Bill S3810-2015

Relates to the enforcement by governing boards of municipal corporations of interests in real property acquired for the purposes of open space or open areas

Relates to the enforcement by governing boards of municipal corporations of interests in real property acquired for the purposes of open space or open areas.

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  • Feb 17, 2015: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3810

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general municipal law, in relation to the enforcement by governing boards of municipal corporations of interests in real property acquired for the purposes of open space or open areas

PURPOSE:

Relates to the enforcement by governing boards of municipal corporations of interests in real property acquired for the purposes of open space or open areas.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Subdivision 4 of Section 247 of the General Municipal Law is amended to provide that governing boards of municipal corporations may enforce interests in real property acquired for the purposes of open space or open areas.

JUSTIFICATION:

Section 247 of the State General Municipal Law grants municipalities authority to institute programs to preserve agricultural lands. In essence, the towns protect agricultural lands by purchasing "development rights" from the landowner that prohibits the land from being developed for residential purposes, while permitting the land to continue to be used for agricultural purposes, as defined in Section 301 of the State Agriculture and Markets Law. The towns either hold such development rights or extinguish those rights. Fee title to land remains in private ownership to be used for agriculture. However, such programs to preserve agricultural lands do not actually require the owner to farm the land. It may remain fallow.

Over the past 40 years, there have been dramatic changes in agricultural practices and land values in New York State. Especially on the East End of Long Island, there has been a substantial use of land for luxury, second homes. As a result, agricultural lands, which were preserved for the purpose of use in the agricultural industry, are frequently being diverted for use as part of large estates where such lands are lying fallow or are being used for personal use to board horses, or other accessory uses that meet the definition of agriculture, but are not commercial in nature.

As a result, agricultural lands are being diverted from the agriculture industry. Exacerbating this trend, is the fact that land values of protected agricultural lands as an accessory use for luxury residential development have driven the value of protected farmland to levels that make it unaffordable for farmers. As a result, one of the original purposes of the farm preservation program, to make land available for agriculture, is being thwarted.

This legislation would allow municipalities to have enforcement authority to ensure that the land preserved for agricultural purposes is used for agricultural purposes.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2015: New Legislation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 3810 A. 5309 2015-2016 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y February 17, 2015 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Govern- ment IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Local Governments AN ACT to amend the general municipal law, in relation to the enforce- ment by governing boards of municipal corporations of interests in real property acquired for the purposes of open space or open areas THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 247 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 964 of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows: 4. For purposes of this section, any interest acquired pursuant to this section is hereby enforceable by and against the original parties and the successors in interest, heirs and assigns of the original parties, AND ALSO MAY BE ENFORCED BY THE GOVERNING BOARD OF ANY MUNICI- PAL CORPORATION WITHIN WHICH THE LAND ENCUMBERED BY ANY SUCH INTEREST IS LOCATED, provided that a record of such acquisition is filed in the manner provided by section two hundred ninety-one of the real property law. Such enforceability shall not be defeated because of any subsequent adverse possession, laches, estoppel, waiver, change in character of the surrounding neighborhood or any rule of common law. No general law of the state which operates to defeat the enforcement of any interest in real property shall operate to defeat the enforcement of any acquisition pursuant to this section, unless such general law expressly states the intent to defeat the enforcement of any acquisition pursuant to this section. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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