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NO. 150. AN ACT RELATING TO MISCELLANEOUS CHANGES TO VERMONT'S TRANSPORTATION STATUTES.

(S.158)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

* * * Aeronautics * * *

Sec. 1. 5 V.S.A. § 202(24) is amended to read:

§ 202. DEFINITIONS

As used in this part of this title, unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions shall apply:

* * *

(24) "Restricted landing area" means an area of land or water, or both, which is used or is made available for the landing and take-off of aircraft, the use of which, except in case of emergency, shall be only as provided from time to time by the *[board]* agency.

Sec. 2. 5 V.S.A. § 476 is amended to read:

§ 476. REPORTS OF ACCIDENTS

(a) The operator of an aircraft involved in an accident or incident on a state-owned airport resulting in personal injury or damage to property shall immediately notify the agency and within 48 hours shall make a report to the agency of the circumstances of the accident. The report shall *[give a detailed statement, under oath, and shall]* state as accurately as possible the time, place and cause of the accident, the injuries and whatever other information the agency may require. For purposes of this subsection, "accident" means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or injury, or in which the aircraft or personal property owned by any person is damaged, and "incident" means an occurrence other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft, whichaffects or could affect the safety of operations.

(b) The operator of an aircraft involved in an accident or incident, other than on a state-owned airport, that requires reporting to the National Transportation Safety Board under federal law shall immediately notify the agency and within 48 hours shall make a report to the agency of the circumstances of the accident. The report shall contain the same information as a report for an accident occurring on a state-owned airport. For purposes of this subsection, "accident" and "incident" shall have the same meaning as in 49 C.F.R. § 830.5.

Sec. 3. 5 V.S.A. § 477 is amended to read:

§ 477. REMOVAL OF WRECKS

(a) No aircraft or part of an aircraft involved in an accident in this state resulting in serious or fatal injuries or in such damage as to render the aircraft *[unairworthy]* not airworthy, shall be moved or disturbed except when:

(1) necessary to give assistance to persons injured or trapped in the wreckage;

(2) necessary in the interest of public safety;

(3) specific permission has been granted by an authorized representative of the agency;

(4) prompt movement of the aircraft is necessary to protect it from further serious damage and it is impossible to communicate with any person authorized in subdivision (3) of this section to direct the removal of the wreckage; or

(5) the aircraft involved in an accident is a public aircraft.

(b) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the operator of the aircraft shall promptly remove it from the accident site after all on-site rescue and investigatory processes are completed.

Sec. 4. REPEAL

The following provisions of Title 5 are repealed:

(1) § 202(20) (definition of "navigable air space");

(2) § 202(25) (definition of "state airway");

(3) § 401 (sovereignty in space);

(4) § 424 (dropping objects or jumping from aircraft);

(5) § 427(c) (revocation of right to operate aircraft following conviction for operating under the influence of liquor or drugs).

* * * Railroads * * *

Sec. 5. 5 V.S.A. § 3582(f) is added to read:

(f) A municipality in which a crossing is located shall not, on the basis of the railroad's omission to sound an audible warning device because of a prohibition by the agency under subsection (b) of this section, incur liability to any person for death, personal injury or property damage resulting from use of the crossing.

* * * Official Traffic Control Signs * * *

Sec. 6. 10 V.S.A. § 494(6) is amended to read:

The following signs are exempt from the requirements of this chapter except as indicated in section 495 of this title:

* * *

(6) Official traffic control signs, including signs on limited access highways consistent with the manual on uniform traffic control devices, adopted under 23 V.S.A. § 1025, directing people to nonprofit museums, fairgrounds or exposition sites or nonprofit diploma granting educational institutions for the language delayed, subject to rules adopted by the travel information council that:

(A) are open a minimum of 120 days each year, and

(B) are located within fifteen miles of an interstate highway exit, and

(C) reimburse the agency of transportation for the actual cost of fabrication, installation and yearly maintenance.

* * * State Highway System Mileage * * *

Sec. 7. 19 V.S.A. § 14 is amended to read:

§ 14. STATE HIGHWAYS

(a) The state highways shall be those highways so designated on a map entitled "Vermont State Highways," filed in the office of the secretary of state on June 30, 1997, as subsequently modified by additions or deletions made pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. *[This map shall be revised biennially by the agency and approved by the board toreflect any additions or deletions.]*

(b) When an addition or deletion is made to the state highways, the agency shall *[make maps]* complete a mileage certificate showing the highways which are added or deleted and file a copy in the office of the secretary of state. It shall also file a copy of the *[map of highways]* mileage certificate in the town clerk's office where the highways are located. When the *[maps]* certificates are filed, the transfer of control of the highways shall be deemed to have taken place.

* * * Service of Necessity Petitions * * *

Sec. 8. 19 V.S.A. § 506 is amended to read:

§ 506. SERVICE AND PUBLICATION OF NECESSITY PETITION AND NOTICE OF HEARING; ANSWER

(a) The agency shall prepare a notice of the necessity hearing. The notice shall include the names of the municipalities in which the lands to be taken or affected are located; the names of all interested persons within the meaning of subdivision 501(2) of this chapter; and a brief statement identifying the proposed project and its location, and the date, time and place of the necessity hearing. The agency shall make service of copies of the petition, the notice of hearing and the survey (for the purposes of this section, "survey" means a plan, profile or cross-section of the proposed project) as follows:

(1) Upon interested persons in accordance with the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure for service of process, except as stated in subsection (b) of this section and in section 519 of this title. The copy of the survey that is served upon interested persons need include only the particular property in which those persons have an interest.

(2) One copy each upon the clerk, legislative body and board of listers of each affected municipality by certified mail. The clerk shall record the notice of hearing in themunicipal land records, at the agency's expense, and shall enter the names of the interested persons in the general index of transactions affecting the title to real estate.

(b) The agency also shall publish the notice of hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipalities in which the proposed project lies. Publication shall be made once a week for three consecutive weeks on the same day of the week, the last publication to be not less than five days before the hearing. When service on an interested person cannot with due diligence be made within or outside the state, upon affidavit of the secretary of transportation or the secretary's designee that diligent inquiry has been made to find the interested person, the publication shall be deemed sufficient service on that person. The affidavit shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the person attempting service that the location of the interested person is unknown and that the interested person has no known agent upon whom service can be made.

(c) Compliance with these provisions of this title shall constitute sufficient notice to and service upon all interested persons and municipalities.

(d) No service need be made upon any interested person or municipality that has stipulated to necessity in accordance with section 508 of this chapter.

(e) Unless an answer denying the necessity or propriety of the proposed taking is filed by one or more parties served or appearing in the proceedings on or before the date set in the notice of hearing on the petition, the necessity and propriety shall be deemed to be conceded, and the court shall so find.

* * * Criteria for Evaluating Stay Requests * * *

Sec. 9. 19 V.S.A. § 510(a) is amended to read:

(a) If the state, municipal corporation or any owner affected by the order of the court is aggrieved by the order, an appeal may be taken to the supreme court. In the event an appeal is taken according to these provisions*[, all proceedings shall]* from an order of necessity, its effect may be stayed *[until final disposition of the appeal]* by the superior court or the supreme court where the person requesting the stay establishes:

(1) that he or she has a likelihood of success on the merits;

(2) that he or she will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of the requested stay;

(3) that other interested parties will not be substantially harmed if a stay is granted; and

(4) that the public interest supports a grant of the proposed stay. If no *[appeals are taken within the time provided]* stay is granted or, if *[appeal is taken]* a stay is granted, upon final disposition of the appeal, a copy of the order of the court shall be *[placed on file]* recorded within *[10]* 30 days in the office of the clerk of each town in which the land affected lies. Thereafter for a period of one year, the agency of transportation may request the transportation board to institute proceedings for the condemnation of the land included in the survey as finally approved by the court without further hearing or consideration of any question of the necessity of the taking. In no event shall title to or possession of the appealing landowner's property pass to the state until there is a final adjudication of the issue of the necessity and propriety of the proposed taking.

* * * Minor Alterations * * *

Sec. 10. 19 V.S.A. § 518 is added to read:

§ 518. MINOR ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING FACILITIES

(a) For purposes of this section, the term "minor alterations to existing facilities" means activities which qualify as "categorical exclusions" under 23 C.F.R. § 771.117(c) and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321-4347, and do not require a permit under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 (Act 250).

(b) In cases involving minor alterations to existing facilities, the agency, following the procedures of section 923 of this title, may exercise the powers of a selectboard. If an appeal is taken under subdivision 923(5) of this title, the person taking the appeal shall follow the procedure specified in section 513 of this title.

* * * Notice to Condominium Owners * * *

Sec. 11. 19 V.S.A. § 519 is added to read:

§ 519. CONDOMINIUMS; COMMON AREAS AND FACILITIES

(a) For purposes of this section, the terms "apartment owner," "association of owners," "common areas and facilities" and "declaration" shall have the same meanings as in the condominium ownership act, 27 V.S.A. chapter 15.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever the agency under chapter 5 of this title proposes to acquire any common areas and facilities of a condominium, the association of owners shall constitute the interested person or persons interested in lands in lieu of the individual apartment owners for purposes of the necessity hearing, the compensation hearing and any appeals therefrom.

(c) The agency shall serve one copy of the necessity petition upon the association of owners through one of its officers or agents, instead of upon the individual apartment owners.

(d) The agency shall make the compensation check payable to the association of owners, which shall then make proportional payments to the apartment owners as their interests appear in the declaration.

Sec. 12. [Deleted]

* * * Protection of Highways * * *

Sec. 13. 19 V.S.A. § 1111(k) is added to read:

(k) Recording of permits; recording fees. Initial and subsequent permits shall be recorded at the expense of the applicant in the land records of any municipality in which the affected property is located, unless the agency (in the case of state highways) or the legislative body (in the case of town highways) determines that such action is not warranted in specific instances or for certain categories of permits. The agency or the selectboard may decline to issue a permit until the applicant submits a check, payable to the appropriate municipal clerk, for prepayment of the recording fee.

* * * Operation of Vehicles * * *

Sec. 14. 23 V.S.A. § 1006 is amended to read:

§ 1006. STOPPING AT RAILROAD CROSSINGS

The traffic committee may designate particularly dangerous *[highway]* railroad grade crossings, and the agency of transportation shall erect stop signs at each. The expense of erecting these stop signs shall be borne by the agency of transportation.

Sec. 15. 23 V.S.A. § 1006a(d) is added to read:

(d) Notwithstanding the limit established in section 2302(d) of this title, the penalty forviolation of speed limits established under subsection (b) of this section shall be twice the penalty for nonwork site speed violations.

Sec. 16. 23 V.S.A. § 1010 is amended to read:

§ 1010. SPECIAL OCCASIONS; TOWN HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE

(a) When it appears that traffic will be congested by reason of a public occasion or when a town highway is being reconstructed or maintained or where utilities are being installed, relocated or maintained, the legislative body of a municipality may make special regulations as to the speed of motor vehicles, may exclude motor vehicles from certain public highways and may make such traffic rules and regulations as the public good requires. However, signs indicating the special regulations must be conspicuously posted in and near all affected areas.

(b) Notwithstanding the limit established in section 2302(d) of this title, the penalty for violation of speed limits established under the work site provision of this section shall be twice the penalty for nonwork site speed violations.

Sec. 17. 23 V.S.A. § 1126a is added to read:

§ 1126a. DEPOSITING SNOW ONTO OR ACROSS CERTAIN HIGHWAYS

PROHIBITED

(a) No person, other than an employee in the performance of his or her official duties or other person authorized by the agency of transportation (in the case of state highways) or selectboard (in the case of town highways), shall plow or otherwise deposit snow onto the traveled way, shoulder or sidewalk of a state highway or a class 1, 2 or 3 town highway.

(b) Nothing in this section should be construed to be in derogation of any municipal ordinance regulating the deposit of snow within the limits of town highways.

* * * Filing of Land Plats * * *

Sec. 18. 27 V.S.A. § 1405 is amended to read:

§ 1405. APPLICABILITY

This chapter does not apply to layout plats of highways or other transportation facilities prepared by or for the agency of transportation, other than plats of individual parcels,before that agency issues a right-of-way clearance certificate for a transportation project. When the agency of transportation issues a right-of-way clearance certificate for a transportation project, it also shall file with the appropriate municipal clerk one set of plans that conforms to the requirements of this chapter, with instructions to the clerk to dispose of all previously filed plats for that particular project.

* * * Commissioner of Buildings and General Services

Leasing State-Owned Property * * *

Sec. 19. 29 V.S.A. § 165(h) is amended to read:

(h) No state-owned space in any state-owned building, structure or other real property under the jurisdiction of the commissioner of buildings and general services may be leased, occupied or licensed for any purpose for less than its fair market value as determined by the prevailing area market prices for comparable space or property, except as follows:

(1) The commissioner of buildings and general services*[, and the secretary of transportation,]* may *[respectively]* lease or license state-owned property under *[the]* his or her jurisdiction *[of each]* for less than prevailing area market prices to municipalities or to persons whose proposed activities are determined by the commissioner *[or the secretary respectively]* to serve a public purpose and when the term of the lease or license is less than three years.

(2) The commissioner of buildings and general services*[, and the secretary of transportation notwithstanding sections 204 and 3406 of Title 5 and section 26 of Title 19,]* may *[respectively]* lease or license state-owned property under *[the]* his or her jurisdiction *[of each]* for less than prevailing area market prices with the approval of the joint fiscal committee when the term of the lease or license is three years or longer, or when the lease or license requested is a renewal of a lease or license issued pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

* * * Rent Charges for Leasing State-Owned Property Under AOT Jurisdiction * * *

Sec. 20. 19 V.S.A. § 26a is added to read:

§ 26a. DETERMINATION OF RENT TO BE CHARGED FOR LEASING OR

LICENSING STATE-OWNED PROPERTY UNDER THE AGENCY'S

JURISDICTION

Except as otherwise provided by law, leases or licenses negotiated by the agency under sections 204 and 3405 of Title 5 and section 26 of this title ordinarily shall require the payment of fair market value rent, as determined by the prevailing area market prices for comparable space or property. However, the agency may lease or license state-owned property under its jurisdiction for less than fair market value when the agency determines that the proposed occupancy or use serves a public purpose or that there exists other relevant factors, such as a prior course of dealing between the parties, that justify setting rent at less than fair market value.

Sec. 21. 30 V.S.A. § 227b(d) is added to read:

(d) In the event of a conflict between the provisions of this section and any other provision of law relating to the use of state-owned buildings, structures and land, including the provisions of section 165 of Title 29, and section 26a of Title 19, the provisions of this section shall control.

* * * Reimbursement for Official Travel * * *

Sec. 22. REPEAL

32 V.S.A. § 1060 (mileage certificates) is repealed.

Approved: April 29, 1998