1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Public Lands
  4. Article 2: Office of General Services


Section 27 Acquisition of real property by purchase or appropriation

Public Lands (PBL)

1. The commissioner of general services when moneys therefor have been appropriated by the legislature or are otherwise available, may acquire any real property which he deems necessary for the implementation or accomplishment of any statutory purpose, function, operation or responsibility of the commissioner of general services or the office of general services, 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 the commissioner of general services 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 of general services, the original tracing of the map shall, pursuant to the eminent domain procedure law, be filed in the main office of the office of general services.

  4. If the commissioner of general services 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 offices of the office of general services 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 his or her office and he or she shall cause a certified copy of such amended map to be filed in the office 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 of general services shall determine, prior to the filing of 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 office of general services 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 terminate.

  6. The commissioner of general services 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 of general services 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 of general services 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 of general services 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 amounts 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 of general services, 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; of actual reasonable expenses in searching for a replacement business or farm; and of actual reasonable expenses necessary to reestablish a displaced farm, not-for-profit organization or small business at its new site, but not to exceed ten thousand dollars, or in hardship cases for the advance payment of such expenses and losses. 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 and actual reasonable reestablishment expenses, any such displaced owner or tenant of commercial property who meets eligibility criteria and 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 one thousand dollars nor more than twenty thousand dollars. A displaced not-for-profit organization may choose a fixed payment of one thousand to twenty thousand dollars in lieu of the payment for actual moving and related expenses and actual reasonable reestablishment expenses if eligibility criteria are met. 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 not-for-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 not-for-profit organization. The term "small business" means a business having not more than five hundred employees working at the site being acquired or permanently displaced. As used in this subdivision the term "farm operation" means any activity conducted solely or primarily for the production of one or more agricultural products or commodities including timber for sale or home use, and customarily producing such products or commodities in sufficient quantities to be capable of contributing materially to the operator's support.

  11. The commissioner of general services pursuant to section three hundred five of the eminent domain procedure law, may make agreements on such terms, conditions 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 (a) by the staff, forces and equipment of the office of general services; or (b) by the commissioner of general services contracting for the management, supervision and enforcement thereof with any person, firm or corporation; or (c) 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 projects fund.

  12. Authorization is hereby given to the commissioner of general services 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 or replacement housing. 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 twenty-two thousand five hundred 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 a replacement dwelling which is decent, safe and sanitary. 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. 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 the commissioner identifies, for the displaced owner, replacement housing actually available within the limits of the offer extended for replacement housing, 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 negotiations for the acquisition of such property, such payment to such individual or family shall not exceed five thousand two hundred fifty 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 forty-two months, 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. Such payment may be used as a 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. Such payments may be made in installments as determined by the commissioner. However, notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, if it is determined by the commissioner that replacement housing cannot be obtained for the supplemental relocation payments specified herein, he may, subject to the approval of the director of the budget, take such action as is necessary or appropriate to provide last resort housing with the use of funds authorized for the project. 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 of real property acquired pursuant to this section 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 descriptions and maps of property to be acquired, and of administrative duties in connection therewith, 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 of general services 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 of general services 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, he shall make his 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 office of the department of state 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 office of the department of state 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 the 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. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, or part of this section or the application thereof to any person, firm or corporation, project or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, or part of the application thereof to the person, firm or corporation, project or circumstance directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.