State of Washington
68th Legislature
2024 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Ryu and Tharinger
Read first time 01/22/24.Referred to Committee on Innovation, Community & Economic Development, & Veterans.
AN ACT Relating to leasing authority of the state parks and recreation commission; and amending RCW 79A.05.025 and 79A.05.030.
Sec. 1. RCW 79A.05.025 and 2020 c 123 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The commission shall elect one of its members as chair. The commission may be convened at such times as the chair deems necessary, and a majority shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
(2)(((a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, the))The lease of parkland or property for a period exceeding ((twenty))20 years requires the affirmative vote of at least five members of the commission.
(((b) With the affirmative vote of at least five members of the commission, the commission may enter into a lease for up to sixty-two years for property at Saint Edward state park. The commission may only enter into a lease under the provisions of this subsection (2)(b) if the commission finds that the department of commerce study required by section 3, chapter 103, Laws of 2016 fails to identify an economically viable public or nonprofit use for the property that is consistent with the state parks and recreation commission's mission and could proceed on a reasonable timeline. The lease at Saint Edward state park may only include the following:
(i) The main seminary building;
(ii) The pool building;
(iii) The gymnasium;
(iv) The parking lot located in between locations identified in (b)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this subsection;
(v) The parking lot immediately north of the gymnasium; and
(vi) Associated property immediately adjacent to the areas listed in (b)(i) through (v) of this subsection.))
Sec. 2. RCW 79A.05.030 and 2020 c 123 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
The commission shall:
(1) Have the care, charge, control, and supervision of all parks and parkways acquired or set aside by the state for park or parkway purposes.
(2) Adopt policies, and adopt, issue, and enforce rules pertaining to the use, care, and administration of state parks and parkways. The commission shall cause a copy of the rules to be kept posted in a conspicuous place in every state park to which they are applicable, but failure to post or keep any rule posted shall be no defense to any prosecution for the violation thereof.
(3) Permit the use of state parks and parkways by the public under such rules as shall be adopted.
(4) Clear, drain, grade, seed, and otherwise improve or beautify parks and parkways, and erect structures, buildings, fireplaces, and comfort stations and build and maintain paths, trails, and roadways through or on parks and parkways.
(5) Grant concessions or leases in state parks and parkways upon such rentals, fees, or percentage of income or profits and for such terms, in no event longer than ((eighty))80 years((, except for a lease associated with land or property described in RCW 79A.05.025(2)(b) which may not exceed sixty-two years,)) and upon such conditions as shall be approved by the commission.
(a) Leases exceeding a ((twenty-year))20-year term, or the amendment or modification of these leases, shall require a vote consistent with RCW 79A.05.025(2).
(b) If, during the term of any concession or lease, it is the opinion of the commission that it would be in the best interest of the state, the commission may, with the consent of the concessionaire or lessee, alter and amend the terms and conditions of such concession or lease.
(c) Television station leases shall be subject to the provisions of RCW 79A.05.085.
(d) The rates of concessions or leases shall be renegotiated at five-year intervals. No concession shall be granted which will prevent the public from having free access to the scenic attractions of any park or parkway.
(6) Employ such assistance as it deems necessary. Commission expenses relating to its use of volunteer assistance shall be limited to premiums or assessments for the insurance of volunteers by the department of labor and industries, compensation of staff who assist volunteers, materials and equipment used in authorized volunteer projects, training, reimbursement of volunteer travel as provided in RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060, and other reasonable expenses relating to volunteer recognition. The commission, at its discretion, may waive commission fees otherwise applicable to volunteers. The commission shall not use volunteers to replace or supplant classified positions. The use of volunteers may not lead to the elimination of any employees or permanent positions in the bargaining unit.
(7) By majority vote of its authorized membership, select and purchase or obtain options upon, lease, or otherwise acquire for and in the name of the state such tracts of land, including shore and tide lands, for park and parkway purposes as it deems proper. If the commission cannot acquire any tract at a price it deems reasonable, it may, by majority vote of its authorized membership, obtain title thereto, or any part thereof, by condemnation proceedings conducted by the attorney general as provided for the condemnation of rights-of-way for state highways. Option agreements executed under authority of this subsection shall be valid only if:
(a) The cost of the option agreement does not exceed one dollar; and
(b) Moneys used for the purchase of the option agreement are from (i) funds appropriated therefor, or (ii) funds appropriated for undesignated land acquisitions, or (iii) funds deemed by the commission to be in excess of the amount necessary for the purposes for which they were appropriated; and
(c) The maximum amount payable for the property upon exercise of the option does not exceed the appraised value of the property.
(8) Cooperate with the United States, or any county or city of this state, in any matter pertaining to the acquisition, development, redevelopment, renovation, care, control, or supervision of any park or parkway, and enter into contracts in writing to that end. All parks or parkways, to which the state contributed or in whose care, control, or supervision the state participated pursuant to the provisions of this section, shall be governed by the provisions hereof.
(9) Within allowable resources, maintain policies that increase the number of people who have access to free or low-cost recreational opportunities for physical activity, including noncompetitive physical activity.
(10) Adopt rules establishing the requirements for a criminal history record information search for the following: Job applicants, volunteers, and independent contractors who have unsupervised access to children or vulnerable adults, or who will be responsible for collecting or disbursing cash or processing credit/debit card transactions. These background checks will be done through the Washington state patrol criminal identification section and may include a national check from the federal bureau of investigation, which shall be through the submission of fingerprints. A permanent employee of the commission, employed as of July 24, 2005, is exempt from the provisions of this subsection.
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