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SECTION 3-0305
Acquirement of real property by purchase or appropriation
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 3, TITLE 3
§ 3-0305. Acquirement of real property by purchase or appropriation.

1. The commissioner when moneys therefor have been appropriated by
the legislature or are otherwise available, may acquire any real
property which he deems necessary for any of the purposes or functions
of the department, by purchase or as provided in the eminent domain
procedure law. Title to such real property shall be taken in the name
of and be vested in the people of the state of New York. No real
property shall be so acquired by purchase unless the title thereto is
approved by the attorney general. The terms "property" or "real
property" as used in this section shall mean "real property" as defined
by section one hundred three of the eminent domain procedure law.

2. Whenever real property is to be so acquired pursuant to the
provisions of the eminent domain procedure law, by appropriation, the
commissioner shall cause to be made an accurate acquisition map as so
provided in said law.

3. On the approval of such map by the commissioner, the original
tracing of map shall, pursuant to the eminent domain procedure law, be
filed in the main office of the department.

4. If the commissioner shall determine, prior to the filing of a copy
of such acquisition map in the office of the county clerk, that changes,
alterations or modifications of such map as filed in the main office of
the department should be made, he or she shall, subject to the
provisions of article two of the eminent domain procedure law, if
applicable, direct the preparation of an amended map. On the approval of
such amended map by the commissioner, it shall be filed in the main
office of the department in the same manner as the original map was
filed and the amended map shall thereupon in all respects and for all
purposes supersede the map previously filed.

5. If the commissioner shall determine prior to filing a copy of an
acquisition map in the office of the county clerk, as provided in
section four hundred two of the eminent domain procedure law, that such
map should be withdrawn, he or she shall file a certificate of
withdrawal in the offices of the department and of the department of
law. Upon the filing of such certificate of withdrawal, the map to which
it refers shall be cancelled and all rights thereunder shall cease and
determine.

6. The commissioner shall deliver to the attorney general a copy of
such acquisition map, whereupon it shall be the duty of the attorney
general to advise and certify to the commissioner the names of the
owners of the real property described in the said acquisition map,
including the owners of any right, title or interest therein, pursuant
to the requirements of section four hundred three of the eminent domain
procedure law.

7. If, at or after the vesting of title to such property in the
people of the state of New York in the manner provided for in the
eminent domain procedure law, the commissioner shall deem it necessary
to cause the removal of an owner or other occupant from such property,
he may cause such owner or occupant to be removed therefrom by
proceeding in accordance with section four hundred five of such law.
The proceeding shall be brought in the name of the commissioner as agent
of the state and the attorney general shall represent the petitioner in
the proceedings. No execution shall issue for costs, if any, awarded
against the state or the commissioner, but they shall be part of the
costs of the acquisition of the real property and be paid in like
manner. Proceedings may be brought separately against one or more of
the owners or occupants of any such property, or one proceeding may be
brought against all or several of the owners or occupants of any or all
such property within the territorial jurisdiction of the same court,
justice or judge; judgment shall be given for immediate removal of
persons defaulting in appearance or in answering, or withdrawing their
answers, if any, without awaiting the trial or decision of issues raised
by contestants, if any.

8. Upon making any agreement provided for in section three hundred
four of the eminent domain procedure law, the commissioner shall deliver
to the comptroller such agreement and a certificate stating the amount
due such owner or owners thereunder on account of such appropriation of
his or their property and the amount so fixed shall be paid out of the
state treasury after audit by the comptroller from moneys appropriated
for the acquisition of such real property, but not until there shall
have been filed with the comptroller a certificate of the attorney
general showing the person or persons claiming the amount so agreed upon
to be legally entitled thereto.

9. Application for reimbursement as provided in section seven hundred
two of the eminent domain procedure law, shall be made to the
commissioner upon forms prescribed by him and shall be accompanied by
such information and evidence as the commissioner may require. Upon
approval of such application, the commissioner shall deliver a copy
thereof to the comptroller together with a certificate stating the
amount due thereof, and the amount so fixed shall be paid out of the
state treasury after audit by the comptroller from moneys appropriated
for the acquisition of property under this section.

10. The commissioner with the approval of the director of the budget,
shall establish and may from time to time amend rules and regulations
authorizing the payment of actual reasonable and necessary moving
expenses of occupants of property acquired pursuant to this section; of
actual direct losses of tangible personal property as a result of moving
or discontinuing a business or farm operation, but not exceeding an
amount equal to the reasonable expenses that would have been required to
relocate such property, as determined by the commissioner; and actual
reasonable expenses in searching for a replacement business or farm, or
in hardship cases for the advance payment of such expenses and losses.
For the purposes of making payment of such expenses and losses only the
term "business" means any lawful activity conducted primarily for
assisting in the purchase, sale, resale, manufacture, processing or
marketing of products, commodities, personal property or services by the
erection and maintenance of an outdoor advertising display or displays,
whether or not such display or displays are located on the premises on
which any of the above activities are conducted. Such rules and
regulations may further define the terms used in this subdivision. In
lieu of such actual reasonable and necessary moving expenses, any such
displaced owner or tenant of residential property may elect to accept a
moving expense allowance, plus a dislocation allowance, determined in
accordance with a schedule prepared by the commissioner and made a part
of such rules and regulations. In lieu of such actual reasonable and
necessary moving expenses, any such displaced owner or tenant of
commercial property who relocates or discontinues his business or farm
operation may elect to accept a fixed relocation payment in an amount
equal to the average annual net earnings of the business or farm
operation, except that such payment shall be not less than two thousand
five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars. In the case of
a business, no such fixed relocation payment shall be made unless the
commissioner finds and determines that the business cannot be relocated
without a substantial loss of its existing patronage, and that the
business is not part of a commercial enterprise having at least one
other establishment, which is not being acquired by the state or the
United States, which is engaged in the same or similar business. In the
case of a business which is to be discontinued but for which the
findings and determinations set forth above cannot be made, the
commissioner may prepare an estimate of what the actual reasonable and
necessary moving expenses, exclusive of any storage charges, would be if
the business were to be relocated and enter into an agreed settlement
with the owner of such business for an amount not to exceed such
estimate in lieu of such actual reasonable and necessary moving
expenses. Application for payment under this subdivision shall be made
to the commissioner upon forms prescribed by him and shall be
accompanied by such information and evidence as the commissioner may
require. Upon approval of such application, the commissioner shall
deliver a copy thereof to the comptroller together with a certificate
stating the amount due thereunder, and the amount so fixed shall be paid
out of the state treasury after audit by the comptroller from moneys
appropriated for the acquisition of property under this section. As
used in this subdivision the term "commercial property" shall include
property owned by an individual, family, partnership, corporation,
association or a non-profit organization and includes a farm operation.
As used in this subdivision the term "business" means any lawful
activity, except a farm operation, conducted primarily for the purchase,
sale, lease and rental of personal and real property, and for the
manufacture, processing, or marketing of products, commodities, or any
other personal property; for the sale of services to the public; or by a
non-profit organization.

11. The commissioner pursuant to section three hundred five of the
eminent domain procedure law, may make agreements on such terms,
condition and consideration as he deems beneficial to the state with
respect to any property heretofore or hereafter acquired, whereby such
property may be used and occupied by the former owner, tenant or by any
other party from a date specified in said agreement, until such time as
the state requires and obtains actual physical possession. The
agreements for the use and occupancy of such property may be managed,
supervised and enforced (1) by the staff, forces and equipment of the
department of environmental conservation; or (2) by the commissioner of
environmental conservation contracting for the management, supervision
and enforcement thereof with any person, firm or corporation; or (3) by
a combination of such methods.

The use and occupancy of such property under the provisions of this
section and the right of the state or its duly authorized agent to
recover possession thereof shall not be subject to the emergency housing
rent control law.

Expenses which are determined by the commissioner to have been
incurred in connection with the use and occupancy of such property may
be paid out of the state treasury after audit by the comptroller from
moneys appropriated for the duly authorized project for which the
property was acquired. However, such expenses incurred under a contract
for management and supervision of such property may be paid out of the
gross revenue therefrom. All moneys received by the commissioner for
such use or occupancy shall be paid into the treasury of the state to
the credit of the capital construction fund.

12. Authorization is hereby given to the commissioner to make
supplemental relocation payments, separately computed and stated, to
displaced owners and tenants of residential property acquired pursuant
to this section who are entitled thereto, as determined by him. The
commissioner with the approval of the director of the budget, may
establish and from time to time amend rules and regulations providing
for such supplemental relocation payments. Such rules and regulations
may further define the terms used in this subdivision. In the case of
property acquired pursuant to this section, which is improved by a
dwelling actually owned and occupied by the displaced owner for not less
than one hundred eighty days immediately prior to initiation of
negotiations for the acquisition of such property, such payment to such
owner shall not exceed fifteen thousand dollars. Such payment shall be
the amount, if any, which, when added to the acquisition payment equals
the average price, established by the commissioner on a class, group or
individual basis, required to obtain a comparable replacement dwelling
that is decent, safe and sanitary to accommodate the displaced owner,
reasonably accessible to public services and places of employment and
available on the private market, but in no event shall such payment
exceed the difference between acquisition payment and the actual
purchase price of the replacement dwelling. Such payment shall include
an amount which will compensate such displaced owner for any increased
interest costs which such person is required to pay for financing the
acquisition of any such comparable replacement dwelling. Such amount
shall be paid only if the dwelling acquired pursuant to this section was
encumbered by a bona fide mortgage which was a valid lien on such
dwelling for not less than one hundred eighty days prior to the
initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of such dwelling. Such
amount shall be equal to the excess in the aggregate interest and other
debt service costs of that amount of the principal of the mortgage on
the replacement dwelling which is equal to the unpaid balance of the
mortgage on the acquired dwelling, over the remainder term of the
mortgage on the acquired dwelling, reduced to discounted present value.
The discount rate shall be the prevailing interest rate paid on savings
deposits by commercial banks in the general area in which the
replacement dwelling is located. Any such mortgage interest
differential payment shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section
twenty-six-b of the general construction law, be in lieu of and in full
satisfaction of the requirements of such section. Such payment shall
include reasonable expenses incurred by such displaced owner for
evidence of title, recording fees and other closing costs incident to
the purchase of the replacement dwelling, but not including prepaid
expenses. Such payment shall be made only to a displaced owner who
purchases and occupies a replacement dwelling which is decent, safe and
sanitary within one year subsequent to the date on which he is required
to move from the dwelling acquired pursuant to this section or the date
on which he receives from the state final payment of all costs of the
acquired dwelling, whichever occurs later, except advance payment of
such amount may be made in hardship cases. In the case of property
acquired pursuant to this section from which an individual or family,
not otherwise eligible to receive a payment pursuant to the above
provisions of this subdivision, is displaced from any dwelling thereon
which has been actually and lawfully occupied by such individual or
family for not less than ninety days immediately prior to the initiation
of negotiation, for the acquisition of such property, such payment to
such individual or family shall not exceed four thousand dollars. Such
payment shall be the amount which is necessary to enable such individual
or family to lease or rent for a period not to exceed four years, a
decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling of standards adequate to accommodate
such individual or family in areas not generally less desirable in
regard to public utilities and public and commercial facilities and
reasonably accessible to his place of employment, but shall not exceed
four thousand dollars, or to make the down payment, including reasonable
expenses incurred by such individual or family for evidence of title,
recording fees, and other closing costs incident to the purchase of the
replacement dwelling, but not including prepaid expenses, on the
purchase of a decent, safe and sanitary dwelling of standards adequate
to accommodate such individual or family in areas not generally less
desirable in regard to public utilities and public and commercial
facilities, but shall not exceed four thousand dollars, except if such
amount exceeds two thousand dollars, such person must equally match any
such amount in excess of two thousand dollars, in making the down
payment. Such payments may be made in installments as determined by the
commissioner. Application for payment under this subdivision shall be
made to the commissioner upon forms prescribed by him and shall be
accompanied by such information and evidence as the commissioner may
require. Upon approval of such application, the commissioner shall
deliver a copy thereof to the comptroller, together with a certificate
stating the amount due thereunder, and the amount so fixed shall be paid
out of the state treasury after audit by the comptroller from moneys
appropriated for the acquisition of property under this section.

13. Any owner may present to the court of claims, pursuant to section
five hundred three of the eminent domain procedure law, a claim for the
value of such property appropriated and for legal damages, as provided
by law for the filing of claims with the court of claims. Awards and
judgments of the court of claims shall be paid in the same manner as
awards and judgments of that court for the acquisition of lands
generally and shall be paid out of the state treasury after audit by the
comptroller from moneys appropriated for the acquisition of such real
property.

14. Expenses incurred in the acquisition of the real property,
including the cost of making surveys, and preparing maps of property to
be acquired, serving notices, making appraisals and agreements and of
searches ordered and examinations and readings of title made by the
attorney general, and expenses incurred by the commissioner or attorney
general in proceedings for removal of owners and occupants, shall be
deemed to be part of the cost of the acquisition of such real property.

15. If the commissioner shall determine subsequent to the acquisition
of a temporary easement in any real property that the purposes for which
such easement right was acquired have been accomplished and that the
exercise of such easement is no longer necessary, the commissioner shall
make a certificate that the exercise of such easement is no longer
necessary and that such easement right is therefore terminated, released
and extinguished. The commissioner shall cause such certificate to be
filed in the main office of the department and upon such filing all
rights acquired by the state in such real property shall cease and
determine. The commissioner shall cause a certified copy of such
certificate as so filed in the main office of the department to be
mailed to the owner of the property affected, as certified by the
attorney general, if the place of residence of such owner is known or
can be ascertained by a reasonable effort and such commissioner shall
cause a further certified copy of such certificate to be filed in the
office of the recording officer of each county in which the property
affected or any part thereof is situated. On the filing of such
certified copy of such certificate with such recording officer, it shall
be his duty to record the same in his office in the books used for
recording deeds and to index the same against the name of the people of
the state of New York as grantor.

16. The commissioner may, by official order filed in the department
and subject to such limitations as he may prescribe, authorize the
exercise of any of his powers or the performance of any of his duties
under this section by such deputy commissioners as he may designate; and
any act performed pursuant to such authorization shall be as valid and
effectual as if performed by the commissioner pursuant to this section.