SENATE, No. 195

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH M. KYRILLOS, JR.

District 13 (Monmouth)

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Expands definition of “acquisition,” for purposes of county and municipal open space trust funds, to include demolition, removal of debris, and restoration of lands being acquired.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning the use of county and municipal open space trust funds for the acquisition of lands, and amending P.L.1997, c.24.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 1 of P.L.1997, c.24 (C.40:12-15.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    As used in P.L.1997, c.24 (C.40:12-15.1 et seq.):

     "Acquisition" or "acquire" means the securing of a fee simple or a lesser interest in land, including but not limited to an easement restricting development, by gift, purchase, installment purchase agreement, devise, or condemnation , and includes the demolition of structures on, the removal of debris from, and the restoration of those lands to a natural state or to a state useful for recreation and conservation purposes .

     "Blue Acres project" means any project to acquire, for recreation and conservation purposes, lands that have been damaged by, or may be prone to incurring damage caused by, storms or storm-related flooding, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage, and includes the demolition of structures on, the removal of debris from, and the restoration of those lands to a natural state or to a state useful for recreation and conservation purposes.

     "Charitable conservancy" means a corporation or trust exempt from federal income taxation under paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. s.501(c)(3)), whose purposes include (1) acquisition and preservation of lands in a natural, scenic, or open condition, or (2) historic preservation of historic properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects, or the acquisition of such properties, structures, facilities, sites, areas, or objects for historic preservation purposes.

     "County trust fund" means a "County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund" created pursuant to subsection c. of section 2 of P.L.1997, c.24 (C.40:12-15.2).

     "Development" means any improvement to land acquired for recreation and conservation purposes designed to expand and enhance its utilization for those purposes.

     "Farmland" means land actively devoted to agricultural or horticultural use that is valued, assessed, and taxed pursuant to the "Farmland Assessment Act of 1964," P.L.1964, c.48 (C.54:4-23.1 et seq.).

     "Farmland preservation purposes" means the long-term preservation of farmland for agricultural or horticultural use.

     "Historic preservation" means the performance of any work relating to the stabilization, repair, rehabilitation, renovation, restoration, improvement, protection, or preservation of an historic property, structure, facility, site, area, or object.

     "Historic property, structure, facility, site, area, or object" means any property, structure, facility, site, area, or object approved for inclusion, or which meets the criteria for inclusion, in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places pursuant to P.L.1970, c.268 (C.13:1B-15.128 et seq.).

     "Land" or "lands" means real property, including improvements thereof or thereon, rights-of-way, water, lakes, riparian and other rights, easements, privileges and all other rights or interests of any kind or description in, relating to or connected with real property.

     "Municipal trust fund" means a "Municipal Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund" created pursuant to subsection c. of section 7 of P.L.1997, c.24 (C.40:12-15.7).

     "Public indoor recreation" means public recreation in enclosed structures or facilities, and includes but is not limited to swimming pools, basketball courts, and ice skating rinks open for public use.

     "Recreation and conservation purposes" means the use of lands for parks, open space, natural areas, ecological and biological study, forests, water reserves, wildlife preserves, fishing, hunting, camping, boating, winter sports, or similar uses for either public outdoor recreation or conservation of natural resources, or both, or the use of lands for public indoor recreation.

(cf:  P.L.2011, c.173, s.1)

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would expand the definition of “acquisition” used in P.L.1997, c.24 (C.40:12-15.1 et seq.), the law concerning the establishment of county and municipal open space trust funds, to specify that the term includes the demolition of structures on, the removal of debris from, and the restoration of those lands to a natural state or to a state useful for recreation and conservation purposes.

     Under current law, counties are authorized to establish “County Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Funds” and municipalities are authorized to establish “Municipal Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Funds.”  One of the allowable uses for these funds is the acquisition of lands for recreation and conservation purposes.  This bill would specify that “acquisition” includes the demolition of structures on, removal of debris from, and restoration of those lands to a natural state or to a state useful for recreation and conservation purposes.  In doing so the bill will resolve any differing interpretations or applications which may be occurring presently at the local level with regard to the term “acquisition.”