Relates to the reporting of alienation of municipal parkland.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the parks, recreation and historic preservation law, in relation to the reporting of alienation of municipal parkland
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Municipally owned parkland is vital to local communities. Once lost, municipal parkland is difficult to recover. The alienation of municipal parkland should be limited to instances of compelling public need where no other alternative is available, and should be accompanied by replacement parkland.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: *Defines "municipal parkland," "municipal parkland alienation," "municipality," "parkland alienation legislation," "state or federal grant funding," and "public trust doctrine."
*Provides requirements for municipalities seeking to alienate parkland.
*Provides for exemptions when replacement parkland shall not be required by legislation. *provides for necessary language in parkland alienation legislation.
*Provides for a review process by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in order to alienate municipal parkland.
*Provides that any municipality that has received alienation authorization through enactment of municipal parkland alienation legislation shall submit a report to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
*Provides for enforcement powers by the attorney general for violations of this act by a municipality.
JUSTIFICATION: For more than a century, New York courts have held that municipal parkland is subject to a "public trust" for the benefit of the public. As a result, courts have rules that municipal parkland may not be alienated without prior enactment of state legislation authorizing such alienation. This legislation seeks to codify the public trust doctrine and establish a comprehensive program administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the alienation of municipal parkland.
Municipally owned parkland greatly enhances the quality of life, community character, and economic vitality of communities throughout New York State by providing healthy, affordable, and educational opportunities to New Yorkers and tourists. Unfortunately, once lost municipal parkland is difficult, if not impossible, to recover. Therefore, the alienation of parkland should be limited to instances of compelling public need where no other alternative is available and should be accompanied by replacement parkland to be made available to the community.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10 A10575A referred to local governments 2011-12 A5539 local governments
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None by the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on January 1, 2015.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5600 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 24, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. SERRANO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation AN ACT to amend the parks, recreation and historic preservation law, in relation to the reporting of alienation of municipal parkland THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The parks, recreation and historic preservation law is amended by adding a new article 16 to read as follows: ARTICLE 16 MUNICIPAL PARKLAND ALIENATION SECTION 16.01 DEFINITIONS. 16.03 PARKLAND ALIENATION REPORTING. 16.05 PARKLAND ALIENATION ENFORCEMENT. S 16.01 DEFINITIONS. WHEN USED IN THIS ARTICLE: 1. "MUNICIPAL PARKLAND" SHALL MEAN REAL PROPERTY OR INTERESTS THEREIN THAT IS OWNED BY A MUNICIPALITY THAT PROVIDES PUBLIC PARK, RECREATION, OR OPEN SPACE PROTECTION PURPOSES. MUNICIPAL PARKLAND INCLUDES: LANDS THAT HAVE BEEN DEDICATED FOR SUCH PURPOSES BY THE MUNICIPALITY THROUGH A FORMAL RESOLUTION OR SIMILAR ACTION; LANDS THAT HAVE BEEN PURCHASED OR ACCEPTED FOR SUCH PURPOSES; OR LANDS THAT CURRENTLY OR HISTORICALLY HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE TO AND USED BY THE PUBLIC FOR SUCH PURPOSES. 2. "MUNICIPAL PARKLAND ALIENATION" SHALL MEAN ANY ACTION BY A MUNICI- PALITY TO SELL, LEASE, DISCONTINUE, OR CHANGE THE USE OF MUNICIPAL PARK- LAND. 3. "MUNICIPALITY" SHALL MEAN A COUNTY, TOWN, CITY, OR VILLAGE. IT SHALL ALSO MEAN A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION IN INSTANCES WHERE SUCH ENTITY HAS OBTAINED STATE OR FEDERAL GRANT FUNDING FOR THE CREATION OF MUNICIPAL PARKLAND.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08231-02-3 S. 5600 2
4. "PARKLAND ALIENATION LEGISLATION" SHALL MEAN LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE AUTHORIZING A MUNICIPALITY TO ALIENATE PARKLAND UNDER ITS JURISDICTION. S 16.03 PARKLAND ALIENATION REPORTING. ANY MUNICIPALITY THAT HAS RECEIVED ALIENATION AUTHORIZATION THROUGH ENACTMENT OF MUNICIPAL PARK- LAND ALIENATION LEGISLATION SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE OFFICE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST OF THE CALENDAR YEAR FOLLOWING THE ENACTMENT OF THE LEGISLATION. SUCH REPORT SHALL BE SIGNED BY THE MUNICIPALITY'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND SHALL INCLUDE: 1. A NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION OF THE STATUS OF THE PARKLAND ALIENATION ACTIONS AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED IN THE LEGISLATION; AND 2. AN ATTESTATION THAT THE MUNICIPALITY HAS COMPLIED WITH ALL CONDI- TIONS OF THE PARKLAND ALIENATION LEGISLATION, INCLUDING THE DEDICATION OF ANY REQUIRED REPLACEMENT PARKLAND OR, IN THE CASE OF UTILITY EASE- MENTS, THE DEDICATION OF FUNDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ADDITIONAL PARK- LAND OR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS TO EXISTING PARKLAND FACILITIES; OR 3. IN THE EVENT THAT ANY CONDITION OF THE PARKLAND ALIENATION LEGIS- LATION HAS NOT BEEN FULLY COMPLIED WITH, THE MUNICIPALITY SHALL PROVIDE THE OFFICE WITH AN INTERIM REPORT DETAILING THE STATUS OF ITS ACTIONS AND AN EXPLANATION AS TO WHY CERTAIN CONDITIONS HAVE NOT BEEN MET, ALONG WITH THE ANTICIPATED DATE BY WHICH SUCH CONDITIONS WILL BE MET. THE MUNICIPALITY SHALL CONTINUE TO FILE INTERIM REPORTS ANNUALLY UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN MET AND A FINAL REPORT IS FILED. UNLESS A LONGER TIME PERIOD IS SPECIFIED IN THE LEGISLATION AUTHORIZING THE ALIENATION, IF THE CONDITIONS OF THE ALIENATION HAVE NOT BEEN MET BY DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST OF THE THIRD CALENDAR YEAR FOLLOWING THE ENACTMENT OF PARKLAND ALIENATION LEGISLATION, THE MUNICIPALITY SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ENFORCEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 16.05 OF THIS ARTICLE. S 16.05 PARKLAND ALIENATION ENFORCEMENT. AN ACTION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION AGAINST A MUNICIPALITY VIOLATING ANY PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE MAY BE BROUGHT BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL UPON REFERRAL BY THE OFFICE OR UPON HIS OR HER OWN INITIATIVE. A MUNICI- PALITY MAY BE ENJOINED FROM ALIENATING PARKLAND WHERE IT ACTS OR HAS ACTED IN FURTHERANCE OF PARKLAND ALIENATION WITHOUT COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS ARTICLE, INCLUDING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS AND PARK- LAND ALIENATION LEGISLATION REQUIREMENTS. S 2. The state commissioner of parks, recreation and historic preser- vation is authorized to promulgate such guidelines and/or rules and regulations as he or she deems necessary to implement the provisions of this act on or before its effective date. S 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.