For Immediate Release - January 30, 2008

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINITRATION FILES LAND SURPLUS REFORM BILL

Proposal Would Expedite State Surplus Property Rules Based on Smart Growth

BOSTON-Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - The Patrick-Murray Administration today filed a bill recommending a new and faster process for disposing of surplus state property based on smart growth land use policies.

"This proposal benefits both the Commonwealth and municipalities by moving unused state land into productive use more quickly, while directing a portion of proceeds to cities and towns," said Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, who chaired the working group that developed the proposal. "This is one more thing we are doing to make government more efficient and effective."

The bill provides for properties no longer needed for state purposes to be used for municipal purposes, or for economic development, affordable housing, and other uses. It creates a coherent process that will benefit not only the communities in which the properties are located but also the Commonwealth as a whole. Other provisions in the bill include:

Creates a Surplus Land Coordination Committee to provide recommendations to the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance regarding the disposition of surplus state properties.

Gives municipalities a right of first refusal to acquire surplus state properties for municipal use, and at a discounted price, early in the disposition process

Gives municipalities that do not exercise the right of first refusal the opportunity to provide input on potential reuses of the properties early in the disposition process, before any smart growth study is undertaken.

Requires a smart growth study be prepared by the regional planning agency for any property more than 2 acres in size.

Allocates 15 percent of the net cash proceeds from the disposition of surplus property to the municipality where the property is located, or 25 percent if the municipality has adopted for the property either an approved smart growth zoning district under chapter 40R or an approved priority development site under chapter 43D (unless the municipality acquired the property).

Allocates 50 percent of the remaining net cash proceeds to the Smart Growth Fund.

Allocates the balance to a new Capital Projects Fund, and provides that the Fund shall be expended, subject to appropriation, to meet the capital improvement needs of the Commonwealth.

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