Bill to establish a permanent Land Use Commission

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Leslie Allandale
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Re: Bill to establish a permanent Land Use Commission

Post by Leslie Allandale »

After extensive contributions from Gwyneth, revisiting a productive conversation with Arrias, and listening to comments from other citizens, I have made minor changes to, and am posting here, an edited version of the Land-Use Commission Bill. I am anticipating its addition to the RA agenda next Tuesday, though there may be further updates by then. Thus, I will try to provide the "final" version on Tuesday morning for your reading enjoyment and, so it will be easier for you to follow changes, am trying to mark significant alterations in bold.

Confederation of Democratic Simulators: 21st Representative Assembly
Principal Author: Leslie Allandale
Title of Bill: Permanent Land-Use Commission


Whereas, any democratic group, in which individuals have the power to change the group environment, must have the power to regulate that change;
And, since an expectation that such regulation of the change or use in the graphical environment will require persistent expertise, continuity of vision and consistent adherence to applicable laws;
And, since Individuals responsible for such regulation must: 1. Have expertise in how change is made; 2. Be accountable to the group for their actions, and; 3. Provide a measure of continuity to the regulation process:

The Representative Assembly (RA), in accord with its constitutionally mandated service role to “perform long term planning,” shall establish a permanent commission, called the CDS Land-Use Commission (hereinafter called “the Commission”), to advise on the regulation of such use in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (hereinafter called “CDS”). Which Land-Use shall be hereafter defined as: Any manipulation of, or activity within, the three-dimensional Second Life grid including, but not limited to, region purchase and placement, terraforming, object placement, textures, as well as the type of activities for which said environment shall be used. Said authority shall be vested with the Commission, within the CDS estate in the present Second Life Grid, its territories in an SL2, or another grid upon which CDS establishes a presence..

The purpose of this commission is to form a group of experts to advise the RA in the mandate of the parent body to make laws and control finances, as well as to advise the Executive regarding land usage and management. It shall have access to, and permissions for, all the assets of the CDS, both in its 3D-grid environment(s) and all CDS controlled media in the performance of its work which shall be enumerated in section VI – including, but not limited to, access to public venues, exterior of structures on private parcels, permissions to rez and manipulate objects for Commission business, scheduling meetings, conducting surveys, publishing results. Nothing in this document, however, shall allow the commission to make law or fund projects. Such powers shall be explicitly reserved for the Representative Assembly.

To be composed of six members whose aggregate expertise is composed of, but not limited to: terraforming, landscaping, building, texture creation and application. Such members are to be nominated: 1. Two citizens, by the CDS Artisans Guild, or by subsequent, approved, NGOs; 2. One citizen by the RA from its membership, each term and not subject to the rotation, appointed by the RA by simple majority. 3. One citizen from the Executive Branch, appointed by the Chancellor, and; 4. Two citizens appointed by RA members from the Citizenry-at-large, via a simple majority vote by the RA. Those nominated shall be confirmed by the Representative Assembly and become Members of the Commission. Such Membership shall be, after the initial seating, on a rotational basis, according to a plan formulated by the initial members and approved by the RA. A member may resign or be removed from office at the discretion of the RA upon the recommendation of their nominator. This resulting vacancy, or the vacancies due to end-of-term, shall be filled according to the legislated process, the new member(s) assuming the term of the member(s) replaced.

The commission shall select a chairperson and an alternate, who shall preside over meetings, without a vote, unless to decide a split decision, a secretary who shall keep minutes of the proceedings and inspectors who may be hired from the Commission or Citizenry-at-large, who will determine the conformity of all builds and uses, including complete regions, within the jurisdiction of CDS, either in Second Life, or other grids, as CDS establishes presence on them.

Meetings of the Commission shall be held at published times, at a frequency dependent on the demands of its mandate, but not less than once per Month. Procedures shall be adopted to encourage speedy and measured discussions and votes. A quorum shall be 1 member more than half of the appointed members. All decisions shall be considered passed by either a majority of the quorum or by the chairperson if the vote is split. Unless otherwise published, all meetings shall be open to Citizens, who shall be afforded a brief time at the end of the session to ask questions. All in attendance shall be notified that the entire transcript will be recorded and published. The Secretary shall post the transcript of the meeting, within 24 hours of adjournment, in a medium accessible to all Citizens. Minutes of all meetings shall be accepted at the following regular meeting, and be published with the transcript of that regular meeting.


The Commission shall create, update and maintain a CDS master plan, under which future expansions in land area and themes shall occur. This plan shall be submitted to and approved by the RA, as well as being resubmitted to the RA for approval whenever modifications are deemed necessary by either the Commission or the RA.

The Land Use Commission shall, upon a request from the RA or the Chancellor, investigate the viability of new region purchase and present recommendations to both bodies. This will include, but is not limited to:
1. Consideration of type of region (full region, homestead, void, or other types that might become available in the future);
2. Consideration of placement of region;
3. Consideration of region theme;
4. A survey of Citizens;
5. Appropriate In-world meetings for discussion and public comments;.
6. Compilation and summarization of ideas and comments from citizens from surveys and official meetings, or future channels as they may be useful.
7. A consideration of finances, balance of public and private prims and any specific public spaces appropriate to the theme.
8. A draft of legislation for the acquisition of a new region or regions, including covenants and/or codes for said region, which shall regulate the manipulation or use of CDS’ three-dimensional, graphical environment, whether on Public or Private parcels.

Upon a request from the RA or the Chancellor, the Land Use Commission shall call for bids for either the planning and/or the construction of Public works, either new, or for maintenance, to be awarded on a competitive basis. Such bids shall be from citizens of the CDS, or, under special circumstances, from foreign contractors, and shall include methods, timeline and payment schedules, as well as design elements. The Commission shall forward the winning bid(s) and alternates, if required, to the RA for approval. Once approved, the Commission shall, through its inspection team, work with the Contractor(s) to facilitate the timely and coherent completion of the project. If the RA determines that any project is sufficiently complex, it shall direct the Commission to add a method of continuing the project, in the event that the RA, upon advisement of the Commission, would decide that the initial contractor cannot fulfill its obligation. Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of a commissioner, engaged in the activities of a contractor, to continue activities within the Commission, except in the role of an inspector on any project where there might be any conflict of interest, or when the Commission is discussing or voting on issues related to a project in which the Commissioner is, or will be, involved. In addition, should a Commissioner participate in discussions, or vote, on an issue involving any given project, such Commissioner shall be prohibited from participating in that project.

The Land Use Commission shall:
A. Monitor, through its inspectors, the changes in the CDS environment and advise the Executive to work with landowners to resolve any differences between such changes or uses and the covenants and codes
B. Accept, in a prescribed format (including public input, if appropriate), and forward to the Executive for approval, petitions for variances from the existing covenants and codes, under the condition that: 1. The substance of such variance shall be considered in compliance with the intent, if not the letter, of the law, and; 2. The application of such variance might contribute to the overall aesthetics or usefulness of the CDS environment. Such approval shall be for the benefit of the petitioner only and shall not transfer to subsequent land owners.

Decisions made by the Commission and/or its inspectors, plus any subsequent action(s) by the Chancellor’s Office may be challenged: a. By a petition of the affected party; b. In a format approved by the commission, including a requirement of personal attendance; c. To the Land-Use Commission; d. At its next scheduled meeting, or sooner, if a quorum of the Commission agrees to expedite the process. The decision of the Commission shall be binding on all parties, subject to appropriate appeals.

With the exception of existing region placement, topography, infrastructure, landscaping, theme, and covenants, plus existing public and approved private structures along with their existing uses, all existing laws pertaining to the land use described in the preceding sections shall be immediately superseded. If a conflict arises between existing laws and the duties, responsibilities and authorities specified in this law, this law shall prevail. Existing covenants, codes and procedures which fall under the purview of this bill but are not explicitly described in it, shall continue according to present use until the Commission shall recommend new codes and procedures to be subsequently approved by the Representative Assembly.

A. CDS: Confederation of Democratic Simulators.
B. RA: The sitting, Representative Assembly of the CDS, as defined per Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution.
C. Land: Virtual property defined as the area bound by discrete horizontal coordinates in the SL, or other similar grid, and including a vertical axis with an associated volume.
D. Citizen: A member of CDS who has rights, ass defined per Article VI, Section 1 of the Constitution.
E. Public Works: Change to the three-dimensional environment on any CDS land.
F. Private Land: Land whose ownership pays tier to CDS.
G. Covenant: Regulations attached to a specific parcel of land.
H. Code: Regulation with general application.
I. Procedure: Authorized and/or prescribed activities carried out by an entity, acting within the scope of this bill.
J. Non-Governmental Organization (NGO): Any self-governed group, 1. approved for one or more particular purposes by the RA; 2. formed under NL 4-14 Registration and Incorporation Act ; 3. or formed under a similar charter.
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