Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 12-13-1988 by L.L. No. 5-1989 (Ch. 102 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Drinking Water Protection Program — See Charter Art. XII.
Conservation easements — See Ch. 25.
Land acquisition disclosure — See Ch. 551.
Open space preservation — See Ch. 633.
141a Uncod LL Pro

§ 141-1 Legislative intent.

A. 
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that it is in the best interests of the people of Suffolk County to acquire environmentally sensitive lands to protect and preserve the environment and quality of life in Suffolk County.
B. 
This Legislature further finds that the County of Suffolk possesses non-environmentally sensitive lands, surplus to the needs of the County, which could be traded for the acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands of equal value without the expenditure of County funds.
C. 
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to establish a mechanism for the County of Suffolk to acquire land which is environmentally sensitive by exchanging County-owned, non-environmentally sensitive land of equal value.

§ 141-2 Review process for acquisition of environmentally sensitive lands.

A. 
Upon adoption of a resolution by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Committee ("Committee") of the County Legislature, or any successor committee thereto, directing the commencement of an appropriate review process or by direction of the County Executive, any potential acquisitions of environmentally sensitive land parcels, other than those covered by the County's Open Space Preservation Program or by Charter Article XII, Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program, shall be reviewed by the following County departments to recommend whether the land in question is environmentally sensitive or otherwise desirable for acquisition by the County of Suffolk:
(1) 
The Department of Planning.
(2) 
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation.
(3) 
The Department of Health Services, Division of Environmental Quality.
(4) 
The Department of Environment and Energy, Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
Such recommendations under Subsection A of this section shall be submitted in writing to the Committee by each department within 45 days subsequent to enactment of the Committee resolution. The Committee shall then review such recommendations and determine whether or not such land is environmentally sensitive or otherwise desirable for acquisition by the County via resolution adopted by a majority of the entire membership of said Committee.
C. 
County-owned land being considered for potential land exchanges pursuant to this chapter shall be reviewed by the following County offices or departments, which shall recommend to the Committee whether such County-owned land is surplus and non-environmentally sensitive:
(1) 
The Department of Planning.
(2) 
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation.
(3) 
The Department of Health Services, Division of Environmental Quality.
(4) 
The Department of Environment and Energy, Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
D. 
Such recommendations under Subsection C of this section shall be submitted in writing to the Committee by each department within 45 days subsequent to the completion of such review. The Committee shall then review such recommendations and determine whether or not such land is surplus and non-environmentally sensitive via resolution adopted by a majority of the entire membership of said Committee.
E. 
The offices or departments authorized to conduct reviews in accordance with this section shall jointly adopt uniform standard forms for qualitative and/or quantitative evaluations of said land parcels.
F. 
The Committee may direct, upon adoption of a resolution, that any County-owned surplus parcel of real estate determined under Subsection B of this section to be environmentally sensitive not be sold at a County auction and that such parcel be dedicated to the Suffolk County Nature Preserve or be dedicated for parks, recreation, conservation or education purposes.
G. 
Any parcel reviewed and determined by the Committee to be non-environmentally sensitive, under Subsection D of this section, shall be deemed eligible for the following uses:[3]
(1) 
For exchange for environmentally sensitive lands not owned by the County of Suffolk;
(2) 
For governmental purposes, including but not limited to affordable housing; or
(3) 
Disposal at County auction to the highest bidder.
[3]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 141-3 Appraisals. [1]

All appraisals of potential land acquisitions pursuant to this chapter shall be performed by independent, outside appraisers selected by the County Department of Environment and Energy, Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management, in accordance with departmental procedures or, with prior written approval of the Presiding Officer of the County Legislature and Chairman of the Committee, or any successor committee thereto, the Department of Environment and Energy, Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management, may use its own in-house appraisers and appraisals. Funds for these outside appraisals shall be provided for by budgetary actions and appropriations consistent with the provisions of Article IV of the Suffolk County Charter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 141-4 Acquisition of land.

A. 
Environmentally sensitive lands or lands otherwise desirable for park or open space purposes, as determined pursuant to § 141-2A and B above, may be acquired for such purposes in exchange for County-owned non-environmentally sensitive surplus land, as determined pursuant to § 141-2C and D, of equal value, as determined by a fair market appraisal.
B. 
The Department of Environment and Energy, Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management, alone shall negotiate such land exchanges, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, as it may be directed to negotiate via a duly enacted resolution of the County Legislature. The actual exchange of lands shall require authorization and approval of the County Legislature via a duly enacted resolution.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). Resolution No. 409-1989, adopted 5-10-1989, provided that final authorization for any resolution introduced in the County Legislature for the purpose of acquisition of land by the County under the Open Space Preservation Program and/or the Drinking Water Protection Program must include certain information in order to detect and discourage speculative sales and purchases of land in such areas. A copy of Res. No. 409-1989 is on file in the office of the Clerk to the Legislature. See also Ch. 551, Land Acquisition Disclosure.
C. 
In the event that County-owned non-environmentally sensitive surplus land cannot be found which equals the value of any land being sought for acquisition under this chapter or if the County-owned land is less in value than the value of the land being sought for acquisition, and if the owner or owners of the land being sought for acquisition is or are not willing to accept the exchange of County-owned land of lesser value, then the Legislature may authorize the appropriation of funds, in accordance with the provisions of Article IV and/or Article XII of the Suffolk County Charter, to make up the difference in value. In no event may the County exchange County-owned land of greater value than the land being sought for acquisition unless a cash payment by the owner or owners of land being sought for acquisition is made to the general fund of Suffolk County for the difference in value or if the land qualifies as a special groundwater protection area, in accordance with Article XII of the Suffolk County Charter, to make up for any difference in value.
D. 
Any agreement for the actual exchange of land under the terms of this chapter shall be subject to the approval, authorization and ratification of the County Legislature via a duly enacted resolution.
E. 
The Commissioner of the County Department of Environment and Energy, Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management, or her designee, may negotiate with the owner or owners of land being sought for acquisition and/or with the town or village board of any town or village in Suffolk County within which County-owned lands designated under this section may be located to attach covenants or restrictions of record to the deeds of any County-owned properties that may be exchanged subject to the provisions of this chapter, which covenants or restrictions of record would allow and provide for the construction of affordable housing within the County of Suffolk. Any such covenants or restrictions of record shall require authorization, approval and ratification of the County Legislature via a duly enacted resolution.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).