2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Horne, Clarke
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 65-1-51, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE MISSISSIPPI TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION SHALL ADOPT AND ENFORCE SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS IT DEEMS APPROPRIATE FOR THE SAFE OPERATION, ACCESS AND USE OF HIGHWAY REST AREAS AND FACILITIES BY MOTORISTS AND THE TRAVELING PUBLIC, INCLUDING RULES AND REGULATIONS DESIGNATING APPROVED PARKING SPACES AND RESTRICTING THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT VEHICLES MAY MAKE USE OF SUCH PARKING SPACES AND FACILITIES; TO REQUIRE THE TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT TO INSTALL APPROPRIATE SIGNS AT SUCH REST AREAS AND FACILITIES TO CLEARLY NOTIFY MOTORISTS AND THE TRAVELING PUBLIC OF SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 65-1-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
65-1-51. The Mississippi Transportation Commission may acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, and may have the Mississippi Department of Transportation improve and maintain strips of land necessary for the restoration, preservation and enhancement of scenic beauty adjacent to the state highway rights-of-way. The commission may acquire and have the transportation department develop publicly owned and controlled rest and recreation areas and sanitary and other facilities within or adjacent to the highway right-of-way reasonably necessary to accommodate the traveling public. The commission shall adopt and enforce such rules and regulations as it deems appropriate for the safe operation, access and use of such rest areas and facilities by motorists and the traveling public, including rules and regulations designating approved parking spaces and restricting the length of time that vehicles may make use of such parking spaces and facilities; however, such rules and regulations shall not permit parking spaces or facilities to be used by the same person or vehicle for more than three (3) continuous hours or for overnight camping. The transportation department shall install and maintain appropriate signs at such rest areas and facilities to clearly notify motorists and the traveling public of such rules and regulations.
The Mississippi Transportation Commission, in its discretion, may acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, including the exercise of eminent domain, public or privately owned wetlands and other lands suitable for creation as wetlands for the purpose of mitigating wetland losses and replacing those wetlands purchased and damaged or eliminated by development and use, on a basis not to exceed that required by the Federal Highway Administration as a condition for receiving federal aid funds, provided that some governmental agency or approved organization agrees, without compensation, to accept title to the lands acquired and maintain such lands as wetlands in perpetuity. However, the commission shall replace those coastal wetlands purchased and damaged or eliminated by development and use on the basis required by the "Coastal Wetlands Protection Law" and regulations promulgated thereunder by the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources.
The Mississippi Transportation Commission, in its discretion, may acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, wetlands credits from an approved organization with a plan establishing a wetland mitigation bank. The commission shall, if possible, acquire credits on wetlands within the State of Mississippi before acquiring credits on wetlands located outside the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.