Town of Cumberland, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
Due to growing demands being placed upon Cumberland's shrinking open space and recreation acquisition funds because of substantial successful acquisitions, the Town Council wishes to codify established policies and procedures in a more formalized manner to permit consistent evaluation and approval procedures.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
In addition to continuing to preserve the best available open space in the Town, the Town Council and administration recognize an obligation to prudently invest limited public available funds for such property acquisitions. In order to engender the greatest possible degree of sound decision-making and policy-making, the Town Council hereby establishes minimum policies and procedures relative to the information and quality of information it wishes to continue to receive pertinent to request for authority and empowerment to negotiate and acquire open space and recreation land. Accordingly, as part of the information submitted to the Town Council in support of such request for authorization, the Town Council generally requests the following items and documents in §§ 30-123 through 30-132.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
A written appraisal report prepared and submitted by a real estate appraiser licensed and certified to practice in the state shall be submitted. Such appraisal report shall be adequate to meet the acquisition report requirements of the state department of environmental management; and shall contain, at a minimum the following:
(1) 
A map of the subject property, (assessor's plat and lots) and showing abutting properties within 200 feet of the property lines of the subject property.
(2) 
The current tax valuation of the property and the proposed acquisition price, including the methodology utilized in arriving at such valuation.
(3) 
The zoning of the subject property and the abutting property within 200 feet.
(4) 
The owners of record of the subject property and the abutting property owners within 200 feet of the subject property.
(5) 
A locus map of the property showing the land, roadways and major geographical features within one-half mile.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
Copies of the latest aerial maps produced by the state department of administration, office of local planning assistance, office of municipal affairs, showing the subject property as well as abutting property of no less than the two-hundred-foot perimeter, but preferably the one-half locus area; depending upon size and availability.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
While the Cumberland Comprehensive Community Plan 1991 — 2010 has determined that the entire Town is located in one of three watershed areas, the department of planning and community development shall provide a written analysis of any positive impact upon watershed areas which may arise as a result of the property acquisition; or, conversely any adverse impact which is likely to arise should acquisition not be undertaken and development of the land take place subsequently.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
Copies of deeds and easements or restrictions of record upon the property shall be provided. Such records may be produced as part of the appraisal report and any explanation of impact upon the valuation of the land shall be discussed in the appraisal report as a consequence.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
Should the subject property be located in an area, district or neighborhood with recognized historic significance, the potential acquisition should be reviewed with the Cumberland Historic District Commission during the course of consideration and the opinion of the commission sought.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
If the subject property is not the subject of comment or review by the Open Space and Recreation Element of the Cumberland Comprehensive Community Plan 1991 — 2010 or some other appropriate and relevant Town report or record, the opinion of the Cumberland Conservation Commission shall be sought by the Director of Planning and Community Development and provided to the Town Council. Should the subject property be listed, commented upon or reviewed in the Open Space and Recreation Element, copies of the pertinent documents shall be transmitted to the Council.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
The Director of Planning and Community Development shall provide the Council with a written assessment of the environmental significance and value of the subject property and the effect on the environment of any development thereupon. Such assessment shall evaluate the proposed acquisition in the overall context of the Town's land acquisition program.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
The overall cost of the project including cost of acquisition, anticipated settlement costs, lost fees and real estate taxes as well as broker's commissions to be paid by the Town shall be reported. A final report shall be delivered to the Council outlining the full actual acquisition costs within 30 days of the date of purchase.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
The Council shall be apprised of the status of available funding for any proposed acquisition, including the source of such funding; i.e., Town funds, RIDEM grants, private foundation grants.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
Any additional information shall be requested in writing through the Council president and provided to all Councilors.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
(a) 
It is hereby recognized that the delivery of all information and/or documentation listed hereinabove shall not be required before preliminary discussions may begin between the subject property owner and the Town government; and/or between the Mayor and Town Council regarding the potential for acquisition.
(b) 
However, it is the intention of the Town Council that the information and documentation listed above shall be submitted before formal approval of the acquisition process by resolution be considered. The recitation hereinabove notwithstanding, the Town Council may waiver the submission of any items it considers nonessential.
(c) 
It is recognized that confidentiality of information and documentation, including the availability of property for sale, is essential to safeguard the best interest of the Town and the rights of property owners; and that premature and unwarranted release of such information may be injurious to the interest of the Town and its citizens.
[Ord. No. 96-31, 11-6-1996]
It is also recognized that the implementation of the above-referenced policies and procedures shall not conflict with the provisions of the Cumberland Home Rule Charter and in any way infringe upon the rights and prerogatives of the Mayor and the Town Council.
[Ord. No. 03-40, § 1, 11-5-2003]
There shall be created within the Town budget a dedicated account to be used for the acquisition of open space. The purpose of the fund shall be to provide a source of dedicated funds to allow the Town to participate in land purchases of open space areas, to purchase development rights on parcels deemed a priority for protection, or to pay off notes associated with open space purchased through the Town's general fund. The funds shall also be available to be used as a source of match money for the Town to acquire grant funding from the state or federal government or from private organizations such as the Nature Conservancy.
[Ord. No. 03-40, § 1, 11-5-2003; Ord. No. 2010-18A, § 1, 9-1-2010; amended 9-7-2016 by Ord. No. 16-20]
(a) 
Funds to the account shall be deposited on an annual basis commencing on June 30, 2017, and shall be collected through the real estate conveyance tax established pursuant to G.L. 1956, 44-25-1. The amount of the annual funding shall not be greater than $100,000.
(b) 
All real estate tax revenue collected by the Town shall be realized as revenue associated with the general fund. In fiscal year 2017, the adopted budget for the real estate conveyance revenue within the general fund is $350,000 in account number (2-101-700-0431-10-000-1). Any funds received by this account in excess of the budgeted amount, not exceeding $100,000, will be transferred to the open space fund (fund 204). Beginning in fiscal year 2018, the adopted budget for the real estate conveyance revenue account (2-101-700-0431-10-000-1) should be set at an amount not exceeding $300,000.
(c) 
Funding to the open space account under this section shall be suspended until July 1, 2020.
[Added 6-19-2019 by Ord. No. 19-20]
[Ord. No. 03-40, § 1, 11-5-2003; Ord. No. 07-33, § 1, 1-2-2008; Ord. No. 07-33, § 1, 1-2-2008]
An Open Space Commission shall assist the Mayor and Council to administer the open space account. The Open Space Commission shall consist of three members: one from the Cumberland Conservation Commission, one from the Cumberland Land Trust, and one to be a resident of the Town to be appointed by the Town Council. The commission shall provide guidance and recommendations to the Mayor as to the use of the funds in the open space account and shall report to the Council on an annual basis. Commission members shall serve a three-year term, subject to approval by the full Town Council.