State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Arizona > Title48 > 48-5703

48-5703. District establishment; procedures; notice; hearing; determinations; petitions

A. An agriculture preservation district shall be established by the following procedures:

1. Any person desiring to propose the establishment of a district and who resides or owns real property in the proposed district shall prepare and submit a district impact statement to the board of supervisors of the county in which the district is to be located. If the person desiring to establish a district pursuant to this section is unable to complete the district impact statement, the board of supervisors may assist in the completion of the impact statement if requested to do so, if the bond required in subsection C is in an amount sufficient to cover any additional cost to the county. The district impact statement shall contain at least the following information:

(a) A description of the boundaries of the proposed district and a detailed, accurate map of the area to be included in the district. A proposed district shall be located no more than ten miles from the outside boundary of an existing military airport or a former military airport decommissioned after January 1, 1991 that is being redeveloped and continues to operate as an airport, as measured from the outside boundary of the proposed district.

(b) An estimate of the assessed valuation within the proposed district.

(c) The names, addresses and occupations of the proposed members of the district's organizing board of directors.

(d) The projected cost of establishing the district.

2. On receipt of the district impact statement, the board of supervisors shall set a date, at least thirty days but not more than sixty days from that date, for a hearing on the impact statement. At any time before making a determination pursuant to paragraph 4, the board of supervisors may require that the impact statement be amended to include any information that the board of supervisors deems relevant and necessary.

3. On receipt of the district impact statement, the clerk of the board of supervisors shall mail, by first class mail, written notice of the statement, its purpose and notice of the date, hour and place of the hearing on the proposed district to each owner of taxable property and each qualified elector within the boundaries of the proposed district. The clerk of the board of supervisors shall post the notice in at least three conspicuous public places in the area of the proposed district and shall publish twice in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the area of the proposed district, at least ten days before the hearing, or, if no daily newspaper of general circulation exists in the area of the proposed district, at least twice at any time before the date of the hearing, a notice setting forth the purpose of the impact statement, the description of the area of the proposed district and the date, hour and place of the hearing.

4. At the hearing called pursuant to paragraph 2, the board of supervisors shall hear those persons who appear for and against the proposed district and shall determine whether the establishment of the district will promote the public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare. If the board of supervisors determines that the public health, comfort, convenience, necessity or welfare will be promoted, it shall approve the district impact statement and authorize the persons proposing the district to circulate petitions as provided in this subsection. The order of the board of supervisors is final, but if the request to circulate petitions is denied, a subsequent request for a similar district may be refiled with the board of supervisors after six months from the date of the denial.

5. After receiving the approval of the board of supervisors as provided in paragraph 4, the person proposing the district may circulate the petitions for signatures and present petitions to the board of supervisors of the county in which the district is located.

6. The petitions presented pursuant to paragraph 5 shall:

(a) At all times, contain a description of the boundaries of the proposed district, a detailed, accurate map of the proposed district and the names, addresses and occupations of the proposed members of the district's organizing board of directors. No alteration of the proposed district may be made after receiving the approval of the board of supervisors as provided in paragraph 4.

(b) Be signed by at least the number of owners of taxable property who own a majority of the acres of taxable property in the proposed district.

7. On receipt of the petitions, the board of supervisors shall set a date, at least ten days but not more than thirty days from that date, for a hearing on the petition.

8. Before the hearing called pursuant to paragraph 7, the board of supervisors shall determine the validity of the petitions presented.

9. At the hearing called pursuant to paragraph 7, the board of supervisors, if the petitions are valid, shall order the establishment of the district. The board of supervisors shall enter its order setting forth its determination in the minutes of the meeting, not more than ten days after the hearing, and shall file a copy of the order in the county recorder's office. The order of the board of supervisors is final, and the proposed district shall be established thirty days after the board of supervisors votes to establish the district. A decision of the board of supervisors under this subsection is subject to judicial review.

B. For the purpose of determining the validity of the petitions presented pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 6, property held in joint tenancy or other joint ownership shall be treated as if it had only one property owner, so that the signature of only one of the owners of property is required on the formation petition.

C. The board of supervisors may require a reasonable bond covering any person who proposes the establishment of a district pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1. The person shall file the bond with the board at the start of proceedings under this section. The bond shall be in an amount sufficient to cover costs incurred by the county if the district is not finally established. County costs covered by the bond include any expense incurred from completion of the district impact statement, mailing the notice of hearing to district owners of taxable property and qualified electors as defined pursuant to section 16-121, publishing the notice of hearing and other expenses reasonably incurred as a result of any requirements of this section.

D. If a district is established pursuant to this section, the cost of publishing the notice of hearing, the mailing of notices and all other costs incurred by the county as a result of this section are a charge against the district.

E. The area of a district established pursuant to this section shall contain a minimum of six thousand four hundred acres of privately owned land and may include two or more areas of noncontiguous land and land from more than one county.

F. A district organized pursuant to this section shall have an organizing board of directors to administer the affairs of the district until a duly constituted board of directors is elected as provided in this title. The organizing board has all of the powers, duties and responsibilities of an elected board. The organizing board consists of the three individuals named in the district impact statement and the petitions presented pursuant to subsection A. If a vacancy occurs on the organizing board, the remaining board members shall fill the vacancy by appointing an interim member. Members of the organizing board serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in performing their duties. The organizing board shall elect from its members a chairman and a clerk.