Text: H.R.5683 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 109-272 (08/14/2006)

[109th Congress Public Law 272]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ272.109]

[[Page 769]]


[[Page 120 STAT. 770]]

Public Law 109-272
109th Congress

                                 An Act

To preserve the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego, California, 
by providing for the immediate acquisition of the memorial by the United 
             States. <<NOTE: Aug. 14, 2006 -  [H.R. 5683]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: 16 USC 431 
note.>> assembled,


    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial has proudly stood 
        overlooking San Diego, California, for over 52 years as a 
        tribute to the members of the United States Armed Forces who 
        sacrificed their lives in the defense of the United States.
            (2) The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial was dedicated on April 
        18, 1954, as ``a lasting memorial to the dead of the First and 
        Second World Wars and the Korean conflict'' and now serves as a 
        memorial to American veterans of all wars, including the War on 
            (3) The United States has a long history and tradition of 
        memorializing members of the Armed Forces who die in battle with 
        a cross or other religious emblem of their faith, and a memorial 
        cross is fully integrated as the centerpiece of the multi-
        faceted Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial that is replete with 
        secular symbols.
            (4) The patriotic and inspirational symbolism of the Mt. 
        Soledad Veterans Memorial provides solace to the families and 
        comrades of the veterans it memorializes.
            (5) The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial has been recognized by 
        Congress as a National Veterans Memorial and is considered a 
        historically significant national memorial.
            (6) 76 percent of the voters of San Diego supported donating 
        the Mt. Soledad Memorial to the Federal Government only to have 
        a superior court judge of the State of California invalidate 
        that election.
            (7) The City of San Diego has diligently pursued every 
        possible legal recourse in order to preserve the Mt. Soledad 
        Veterans Memorial in its entirety for persons who have served in 
        the Armed Forces and those persons who will serve and sacrifice 
        in the future.


    (a) Acquisition.--To effectuate the purpose of section 116 of 
division E of Public Law 108-447 (118 Stat. 3346; 16 U.S.C. 431 note), 
which, in order to preserve a historically significant war memorial, 
designated the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San

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Diego, California, as a national memorial honoring veterans of the 
United States Armed Forces, there is hereby vested in the United States 
all right, title, and interest in and to, and the right to immediate 
possession of, the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego, 
California, as more fully described in subsection (d).
    (b) Compensation.--The United States shall pay just compensation to 
any owner of the property for the property taken pursuant to this 
section, and the full faith and credit of the United States is hereby 
pledged to the payment of any judgment entered against the United States 
with respect to the taking of the property. Payment shall be in the 
amount of the agreed negotiated value of the property or the valuation 
of the property awarded by judgment and shall be made from the permanent 
judgment appropriation established pursuant to section 1304 of title 31, 
United States Code. If the parties do not reach a negotiated settlement 
within one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary of Defense may initiate a proceeding in a court of competent 
jurisdiction to determine the just compensation with respect to the 
taking of such property.
    (c) <<NOTE: Memorandum.>> Maintenance.--Upon acquisition of the Mt. 
Soledad Veterans Memorial by the United States, the Secretary of Defense 
shall manage the property and shall enter into a memorandum of 
understanding with the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association for the 
continued maintenance of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial by the 

    (d) Legal Description.--The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial referred 
to in this section is all that portion of Pueblo lot 1265 of the Pueblo 
Lands of San Diego in the City and County of San Diego, California, 
according to the map thereof prepared by James Pascoe in 1879, a copy of 
which was filed in the office of the County Recorder of San Diego County 
on November 14, 1921, and is known as miscellaneous map No. 36, more 
particularly described as follows: The area bounded by the back of the 
existing inner sidewalk on top of Mt. Soledad, being also a circle with 
radius of 84 feet, the center of which circle is located as follows: 
Beginning at the Southwesterly corner of such Pueblo Lot 1265, such 
corner being South 17 degrees 14'33" East (Record South 17 degrees 
14'09" East) 607.21 feet distant along the westerly line of such Pueblo 
lot 1265 from the intersection with the North line of La Jolla Scenic 
Drive South as described and dedicated as parcel 2 of City Council 
Resolution No. 216644 adopted August 25, 1976; thence North 39 degrees 
59'24" East 1147.62 feet to the center of such circle. The exact 
boundaries and legal description of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial 
shall be determined by survey prepared by the Secretary of Defense. Upon 

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of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial by the United States, the 
boundaries of the Memorial may not be expanded.

    Approved August 14, 2006.


            July 19, considered and passed House.
            Aug. 1, considered and passed Senate.


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