2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 6A - LAND CONSERVATION
§ 12-6A-5 - Review and approval of project proposals; procedures; criteria; contracts or memorandums of understanding
. Review and approval of project proposals; procedures; criteria; contracts or memorandums of understanding
(a) Approval of a land conservation project proposal for purposes of this chapter shall be accomplished as provided for in this Code section. Cities, counties, the department, the commission, other state departments or agencies, other state authorities, and nongovernmental entities may develop and submit land conservation projects using rules and regulations established by the authority. Cities, counties, the department, the commission, other state departments or agencies, and other state authorities may develop land conservation proposals in partnership with nonprofit environmental and conservation organizations and organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code. The department shall make available its geographic information systems data as described in Code Section 12-6A-10
to cities, counties, the commission, other state departments or agencies, and other state authorities to assist them in the development of land conservation proposals. Land conservation projects by any nongovernmental entity shall be submitted by means of co-application with the city or county having jurisdiction over the area in question, but such city or county shall not be liable for any debt of the nongovernmental entity.
(b) (1) The authority shall review each land conservation project for fiscal merit, for the capacity of the applicant to fulfill its matching fund or loan repayment commitments, for the fiscal solvency of the entity identified as responsible for protecting and managing the conservation land or conservation easement, and for compliance with all applicable terms and conditions of this chapter.
(2) The authority shall make a recommendation based on its review of each land conservation project to the council, including recommended funding sources, funding levels, and the terms and conditions of those funds.
(c) (1) The department shall review each land conservation project proposal for its strategic investment in land resources with high environmental values or conservation benefits; for consistency with the land conservation goals set forth in this chapter and the land conservation priorities set forth by the Governor; for the merit of a plan for long-term management of the conservation land or conservation easement; and for compliance with all applicable terms and conditions of this chapter.
(2) The department shall make a recommendation based on its review of each land conservation project to the council, including any terms and conditions of those funds.
(d) The council shall review each land conservation project proposal and shall consider the recommendations of the authority and the department, as well as the procedures, conditions, components, priorities, and criteria set forth in subsections (c) and (e) of this Code section, and any rules and regulations promulgated by the authority. The decision of the council that a land conservation project complies with all of the required terms and conditions and is approved shall cause the city, county, department, commission, other state department or agency, other state authority, or nongovernmental entity to become eligible for funding pursuant to the terms of this chapter and of the project approval. The authority shall then be responsible for the execution of each such project approval decision of the council.
(e) The council shall adopt procedures to review and determine the disposition of project proposals including, but not limited to, a schedule of meetings on an as needed basis, but not less than quarterly, at which project proposals will be considered; the components required to comprise a project proposal; the format in which project proposals will be presented for consideration by the council; the conditions which provide priority ranking to be used in reviewing the merits of project proposals; and the means, such as a memorandum of understanding, by which organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code may enter into partnerships with cities, counties, the department, the commission, other state departments or agencies, other state authorities, or nongovernmental entities to assist with the development and implementation of project proposals.
(f) The council shall use, at a minimum, the following criteria in granting project approval:
(1) The project shall promote the permanent protection of conservation land;
(2) The identification and commitment to the employment of local land use ordinances and local conservation and preservation ordinances, policies, and regulations which further the achievement of the permanent protection of conservation land; and
(3) Project proposals which are multijurisdictional in scope or regional in impact will receive additional ranking points.
(g) The council, the authority, and the department shall enter into contracts or memorandums of understanding, as appropriate and consistent with the intent and provisions of this chapter, setting forth the details of how they will each discharge, in cooperation with the others, their respective responsibilities under this chapter.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer