Land conveyance legislation headed to president’s desk
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 26, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., released the following statement in response to last night’s U.S. Senate passage by unanimous consent of her bill, H.R. 862, the Coconino National Forest Land Conveyance Act:
“Sometimes, all it takes is common sense and cooperation to solve a problem. And today, that’s why we are closer than ever to solving a problem created decades ago. I introduced this legislation because, through no fault of their own, homeowners in my district were stuck in legal and financial limbo with their properties. These folks deserve better than red tape and the runaround – they needed us to fight for them and fix it. I thank Senators McCain and Flake for their efforts to get this legislation through the Senate, and I look forward to it becoming law.”
Reps. Kirkpatrick and Gosar introduced H.R. 862 in 2013 to correct a 40-year-old land-survey error that placed private properties inside the boundaries of U.S. Forest Service property. The error occurred in 1960, when 25 properties were surveyed as part of the Mountainaire development near Flagstaff. Incorrect corner monuments were used in that survey, and a recent Bureau of Land Management survey found that these properties are encroaching into the Coconino National Forest.
Some of these parcels are undeveloped, and some have portions of owners’ homes within the encroachment area. The owners have invested in and maintained these properties for years, so the discovery of the land-survey error has created economic burdens and uncertainty. HR 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.