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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 405-S.F.No. 282 
           An act relating to transportation; reducing maximum 
          tax levy authorized for regional railroad authorities; 
          permitting regional railroad authorities to engage in 
          activities related to light rail transit; providing 
          for review of light rail transit plans by local 
          governmental units and the metropolitan council; 
          amending Minnesota Statutes 1986, sections 398A.04, 
          subdivision 8; and 473.398; proposing coding for new 
          law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 473. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 398A.04, 
subdivision 8, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 8.  [TAXATION.] Before deciding to exercise the power 
to tax, the authority shall give six weeks published notice in 
all municipalities in the region.  If a number of voters in the 
region equal to five percent of those who voted for candidates 
for governor at the last gubernatorial election present a 
petition within nine weeks of the first published notice to the 
secretary of state requesting that the matter be submitted to 
popular vote, it shall be submitted at the next general 
election.  The question prepared shall be:  
    "Shall the regional rail authority have the power to impose 
a property tax?  
                                   Yes .......
                                   No ........"
    If a majority of those voting on the question approve or if 
no petition is presented within the prescribed time the 
authority may thereafter levy a tax at any annual rate not 
exceeding four two mills on the assessed valuation of all 
taxable property situated within the municipality or 
municipalities named in its organization resolution.  Its 
recording officer shall file in the office of the county auditor 
of each county in which territory under the jurisdiction of the 
authority is located a certified copy of the board of 
commissioners' resolution levying the tax, and each county 
auditor shall assess and extend upon the tax rolls of each 
municipality named in the organization resolution the portion of 
the tax that bears the same ratio to the whole amount that the 
assessed valuation of taxable property in that municipality 
bears to the assessed value of taxable property in all 
municipalities named in the organization resolution.  
Collections of the tax shall be remitted by each county 
treasurer to the treasurer of the authority. 
    Sec. 2.  [473.169] [LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT; DESIGN PLANS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [REQUIREMENT.] Before constructing a light 
rail transit facility, the political subdivision proposing the 
facility must hold a public hearing on the preliminary design 
plans as provided in subdivision 2, and submit the preliminary 
and final design plans for review as provided in subdivisions 3 
to 5.  The design plans must include a plan for handicapped 
accessibility. 
    Subd. 2.  [PRELIMINARY DESIGN PLANS; PUBLIC HEARING.] 
Before preparing final design plans for a light rail transit 
facility, the political subdivision proposing the facility must 
hold a public hearing on the preliminary design plans.  The 
proposer must provide appropriate public notice of the hearing 
and publicity to ensure that affected parties have an 
opportunity to present their views at the hearing. 
    Subd. 3.  [PRELIMINARY DESIGN PLANS; LOCAL APPROVAL.] At 
least 30 days before the hearing under subdivision 2, the 
proposer must submit the preliminary design plans to the 
governing body of each statutory and home rule charter city, 
county, and town in which the route is proposed to be located.  
The city, county, or town must hold a public hearing.  Within 45 
days after the hearing under subdivision 2, the city, county, or 
town must review and approve or disapprove the plans for the 
route to be located in the city, county, or town.  Failure to 
approve or disapprove the plans in writing within 45 days after 
the hearing is deemed to be approval, unless an extension of 
time is agreed to by the city, county, or town and the 
proposer.  If the preliminary design plans are approved by each 
city, county, and town in which the route is proposed to be 
located, the proposer may proceed with final design plans under 
subdivision 5. 
    Subd. 4.  [PRELIMINARY DESIGN PLANS; METROPOLITAN COUNCIL 
REFERRAL.] If the governing body of one or more cities, 
counties, or towns disapproves the preliminary design plans 
within the period allowed under subdivision 3, the proposer may 
refer the plans to the metropolitan council.  The council must 
hold a hearing, giving the proposer and the disapproving local 
governmental units an opportunity to present the case for or 
against approval of the plans.  The council may conduct 
independent study as it deems desirable and may mediate and 
attempt to resolve disagreements about the plans.  Within 90 
days after the referral, the council must either approve the 
plans as submitted by the proposer or recommend amended plans to 
accommodate the objections presented by the disapproving local 
governmental units.  Failure to respond within the time period 
is deemed to be approval, unless an extension of time is agreed 
to by the council and the proposer.  Following approval or 
recommendation of preliminary design plans by the council, the 
proposer may proceed with final design plans under subdivision 5.
    Subd. 5.  [FINAL DESIGN PLANS.] (a) After the approval of 
preliminary design plans under subdivision 3 or review by the 
council following referral to the council under subdivision 4, 
the proposer may prepare final design plans. 
    (b) Before proceeding with construction, the proposer must 
submit the final design plans to the governing body of each 
statutory and home rule city, county, and town in which the 
route is proposed to be located.  Within 60 days after the 
submission of the plans, the city, county, or town must review 
and approve or disapprove the plans for the route located in the 
city, county, or town.  Failure to approve or disapprove the 
plans in writing within the time period is deemed to be 
approval, unless an extension is agreed to by the city, county, 
or town and the proposer.  If the final design plans are 
approved by each city, county, and town in which the route is 
proposed to be located, the proposer may proceed with 
construction on that route. 
    (c) If the governing body of one or more cities, counties, 
or towns disapproves the final design plans within the period 
allowed under paragraph (b), the proposer may refer the plans to 
the metropolitan council.  The council must review the final 
design plans under the same procedure and with the same effect 
as provided in subdivision 4 for preliminary design plans.  
Following approval or recommendation of final design plans by 
the council, the proposer may proceed with construction.  
    Subd. 6.  [COUNTY APPROVAL.] The proposer of a light rail 
transit facility in the metropolitan area must submit the 
preliminary and final design plans for the facility to the 
governing board of the county in which the route is proposed to 
be located for approval or disapproval.  The proposer of the 
facility may not proceed with construction of the facility 
without the approval of the county. 
    Subd. 7.  [COUNCIL REVIEW.] Before proceeding with 
construction of a light rail transit facility, a regional rail 
authority established under chapter 398A must submit preliminary 
and final design plans to the metropolitan council.  The council 
must review the plans for consistency with the council's 
development guide and comment on the plans. 
    Subd. 8.  [METROPOLITAN SIGNIFICANCE.] This section does 
not diminish or replace the authority of the council under 
section 473.173. 
    Sec. 3.  [473.17] [COOPERATION IN LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT.] 
    Notwithstanding section 473.398, the metropolitan council 
may cooperate with regional rail authorities in the study, 
planning, and design of regional rail authority light rail 
transit systems, and the metropolitan transit commission may 
cooperate with regional rail authorities in the operational 
planning and operation of regional rail authority light rail 
transit systems. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 473.398, is 
amended to read: 
    473.398 [TRANSIT NEEDS ASSESSMENT.] 
    (a) The metropolitan council, the regional transit board, 
and the metropolitan transit commission, and any regional rail 
authority or political subdivision in the metropolitan area may 
not either separately or in combination expend or obligate any 
money from public sources for study, planning, design, 
preliminary engineering, engineering, acquisition, construction, 
or any other purpose related to facilities for transporting 
passengers by cars operating on fixed rails, without express 
legislative authorization. 
    (b) Before performing any further detailed work on light 
rail transit, the regional transit board shall complete the 
total assessment of transit service needs and markets for the 
metropolitan area and the implementation plan required by 
section 473.377, subdivisions 1 and 2.  It may consider any mode 
of travel to serve identified needs and markets. 
    (c) Following approval of the implementation plan by the 
metropolitan council, as required by section 473.377, 
subdivision 1, the regional transit board may commence corridor 
planning, consisting of preliminary engineering for general 
route configuration and alignments, station locations, modal 
interconnectors, and access of any modes including light rail 
transit, for the corridor between the downtowns of Minneapolis 
and St. Paul if the needs assessment and implementation plan so 
provide.  It may utilize private or public funds to do this work.
    (d) The board shall report to the legislature by December 
1, 1986, on the needs, alternative transit systems, and services 
considered and recommendations for implementation, costs, 
alternative sources of financing, and preferred financing 
sources. 
    Sec. 5.  [METROPOLITAN TRANSIT PLANNING PROCESS.] 
    By January 15, 1988, the metropolitan council shall report 
to the legislature a recommended process to coordinate transit 
planning and development by regional railroad authorities and 
other political subdivisions. 
    Sec. 6.  [COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.] 
    By July 1, 1988, the Hennepin county regional rail 
authority must develop a comprehensive plan for the development 
of a light rail transit system in Hennepin county.  In 
developing the comprehensive plan, the authority must consider 
at least three primary corridors, including the southwest 
corridor, a northern corridor, and a southern corridor.  In 
evaluating the corridors, the authority must consider the 
ridership potential of each corridor, the cost of developing 
each corridor, and the public benefit to be derived from each 
corridor.  During this evaluation, the authority may acquire 
right-of-way so that all corridors have, to the extent 
practicable, an equal opportunity for development based on the 
guidelines contained in the comprehensive plan.  This section 
does not prohibit the authority from proceeding with the 
preparation of engineering plans for any corridor before July 1, 
1988.  
    Sec. 7.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Section 1 is effective the day following final enactment.  
A regional rail authority that has acquired the power to impose 
a property tax under section 398A.04, subdivision 8, before the 
effective date of section 1, may levy an annual tax up to but 
not exceeding two mills on the assessed valuation of all taxable 
property situated within the municipality or municipalities 
named in its organization resolution for study, planning, 
design, preliminary engineering, engineering, acquisition, 
construction, or any purpose related to facilities for 
transporting passengers on a light rail transit system. 
    Sec. 8.  [APPLICATION.] 
    Sections 2 to 6 are effective the day following final 
enactment in the counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, 
Ramsey, Scott, and Washington. 
    Approved June 18, 1987