[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
GENERAL REFERENCESAttachment 1 - Uncodified Local Law Provisions
Development of agricultural land — See Ch. 8.
Conservation easements — See Ch. 25.
Land exchanges — See Ch. 141.
Purchasing and contracts — See Ch. 189.
Lease of real property — See Ch. 194.
Sale of property — See Ch. 1060.
[Adopted 5-21-2002 by Res. No. 425-2002 (Ch. 712, Art. I, of the 1985 Code); amended in its entirety 4-23-2013 by Res. No. 265-2013]
Any real estate appraiser authorized by the County of Suffolk to work on acquisitions or dispositions of any interest in real estate shall be qualified as a New York State certified general real estate appraiser (the highest level of certification), in accordance with the highest level of qualification as a real estate appraiser as follows:
The requirement contained in Subsection A of this section shall apply to all real estate appraisals delivered to Suffolk County on or after the effective date of this article, and all other requirements contained in this article shall apply to transactions or actions occurring on or after the effective date of this article.
The County Real Estate Division shall include backup information with the list of appraisers to perform services to the County of Suffolk in connection with the acquisition or disposition of any interest in real estate by the County of Suffolk submitted to the Legislature, including, but not limited to, copies of appraisal licenses and curricula vitae and professional or other licenses; and, on an annual basis, any real estate appraisers authorized by the County Legislature to perform work for Suffolk County in connection with the acquisition or disposition of any interest in real estate shall submit proof of certification to the head of the department having jurisdiction over the County Real Estate Division, said copies to be simultaneously filed with the County Executive and the Clerk of the County Legislature for distribution to each member of the County Legislature.
With each bid submitted by an appraiser to perform work for the County of Suffolk in connection with the acquisition or disposition of any interest in real estate by the County of Suffolk, a disclosure statement shall simultaneously be provided to the County of Suffolk containing the information required by § A5-7 of the Suffolk County Administrative Code and also disclosing any other work performed by the appraiser in connection with any real estate interest being appraised on behalf of Suffolk County.
All appraisal reports used by the County of Suffolk to acquire or dispose of any interest in real estate shall conform to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) of the Appraisal Foundation or similar professional standards.
The appraiser shall certify in writing in such appraisal report that the appraisal is not based on a requested or directed minimum value or a requested or directed specific value.
The list of approved appraisers utilized by the County for acquisitions or dispositions of any interest in real estate shall be reviewed by the County Legislature in January of each even-numbered year.
The rules for Suffolk County's public auction of surplus real estate parcels or of any interest in real estate to the highest bidder, or as a direct sale to an adjacent owner, shall be subject to annual legislative review, and such rules shall not take effect in any calendar year unless or until they are approved via duly enacted resolution of the County of Suffolk.
The rules of Suffolk County's public auction of surplus real estate parcels or interests in real estate to the highest bidder, or as a direct sale to adjacent owners, shall be applied uniformly to all prospective bidders regardless of the volume of business activity that such bidders engage in with the County of Suffolk.
The County of Suffolk shall retain control over the negotiation process for the acquisition or sale of any interest in real estate by the County of Suffolk except as may be specifically delegated, under the supervision and approval of the County of Suffolk, by duly enacted resolution of the County of Suffolk and duly authorized agreement, in which case the final decision on all such negotiations shall remain vested in the County.
The staff of the County Real Estate Division is hereby prohibited from engaging in any outside business activity in the real estate field, which requirement shall apply to management exempt staff as well as positions secured by competitive civil service examination, consistent with the application of civil service rules.
Where a condition of employment within the Real Estate Division requires a license or other certification, such license or certification shall be maintained in good standing by the pertinent employee as a condition of employment and continued employment.
A procedural manual shall be created and maintained by the County Real Estate Division describing the duties, standards of conduct, and responsibilities of the Division and its employees, within 180 days subsequent to the effective date of this chapter.
The department head having jurisdiction over the County Division of Real Estate shall review the list of personnel in the Real Estate Division who are required to file an annual financial disclosure affidavit under Article II of Chapter 77 of the Suffolk County Code for the purpose of identifying potential conflicts of interest and to ensure that all Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management personnel comply with the requirements thereof, Article XXX of the Suffolk County Charter and Article XXX of the County Administrative Code, and shall file, on January 31 of each year, with the Clerk of the County Legislature a list of the individuals so determined to be obligated to file said annual financial disclosure affidavit.
[Amended 4-25-2017 by L.L. No. 11-2017]
The release of the list of surplus real estate parcels to be placed on the County auction block and offered for sale to the highest bidder at public auction, or as a direct sale to adjacent owners, shall be done by the County Division of Real Estate in such a manner so as to ensure that no one will have access to the list before others, by imposing a single release date for such list that is at least 60 days prior to the set auction date, thereby providing all prospective bidders with the same amount of time to conduct a due diligence investigation of such properties. Towns and villages shall be mailed a copy of the auction list on the date of release.
The level of oversight of acquisitions or any interest in real estate to be acquired by the County of Suffolk shall be commensurate with the value and/or complexity of any interest in real estate authorized to be acquired via duly enacted resolution of the County of Suffolk, as follows.
Any appraisal of an interest in real estate submitted by property owners to the County of Suffolk shall only be considered, if at all, as subordinate to the appraisals secured by the County of Suffolk for the pertinent transaction and shall never be used as the basis for a purchase or sale of any interest in real estate by the County of Suffolk.
In joint acquisitions of any interest in real estate by the County of Suffolk with municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, other governmental entities, or any other third parties, there shall be no discretion for the Director of Real Estate, or the department head having jurisdiction over the Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management, to exceed, in the aggregate, the approved appraised value for acquisition of any interest in real estate by the County of Suffolk, as determined by an approved County-generated appraisal, except in those instances in which a court of competent jurisdiction has ordered "just compensation" in an Eminent Domain Procedure Law proceeding instead of approved appraised value for said acquisition of an interest in real estate.
[Adopted 6-8-2004 by Res. No. 626-2004 (Ch. 712, Art. II, of the 1985 Code); amended in its entirety 4-23-2013 by Res. No. 265-2013]
Resolutions for proposed land acquisitions, other than acquisitions pursuant to Article XXXVI of the Administrative Code of Suffolk County and acquisitions undertaken for reclamation of properties due to natural disasters, shall be submitted to the Suffolk County Legislature for approval in three stages as set forth herein.
The Director of the Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management, after consultation with the Suffolk County Director of Planning, shall begin the acquisition process on parcels for which acquisitions have been approved.
Acquisitions shall be conducted according to the following "Triple A Program":
Unless a parcel already appears on the Comprehensive Master List or planning steps have been approved prior to January 1, 2013, the Department of Economic Development and Planning, Division of Planning and Environment, shall review and evaluate potential sites for acquisition, including sites recommended by the Farmland Committee, Legislature or County Executive, sites to be acquired in partnership with other municipalities or nonprofit entities and other sites which have come to the attention of said Department.
Upon approval of the appraisal resolution by the Legislature, together with appropriation of funds for required appraisals and for title, survey and environmental assessment, letters of potential interest will be sent by the Division of Real Estate to the owners of the subject sites.
Upon written expression of interest by such owners, appraisals will be conducted in accordance with this chapter. Title, survey and environmental assessments shall not be performed until after an acquisition resolution is adopted by procedural motion, as provided in Subsection C(2) below.
No less frequently than twice a year, results of all appraisals not yet reviewed by the Environmental Trust Review Board will be forwarded to it for consideration pursuant to § 1070-19, at a meeting scheduled for such purpose. Such meeting shall be conducted in executive session, and the values set shall be confidential. Each value determined by such Board shall be the highest price to be offered for any site. Once value has been determined by such Board, it shall not further review value for a particular parcel for at least one year from the date of the last review of such parcel.
Upon establishing highest offer prices, a report containing all sites reviewed and the highest offer price set for each shall be forwarded to each member of the Legislature, together with scoring and recommendations from the Division of Planning and Environment, as well as an account of the funds expected to be available for acquisitions. Such report shall be delivered to the members of the Legislature, by a method other than electronic mail, within 30 days after the review by the Environmental Trust Review Board and no less than seven days prior to the meeting of the Environment, Planning and Agricultural Committee at which such report is scheduled to be acted upon.
[Amended 5-13-2014 by Res. No. 363-2014]
The Environment, Planning and Agriculture Committee will review the sites submitted to the Legislature at a regularly scheduled Committee meeting. The agendas circulated for these meetings shall provide notice that the Committee will be reviewing a report submitted by the Division of Planning and Environment and considering sites that may be prioritized for acquisition by the County. All members of the Legislature may attend these Committee meetings and shall be entitled to attend any executive sessions that are convened by the Committee for the purpose of discussing the values set by the Environmental Trust Review Board. The Committee shall, subject to available funds, prepare a procedural motion setting forth priorities for acquisition, and authorizing the funds appropriated in Subsection C(1) above to be expended for title reports, surveys and environmental site assessments for each site. Such procedural motion shall be considered by the full Legislature. The Clerk of the Suffolk County Legislature shall provide all Legislators with a copy of this procedural resolution by e-mail at least two business days prior to the general meeting at which such resolution will be considered. Sites that are tabled by the Committee for further review and consideration may be discussed and acted upon at any subsequent meeting of the Environment, Planning and Agricultural Committee, subject to the notification requirements set forth in this subsection.
[Amended 5-13-2014 by Res. No. 363-2014]
Upon adoption of the procedural motion by the Legislature, the owner of each approved site will be made an offer for the purchase of such site, by proffer of a contract, which contract shall meet the approval of the Director of Real Estate.
Upon execution of the contract by the owner, the Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management shall procure a title report, survey and environmental site assessment for each site selected by the Legislature for which contracts have been signed by the site owner.
Owners of sites not selected for acquisition shall be advised of the rejection and of the potential for acquisition in the future.
After completion of the steps set forth in Subsection C(2) above, a resolution will be submitted for approval of each satisfactory site to the Environment, Planning and Agriculture Committee by the Director of Real Estate, and, upon discharge from such committee, to the Legislature, which resolution shall seek approval to fund and close.
Those sites recommended for approval will be accompanied by a proposed finding under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.
The Director of the Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management shall submit a quarterly report to the County Executive, the Commissioner of Economic Development and Planning, the Environment, Planning and Agriculture Committee of the Legislature and the members of the Suffolk County Legislature, which report shall contain the status of each parcel contained in any approved acquisition resolution.
There shall be an Internal Appraisal Review Panel within the Division of Real Estate consisting of the following members:
Every acquisition shall be the subject of at least one independent appraisal which shall be reviewed and approved by the Internal Appraisal Review Panel.
For acquisitions for which the purchase price exceeds $300,000, there shall be at least two independent simultaneous appraisals, which appraisals shall consider the highest and best use of the property.
Upon receipt of a satisfactory appraisal(s), the appraisal reviewer shall review and reconcile the appraisal(s) into an approved appraised value with a rationale for accepting such value.
Upon the acceptance and reconciliation of the appraisal(s), it shall be presented to the Internal Appraisal Review Panel.
Within 15 days, the Internal Appraisal Review Panel shall further review and reconcile and shall recommend an approved appraised value to the Environmental Trust Review Board with a rationale for such a value.
Prior to negotiating for a proposed acquisition, it shall be presented to the Environmental Trust Review Board, which shall meet at least semi-annually and which shall consist of the following nine members:
The Director of Planning, who shall serve as Chairman;
The Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, or his or her designee;
The Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature, or any successor committee thereto;
The Chairman of the Environment, Planning, and Agriculture Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature, or any successor committee thereto;
A member of the Suffolk County Legislature whose political party has the largest number of elected members, to be selected by the Presiding Officer;
A member of the Suffolk County Legislature whose political party has the second largest number of elected members, to be selected by the Minority Leader;
The Suffolk County Executive, or his designee;
A representative of the Department of Health Services' Division of Environmental Quality, to be selected by the Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services; and
[Amended 3-8-2011 by Res. No. 91-2011]
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Conservation, or his or her designee.
[Amended 3-8-2011 by Res. No. 91-2011]
The Environmental Trust Review Board is hereby authorized, empowered, and directed by a vote of at least a majority of those present to review and authorize the Director of Real Estate to commence negotiations for proposed acquisitions at a price not to exceed the value established by the Environmental Trust Review Board, after consulting with the representative of the Internal Appraisal Review Panel, or it may recommit such proposed acquisition to the Division of Real Estate for further examination.
The amount to be paid shall not exceed that which has been determined in accordance with the provisions of this section. Proposed acquisitions shall not be reviewed again for at least one year from the date of the last review of such parcel.
The Environmental Trust Review Board meetings shall be open to the public and shall accept written comments for inclusion in the record and shall have a public portion at which each speaker may speak for no more than three minutes, exclusive of question and answer time.
Any discussion of appraised value shall be conducted at an executive session, which proceedings shall remain confidential, at which the members of the Environmental Trust Review Board shall participate and any Legislator shall be permitted to be present.
In the event a Legislator is serving simultaneously as the Chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Committee and the Environment, Planning and Acquisition Committee, the Presiding Officer will select another Legislator to serve on the ETRB so that there is full complement of nine members on the Board.
[Added 3-7-2017 by Res. No. 99-2017]
The Director of Real Estate shall complete the negotiation process within 90 days of the approval of the procedural motion required by § 1070-17C(2) or shall either deem the negotiation process to be indefinitely suspended or shall return to the Environment, Planning and Agriculture Committee of the Legislature for authorization of an additional time period.
Within 21 days after the Division of Real Property Acquisition and Management and the seller reach an agreement as to price and other significant contract matters, a conditional contract of sale shall be presented to the seller for execution.
Upon execution of a contract of sale, a proposed acquisition shall be submitted for consideration by the full Legislature, pursuant to the procedure set forth in § 1070-17.
Within five days after final enactment of a resolution approving an acquisition, the valuation rationale accompanying the reviewed appraisal value shall be filed with the Clerk of the Legislature.
This article shall apply to the acquisition of any interest in real property, the acquisition of which occurs on or after the effective date of this article.