicly at a regular meeting of the authority, a brief summary of the proposed amendment shall be advertised in the legal organs of Glynn and Fulton counties, distributed to the media by news release, and published in appropriate publications of the authority. Each such advertisement, news release, and publication shall also contain:
(A) The time and place of the public hearing on the proposed amendment, which public hearing shall be held no earlier than 15 days after the latest publication of the advertisement in the legal organ of Glynn or Fulton County as required by this paragraph;
(B) Directions as to the manner of receiving comments from the public regarding the proposed amendment; and
(C) The date on which the meeting of the authority at which the proposed amendment will be considered for approval or rejection, which meeting shall not be held any sooner than 30 days after the meeting of the authority at which the proposed amendment was announced pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection;
(3) The authority shall transmit by certified mail or personal service copies of the information required by paragraph (2) of this subsection and a complete copy of the proposed amendment to the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, members of the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority Oversight Committee, and Office of Legislative Counsel at least 60 days prior to the date of the meeting at which the proposed amendment will be considered.  The presiding officers of each house, or the Office of Legislative Counsel if  a presiding officer is unavailable, shall then provide copies to any member of the General Assembly who makes, or has made, a standing written request;
(4) In the event the Jekyll Island—State Park Authority Oversight Committee files an objection to a proposed amendment to the master plan with the chairperson of the authority prior to the authority´s taking action on the proposed amendment then the same shall be stayed. Thereafter, by introduction of a resolution to  consider the committee´s objection within the first 30 days of the next regular session of the General Assembly, the objection may be considered for ratification by the General Assembly In the event the resolution is adopted by a vote of two-thirds of the members of each branch, the amendment to the master plan shall not be adopted by the authority. In the event the resolution is ratified by a vote of less than two-thirds of the members of either house, the resolution shall be submitted to the Governor for approval or veto. In the event the resolution fails to pass both houses or is vetoed by the Governor, the amendment to the master plan may be adopted by the authority and the stay of the committee shall be lifted. In the event of the Governor´s approval of the resolution, the amendment to the master plan shall be prohibited;
(5) Any proposed changes to the boundaries of the area or areas delineated on the master plan as the 65 percent of the land area of Jekyll Island which lies above water at mean high tide and over which the authority has no power to improve, lease, or sell pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 12-3-243 shall be surveyed and marked at least seven days prior to the public hearing required by paragraph (2) of this subsection in such a fashion as to be readily discernible on the ground by members of the public; and
(6) At the meeting of the authority which has been identified in the advertisement required by paragraph (2) of this subsection as the meeting to consider the approval or rejection of the proposed amendment, the authority shall consider in an open and public meeting the proposed amendment to the master plan which, if approved, shall become a part of the master plan, subject, however, to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this subsection."

SECTION 9.
Said part is further amended by revising subsections (a), (b), and (c) and adding a new subsection (c.1) in Code Section 12-3-247, relating to conditions on sale of residential lots and commercial property, price, and payment into state treasury, as follows:
"(a) The authority shall not sell any residential lot unless obligated to do so under the terms of a valid lease agreement entered into prior to the effective date of this Code section, and such a sale shall be made only to the person who shall hold such lease, his or her assignee, or assigns. No conveyance of the fee simple title to any residential lot shall be made until the lessee of such lot has performed all the obligations regarding the improvement and erection of structures on the lot as are imposed by the lease.
(b) The authority shall not sell any commercial property on which improvements were erected prior to March 1, 1957,  and the authority shall not sell any other commercial property unless obligated to do so under the terms of a valid lease agreement entered into prior to the effective date of this Code section, in which event the commercial property may be sold in the same manner as provided by this part for the sale of leased residential lots.
(c) All sales of residential lots and commercial property shall be made at the conversion price set by the authority in accordance with Code Section 12-3-250, provided that any person who purchases any residential lot sold by the authority shall be entitled to credit on the purchase price to the extent of all payments made by him or his assignors or predecessors in interest on such lease, provided that such credit shall not exceed the purchase price of such lot. If such credit shall equal the purchase price for such lot, the lessee shall be entitled to a conveyance of the fee simple title to such lot, and the authority shall thereupon pay into the state treasury an amount equal to the value of the state´s interest in such property as determined as provided in Code Section 12-3-249. The authority shall establish proper reserves to ensure that funds will be available for such purpose.
(c.1) On and after the effective date of this Code section, the authority shall not enter into, extend, or renew any agreement providing for the sale of any residential or commercial lot on Jekyll Island, and Code Section 12-3-250 shall not apply to any new, extended, or renewed agreement."

SECTION 10.
Said part is further amended by revising Code Section 12-3-274, relating to the exemption from taxation of authority property, activities, income, and bonds, as follows:
"12-3-274.
It is found, determined, and declared that the creation of the authority and the carrying out of its corporate purpose are in all respects for the benefit of the people of this state and constitute a public purpose and that the authority will be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the power conferred upon it by this part. This state covenants with the holders of the bonds that the authority shall be required to pay no taxes or assessments upon any of the property acquired or leased by it, or under its jurisdiction, control, possession, or supervision, or upon its activities in the operation or maintenance of the buildings erected or acquired by it, or upon any fees, rentals, or other charges received by the authority for the use of such buildings, or upon other income received by the authority and that the authority shall be exempt from all sales and use taxes. Further, this state covenants that the bonds of the authority, their transfer, and the income there from shall at all times be exempt from all taxation within the state."

SECTION 11.
This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.

SECTION 12.
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.