2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 3 - PARKS, HISTORIC AREAS, MEMORIALS, AND RECREATION
ARTICLE 6 - MEMORIALS
PART 4 - STONE MOUNTAIN MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION
§ 12-3-194.2 - Adherence to master plan; survey required; amendment of plan; uses to which natural district may be put
. Adherence to master plan; survey required; amendment of plan; uses to which natural district may be put
(a) The association, in the exercise of its authority to develop, manage, preserve, and protect Stone Mountain, shall be guided by and shall adhere to the master plan. That area shown on the master plan as the "natural district" shall be surveyed on or before December 1, 1995, by a Georgia registered engineer or surveyor and that survey, as approved by the association members at a regularly scheduled public meeting of the association, shall become a part of the master plan.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, the association 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 association;
(2) A brief summary of the proposed change shall be advertised in the legal organs of DeKalb and Gwinnett counties along with the date on which a meeting of the association shall be held to consider the proposed change. Directions as to the manner of receiving comments from the public, including the time and place of the public hearing on the proposed change required by paragraph (6) of this subsection, shall be provided. Information describing the proposed change and the public hearing also shall be distributed to the media by news release and published in appropriate publications of the association;
(3) The association shall transmit three copies of the summary provided for in paragraph (2) of this subsection to the legislative counsel. The copies shall be transmitted at least 30 days prior to the date of the association's intended action. Within three days after receipt of the copies, if possible, the legislative counsel shall furnish the presiding officers of each house with a copy of the summary, and the presiding officers shall assign the summary to the chairperson of the appropriate standing committee in each house for review and provide a copy to any member of that house who makes a standing written request. In the event a presiding officer is unavailable for the purpose of making the assignment within the time limitations, the legislative counsel shall assign the summary to the chairperson of the appropriate standing committee and provide the copies to members of each house who have made standing written requests. The legislative counsel shall also transmit within the time limitations provided in this paragraph a notice of the assignment to the chairperson of the appropriate standing committee;
(4) In the event a standing committee to which a summary is assigned as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection files an objection to a proposed amendment to the master plan with the chairperson of the association prior to its adoption and the association adopts the proposed amendment over the objection, the amendment may be considered by the branch of the General Assembly whose committee objected to its adoption by the introduction of a resolution for the purpose of overriding the amendment at any time within the first 30 days of the next regular session of the General Assembly. It shall be the duty of the association if it adopts a proposed amendment to the master plan over such objection to notify the presiding officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the chairpersons of the Senate and House committees to which the summary was referred, and the legislative counsel within ten days after the adoption of the amendment to the master plan. In the event the resolution is adopted by such branch of the General Assembly, it shall be immediately transmitted to the other branch of the General Assembly. It shall be the duty of the presiding officer of the other branch of the General Assembly to have such branch, within five days after the receipt of the resolution, to consider the resolution for the purpose of overriding the amendment to the master plan. In the event the resolution is adopted by two-thirds of the votes of each branch of the General Assembly, the amendment shall be void on the day after the adoption of the resolution by the second branch of the General Assembly. In the event the resolution is ratified by less than two-thirds of the votes of either branch, the resolution shall be submitted to the Governor for his or her approval or veto. In the event of the Governor's veto, the amendment to the master plan shall remain in effect. In the event of the Governor's approval, the amendment to the master plan shall be void on the day after the date of his or her approval;
(5) Any proposed changes to the boundaries of that area delineated on the master plan as the natural district shall be surveyed and marked at least seven days prior to the public hearing required by paragraph (6) of this subsection in such a fashion as to be readily discernible on the ground by members of the public;
(6) A public hearing shall be held no earlier than 15 days after the most recent publication of the notice required by paragraph (2) of this subsection in either the legal organ of DeKalb or Gwinnett County; and
(7) No sooner than 30 days after the meeting of the association at which the proposed change was announced pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the association shall meet and consider in an open and public meeting the proposed change which, if approved, shall become a part of the master plan, subject, however, to the provisions of paragraph (4) of this subsection.
(c) (1) The properties designated as the natural district on the master plan, as it exists on April 14, 1997, shall be held by the association in trust for the benefit of the present and future generations of the people of the State of Georgia. The natural district shall be put to the designated use or uses which are shown within the master plan as it exists on April 14, 1997, which use or uses are found to confer the best and most important benefit to the public. The natural district shall not be put to any uses other than those shown on the master plan except pursuant to the following procedures:
(A) If the association determines that there may exist an imperative and unavoidable necessity for a use of the natural district other than those uses identified in the master plan, the association shall hold a public hearing thereon in either DeKalb County or Gwinnett County;
(B) The association shall consider fully all testimony relative to the proposed use of the natural district and submit a recommendation to the General Assembly; and
(C) The General Assembly may then determine if such use is in the public interest and may by statute or joint resolution approve such other use of the natural district.
(2) Neither the designation of a piece of property as a part of the natural district nor any action taken by the association pursuant to this Code section shall operate to void, preempt, or dilute any protected status which that property had or would have had but for its inclusion within the natural district.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section to the contrary, the association shall:
(A) Consider in all of its decisions regarding changes to, and implementation of, the master plan the effect of such change or implementation upon the rare plant known as the rock aster, Aster Avitus, growing within Stone Mountain Park; and
(B) Maintain the services of a qualified naturalist to assure that rare and endangered plants within Stone Mountain Park, whether growing inside or outside of the natural areas, are protected.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer