senate Bill S4689

Authorizes the legislature to settle the land dispute between the state and private parties in township 40, Totten and Crossfield Purchase in Long Lake (Second Passage)

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 18 / Apr / 2013
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 19 / Apr / 2013
    • TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • 06 / May / 2013
    • OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 29 / May / 2013
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1283
  • 12 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 12 / Jun / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 12 / Jun / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 19 / Jun / 2013
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A7684
  • 19 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.474
  • 19 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 19 / Jun / 2013
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 27 / Jun / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO SECRETARY OF STATE

Summary

Authorizes the legislature to settle the land dispute between the state and private parties in township 40, Totten and Crossfield Purchase in the town of Long Lake, county of Hamilton, such lands being in the state forest preserve (second passage).

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7684
Versions:
S4689
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Constitution, Concurrent Resolutions to Amend
Laws Affected:
Amd Art 14 §1, Constn
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S7660, A10642

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4689

TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
proposing an amendment to section 1 of article 14 of the constitution,
in relation to disputed title in township 40, Totten and Crossfield
Purchase, in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton county

PURPOSE: Passage of this resolution constitutes second passage of a
measure to be put on the ballot at a general election to amend Article
XIV, Section IV of the Constitution, authorizing resolution of 100
year old competing claims of title between the State and private
parties in Township Forty, Totten and Crossfield Purchase (Raquette
Lake), in the Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County (Township Forty).

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of this bill amends Article XIV, Section I of the
Constitution to authorize the settlement, according to terms
determined by the legislature, of title disputes in Township forty, in
the Town of Long Lake, Hamilton county, to resolve competing claims of
title between the state and private parties. Prior to the settlement,
land purchased without the use of state-appropriated funds shall be
conveyed to the state for inclusion in the forest preserve within the
Adirondack Park. The property to be conveyed would have to be
determined by the Legislature to provide a net benefit to the forest
preserve as compared to the township 40 lands subject to such
settlement.

§ 2 of the bill provides that the act is effective upon second passage
of an identically worded concurrent resolution and subsequent voter
approval at a general election.

JUSTIFICATION: The goal of this resolution is to achieve second
legislative passage of a concurrent resolution authorizing a vote in a
general election on amending Article XIV, Section 1 of the
Constitution to resolve, in an equitable manner, a 100 year dispute
between the State of New York and private parties involving legal
title to more than 200 parcels of land in Township Forty. Voter
approval of the constitutional amendment proposal would then be
required.

Litigation over this matter has resulted in a mix of court decisions,
with some favorable to the State and some favorable to the occupants.
However, litigation over Township 40 title is extremely complex and
time consuming because there are fifty intermingled chains of title in
the Township and it is difficult to develop proof on what may or may
not have happened more than 100 years ago, prior to the State's
acquisition of its chain of title. For instance, it cannot now be
established with any reasonable degree of certainty whether tax sales
that occurred more than 100 years ago complied with applicable legal
requirements, or whether a current occupant's distant predecessor in
title may have acquired title through adverse possession against the
State's distant predecessor in title 100 years ago.

To implement this resolution, a companion bill would need to be
enacted establishing the process for resolving the competing claims of
title. That proposal lists the parcels which are in dispute and


provides that the State will relinquish its claim to those parcels
once the Town of Long Lake (Town)applies payments from those claiming
title to contested parcels towards the acquisition of land for
inclusion in the Forest Preserve that provides a net benefit to the
Forest Preserve when compared to the disputed parcels. This conveyance
would be subject to legislative approval. The "replacement land"
requirement would ensure that the overall integrity of the Forest
Preserve is not diminished and in fact is enhanced. Currently, the
public has no opportunity to recreate on the contested parcels because
they are currently occupied by private camps, primary residences and
private businesses.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S. 7660 Passed Senate; A. 10642 Passed
Assembly

In 2008, a concurrent resolution (A.11734 and S 8658-A) authorizing a
constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot to resolve
Township 40 title disputes received first passage by the legislature
but did not receive second passage. Legislation to implement such an
amendment has not previously been introduced.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: That the foregoing amendment be submitted to the
people for approval at the general election to be held in the year
2013 in accordance with the provisions of the election law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4689

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 18, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  LITTLE, FARLEY -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

            CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY

proposing an amendment to section 1 of article 14 of  the  constitution,
  in  relation  to  disputed title in township 40, Totten and Crossfield
  Purchase, in the town of Long Lake, Hamilton county

  Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That section 1 of  arti-
cle 14 of the constitution be amended to read as follows:
  Section  1.  The  lands of the state, now owned or hereafter acquired,
constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall  be  forever
kept  as wild forest lands. They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged,
or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the  timber
thereon  be  sold,  removed or destroyed. Nothing herein contained shall
prevent the state from  constructing,  completing  and  maintaining  any
highway  heretofore specifically authorized by constitutional amendment,
nor from constructing and maintaining to federal standards  federal  aid
interstate  highway  route five hundred two from a point in the vicinity
of the city of Glens Falls, thence northerly  to  the  vicinity  of  the
villages  of  Lake  George and Warrensburg, the hamlets of South Horicon
and Pottersville and thence northerly in a generally  straight  line  on
the  west side of Schroon Lake to the vicinity of the hamlet of Schroon,
then continuing northerly to the  vicinity  of  Schroon  Falls,  Schroon
River and North Hudson, and to the east of Makomis Mountain, east of the
hamlet  of New Russia, east of the village of Elizabethtown and continu-
ing northerly in the vicinity of the hamlet of Towers Forge, and east of
Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain and continuing northerly to  the  vicinity  of
the village of Keeseville and the city of Plattsburgh, all of the afore-
said taking not to exceed a total of three hundred acres of state forest
preserve land, nor from constructing and maintaining not more than twen-
ty-five  miles  of  ski trails thirty to two hundred feet wide, together
with appurtenances thereto, provided that no more  than  five  miles  of
such  trails  shall be in excess of one hundred twenty feet wide, on the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD89117-01-3

S. 4689                             2

north, east and northwest slopes of Whiteface Mountain in Essex  county,
nor from constructing and maintaining not more than twenty-five miles of
ski  trails thirty to two hundred feet wide, together with appurtenances
thereto, provided that no more than two miles of such trails shall be in
excess of one hundred twenty feet wide, on the slopes of Belleayre Moun-
tain  in  Ulster  and Delaware counties and not more than forty miles of
ski trails thirty to two hundred feet wide, together with  appurtenances
thereto,  provided that no more than eight miles of such trails shall be
in excess of one hundred twenty feet wide, on the  slopes  of  Gore  and
Pete Gay mountains in Warren county, nor from relocating, reconstructing
and  maintaining  a total of not more than fifty miles of existing state
highways for the purpose of eliminating the hazards of dangerous  curves
and  grades,  provided  a  total  of  no more than four hundred acres of
forest preserve land shall be used for such purpose and that  no  single
relocated  portion  of  any  highway  shall  exceed  one mile in length.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the state may  convey  to  the
village  of  Saranac  Lake ten acres of forest preserve land adjacent to
the boundaries of such village for public use in  providing  for  refuse
disposal  and  in  exchange  therefore the village of Saranac Lake shall
convey to the state thirty acres of certain true forest  land  owned  by
such  village on Roaring Brook in the northern half of Lot 113, Township
11, Richards Survey. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, the state
may convey to the town of Arietta twenty-eight acres of forest  preserve
land  within  such town for public use in providing for the extension of
the runway and landing strip of  the  Piseco  airport  and  in  exchange
therefor  the  town of Arietta shall convey to the state thirty acres of
certain land owned by such town in the town of Arietta.  Notwithstanding
the  foregoing  provisions  and  subject  to legislative approval of the
tracts to be exchanged prior to the actual transfer of title, the state,
in order to consolidate its land holdings  for  better  management,  may
convey  to International Paper Company approximately eight thousand five
hundred acres of forest preserve land located in townships two and three
of Totten and [Crossfield's] CROSSFIELD Purchase and  township  nine  of
the Moose River Tract, Hamilton county, and in exchange therefore Inter-
national  Paper Company shall convey to the state for incorporation into
the forest preserve approximately the  same  number  of  acres  of  land
located  within  such  townships  and  such County on condition that the
legislature shall determine that the lands to be received by  the  state
are  at  least  equal in value to the lands to be conveyed by the state.
Notwithstanding the foregoing  provisions  and  subject  to  legislative
approval  of  the tracts to be exchanged prior to the actual transfer of
title and the conditions herein set forth, the state, in order to facil-
itate the preservation of historic  buildings  listed  on  the  national
register  of historic places by rejoining an historic grouping of build-
ings under unitary ownership and stewardship,  may  convey  to  Sagamore
Institute Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization, approximately
ten  acres  of land and buildings thereon adjoining the real property of
the Sagamore Institute, Inc. and located on Sagamore Road, near Raquette
Lake Village, in the Town of Long  Lake,  county  of  Hamilton,  and  in
exchange  therefor;  Sagamore Institute, Inc.  shall convey to the state
for incorporation into the forest  preserve  approximately  two  hundred
acres  of  wild forest land located within the Adirondack Park on condi-
tion that the legislature shall determine that the lands to be  received
by  the  state are at least equal in value to the lands and buildings to
be conveyed by the state and that the natural and historic character  of
the  lands and buildings conveyed by the state will be secured by appro-

S. 4689                             3

priate covenants and restrictions  and  that  the  lands  and  buildings
conveyed  by  the  state  will reasonably be available for public visits
according to agreement between Sagamore Institute, Inc.  and the  state.
Notwithstanding  the  foregoing  provisions  the state may convey to the
town of Arietta fifty acres of forest preserve land within such town for
public use in providing for the extension  of  the  runway  and  landing
strip of the Piseco airport and providing for the maintenance of a clear
zone  around  such runway, and in exchange therefor, the town of Arietta
shall convey to the state fifty-three acres of true forest land  located
in lot 2 township 2 Totten and Crossfield's Purchase in the town of Lake
Pleasant.
  Notwithstanding  the  foregoing  provisions and subject to legislative
approval prior to actual transfer of title, the state may convey to  the
town  of Keene, Essex county, for public use as a cemetery owned by such
town, approximately twelve acres of forest  preserve  land  within  such
town  and,  in  exchange therefor, the town of Keene shall convey to the
state for incorporation  into  the  forest  preserve  approximately  one
hundred  forty-four  acres  of land, together with an easement over land
owned by such town including the riverbed adjacent to  the  land  to  be
conveyed  to  the  state  that will restrict further development of such
land, on condition that the legislature shall determine that the proper-
ty to be received by the state is at least equal in value to the land to
be conveyed by the state.
  Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and  subject  to  legislative
approval  prior  to actual transfer of title, because there is no viable
alternative to using forest preserve lands for the  siting  of  drinking
water  wells  and  necessary  appurtenances  and  because such wells are
necessary to meet drinking water quality standards, the state may convey
to the town of Long Lake, Hamilton county, one acre of  forest  preserve
land  within such town for public use as the site of such drinking water
wells and necessary appurtenances for the municipal water supply for the
hamlet of Raquette Lake. In exchange therefor, the  town  of  Long  Lake
shall  convey  to  the  state  at  least twelve acres of land located in
Hamilton county for incorporation into  the  forest  preserve  that  the
legislature shall determine is at least equal in value to the land to be
conveyed  by  the  state.  The  Raquette Lake surface reservoir shall be
abandoned as a drinking water supply source.
  Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions and  subject  to  legislative
approval  prior  to  actual  transfer  of title, the state may convey to
National Grid up to six acres adjoining State Route 56 in  St.  Lawrence
County where it passes through Forest Preserve in Township 5, Lots 1, 2,
5 and 6 that is necessary and appropriate for National Grid to construct
a  new  46kV  power  line  and in exchange therefore National Grid shall
convey to the state for incorporation into the forest preserve at  least
10  acres  of forest land owned by National Grid in St. Lawrence county,
on condition that the legislature shall determine that the  property  to
be received by the state is at least equal in value to the land conveyed
by the state.
  NOTWITHSTANDING  THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS, THE LEGISLATURE MAY AUTHOR-
IZE THE SETTLEMENT, ACCORDING TO TERMS DETERMINED BY THE LEGISLATURE, OF
TITLE DISPUTES IN TOWNSHIP FORTY, TOTTEN AND CROSSFIELD PURCHASE IN  THE
TOWN  OF LONG LAKE, HAMILTON COUNTY, TO RESOLVE LONGSTANDING AND COMPET-
ING CLAIMS OF TITLE BETWEEN THE STATE AND PRIVATE PARTIES IN SAID  TOWN-
SHIP,  PROVIDED  THAT  PRIOR  TO, AND AS A CONDITION OF SUCH SETTLEMENT,
LAND PURCHASED WITHOUT THE USE OF STATE-APPROPRIATED FUNDS, AND SUITABLE
FOR INCORPORATION IN THE FOREST PRESERVE  WITHIN  THE  ADIRONDACK  PARK,

S. 4689                             4

SHALL  BE  CONVEYED  TO  THE STATE ON THE CONDITION THAT THE LEGISLATURE
SHALL DETERMINE THAT THE PROPERTY TO BE  CONVEYED  TO  THE  STATE  SHALL
PROVIDE A NET BENEFIT TO THE FOREST PRESERVE AS COMPARED TO THE TOWNSHIP
FORTY LANDS SUBJECT TO SUCH SETTLEMENT.
  S  2.  RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendment
be submitted to the people for approval at the general  election  to  be
held  in the year 2013 in accordance with the provisions of the election
law.

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