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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 64-F
Town of Brookhaven community preservation fund
Town (TWN) CHAPTER 62, ARTICLE 4
§ 64-f. Town of Brookhaven community preservation fund. 1. As used in
this section, the following words and terms shall have the following
meanings:

(a) "Town" means the town of Brookhaven in the county of Suffolk.

(b) "Community preservation" shall mean and include any of the
purposes outlined in subdivision four of this section.

(c) "Board" means the advisory board required pursuant to subdivision
five of this section.

(d) "Fund" means the community preservation fund created pursuant to
subdivision two of this section.

2. The town board of the town is authorized to establish by local law
a community preservation fund pursuant to the provisions of this
section. Deposits into the fund may include revenues of the town from
whatever source and shall include, at a minimum, all revenues from a tax
imposed upon the transfer of real property interests in such town
pursuant to article thirty-one-B of the tax law. The fund shall also be
authorized to accept gifts of any such interests in land or of funds.
Interest accrued by monies deposited into the fund shall be credited to
the fund. In no event shall monies deposited in the fund be transferred
to any other account. Nothing contained in this section shall be
construed to prevent the financing in whole or in part, pursuant to the
local finance law, of any acquisition authorized pursuant to this
section. Monies from the fund may be utilized to repay any indebtedness
or obligations incurred pursuant to the local finance law consistent
with effectuating the purposes of this section. The town shall only
adopt the local law authorized by this subdivision if it has incurred or
authorized bonded indebtedness since nineteen hundred eighty for open
space purposes equal to or greater than two hundred dollars per town
resident, and shall also include in such calculation of its incurred or
authorized bonded indebtedness, the incurred or authorized bonded
indebtedness dedicated for open space purposes of the county of Suffolk
within the town. The number of residents shall be determined by the 1990
U.S. Census. Said local law shall make a finding that the town has
complied with the per resident financial commitment requirement of this
subdivision.

3. The purposes of the fund shall be exclusively, (a) to implement a
plan for the preservation of community character as required by this
section, (b) to acquire interests or rights in real property for the
preservation of community character within the town including villages
therein in accordance with such plan and in cooperation with willing
sellers, (c) to establish a bank pursuant to a transfer of development
rights program consistent with section two hundred sixty-one-a of this
chapter, (d) to provide a management and stewardship program for such
interests and rights consistent with subdivision nine of this section
and in accordance with such plan designed to preserve community
character; provided that not more than ten percent of the fund shall be
utilized for the management and stewardship program, and (e) to make
payments to school, fire, fire protection and ambulance districts in
connection with lands owned by the state or any municipal corporation
within the central pine barrens area as defined in subdivision ten of
section 57-0107 of the environmental conservation law. Such payments may
only be made to districts where more than twenty-five percent of the
assessed value of such district is wholly exempt from real property
taxation pursuant to the real property tax law because it is owned by
the state or a municipal corporation. Not more than ten percent of the
fund may be used for said purpose in any calendar year. Such payments
from the fund shall not exceed the actual tax liability that would have
been due if such lands of the state or of a municipal corporation had
been subject to real property taxation. Where more than one district is
eligible for such a payment under this subdivision, and such payment is
less than the actual tax liability that would have been due if such
lands of the state or a municipal corporation had been subject to real
property taxation, the town shall apportion such annual payment on the
basis of the total tax levied by each district within the town for the
year such payment is made. Such payment made by the town shall be used
solely to reduce the property tax liability of the remaining taxpayers
of the district within said town. If the implementation of the community
preservation project plan, adopted by the town board, as provided in
subdivision six of this section, has been completed, and funds are no
longer needed for the purposes outlined in this subdivision, then any
remaining monies in the fund shall be applied to reduce any bonded
indebtedness or obligations incurred to effectuate the purposes of this
section.

4. Preservation of community character shall involve one or more of
the following: (a) establishment of parks, nature preserves or
recreation areas; (b) preservation of open space, including agricultural
lands; (c) preservation of lands of exceptional scenic value; (d)
preservation of fresh and saltwater marshes or other wetlands; (e)
preservation of aquifer recharge areas; (f) preservation of undeveloped
beachlands or shoreline; (g) establishment of wildlife refuges for the
purpose of maintaining native animal species diversity, including the
protection of habitat essential to the recovery of rare, threatened or
endangered species; (h) preservation of pine barrens consisting of such
biota as pitch pine, and scrub oak; (i) preservation of unique or
threatened ecological areas; (j) preservation of rivers and river areas
in a natural, free-flowing condition; (k) preservation of forested land;
(l) preservation of public access to lands for public use including
stream rights and waterways; (m) preservation of historic places and
properties listed on the New York state register of historic places
and/or protected under a municipal historic preservation ordinance or
law; and (n) undertaking any of the aforementioned in furtherance of the
establishment of a greenbelt.

5. The town board of the town upon establishment of a community
preservation fund shall create an advisory board to review and make
recommendations on proposed acquisitions of interests in real property
using monies from the fund. Such board shall consist of five or seven
legal residents of the town who shall serve without compensation. No
member of the town board shall serve on the board. A majority of the
members of the board shall have demonstrated experience with
conservation or land preservation activities. The board shall act in an
advisory capacity to the town board. At least one member of the board
shall be an active farmer.

6. The town board of the town upon establishment of a community
preservation fund shall, by local law, adopt a community preservation
project plan. This plan shall list every project which the town plans to
undertake pursuant to the community preservation fund. It shall include
every parcel which is necessary to be acquired in the town in order to
protect community character. Such plan shall provide for a detailed
evaluation of all available land use alternatives to protect community
character, including but not limited to: (a) fee simple acquisition, (b)
zoning regulations, including density reductions, cluster development,
and site plan and design requirements, (c) transfer of development
rights, (d) the purchase of development rights, and (e) scenic and
conservation easements. Said evaluation shall be as specific as
practicable as to each parcel selected for inclusion in the plan. The
plan shall establish the priorities for preservation, and shall include
the preservation of farmland as its highest priority. Funds from the
community preservation fund shall only be expended for projects which
have been included in said plan. Said plan shall be updated not less
than once every five years. A copy of the plan shall be filed with the
commissioner of environmental conservation, the commissioner of
agriculture and markets and the commissioner of parks, recreation and
historic preservation. Said plan shall be completed at least sixty days
before the submission of the mandatory referendum required by section
one thousand four hundred forty-one of the tax law.

7. The town board of the town upon establishment of a community
preservation fund pursuant to this section shall study and consider
establishing a transfer of development rights program to protect
community character as provided for by section two hundred sixty-one-a
of this chapter. All provisions of such section two hundred sixty-one-a
shall be complied with. If at any time during the life of the community
preservation fund a transfer of development rights program is
established, the town may utilize monies from the community preservation
fund in order to create and fund a central bank of the transfer of
development rights program. If at any time during the life of the
community preservation fund, a transfer of development rights program is
repealed by the town, all monies from the central bank shall be returned
to the community preservation fund.

8. No interests or rights in real property shall be acquired pursuant
to this section until a public hearing is held as required by section
two hundred forty-seven of the general municipal law; provided, however,
that nothing in this subdivision shall prevent the town board from
entering into a conditional purchase agreement before a public hearing
is held. Any resolution of the town board approving an acquisition of
land pursuant to this section, shall find that acquisition was the best
alternative for the protection of community character of all the
reasonable alternatives available to the town.

9. Lands acquired pursuant to this section shall be administered and
managed in a manner which (a) allows public use and enjoyment in a
manner compatible with the natural, scenic, historic and open space
character of such lands; (b) preserves the native biological diversity
of such lands; (c) with regard to open spaces, limits improvements to
enhancing access for passive use of such lands such as nature trails,
boardwalks, bicycle paths, and peripheral parking areas provided that
such improvements do not degrade the ecological value of the land or
threaten essential wildlife habitat; and (d) preserves cultural property
consistent with accepted standards for historic preservation. In
furthering the purposes of this section, the town may enter into
agreements with corporations organized under the not-for-profit
corporation law and engage in land trust activities to manage lands
including less than fee interests acquired pursuant to the provisions of
this section, provided that any such agreement shall contain a provision
that such corporation shall keep the lands accessible to the public
unless such corporation shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the
town that public accessibility would be detrimental to the lands or any
natural resources associated therewith.

10. Rights or interests in real property acquired with monies from
such fund shall not be sold, leased, exchanged, donated, or otherwise
disposed of or used for other than the purposes permitted by this
section without the express authority of an act of the legislature,
which shall provide for the substitution of other lands of equal
environmental value and fair market value and reasonably equivalent
usefulness and location to those to be discontinued, sold or disposed
of, and such other requirements as shall be approved by the legislature.
Nothing in this section shall preclude the town, by local law, from
establishing additional restrictions to the alienation of lands acquired
pursuant to this section. This subdivision shall not apply to the sale
of development rights by the town acquired pursuant to this section,
where said sale is made by a central bank created by the town, pursuant
to a transfer of development rights program established by the town
pursuant to section two hundred sixty-one-a of this chapter, provided,
however (a) that the lands from which said development rights were
acquired shall remain preserved in perpetuity by a permanent
conservation easement or other instrument that similarly preserves the
community character referenced in subdivision four of this section, and
(b) the proceeds from such sale shall be deposited in the community
preservation fund.