Land conveyance legislation fixes decades-long problem in Coconino County
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 28, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — On Saturday, the president signed into a law a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., to correct a decades-old land-survey error that placed private properties inside the boundaries of U.S. Forest Service property. This is Kirkpatrick’s second piece of legislation to become law in the 113th Congress. At the end of 2013, her VA backlog legislation became law as an amendment to the Defense reauthorization bill.
Her latest successful legislation, the Coconino National Forest Land Conveyance Act (H.R. 862), was signed into law after it passed the U.S. Senate on Friday by unanimous consent (it passed the House last June). H.R. 862 corrects an error that’s been in place since 1960, when 25 properties were surveyed as part of the Mountainaire development near Flagstaff. Incorrect corner monuments were used in that survey, and a Bureau of Land Management survey in recent years found that these properties are encroaching into the Coconino National Forest.
“This bill is another example of bipartisanship getting results,” Kirkpatrick said. “I knew this problem was unfairly burdening folks in Coconino County, and I thank Congressman Gosar for joining me to fix it through teamwork and determination.”
The owners had invested in and maintained these properties for years, so the discovery of the land-survey error created economic burdens and uncertainty. H.R. 862 conveys ownership back to the property owners by authorizing “the conveyance of two small parcels of land within the boundaries of the Coconino National Forest containing private improvements that were developed based upon the reliance of the landowners on an erroneous survey conducted in May 1960.”