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AB1142 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          1142
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     January 7, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. PAULIN, COOK, GUNTHER, BARRON -- Multi-Sponsored
          by -- M. of A.  PERRY -- read once and referred to  the  Committee  on
          Judiciary
 
        AN  ACT to amend the eminent domain procedure law, in relation to desig-
          nating blighted property and blighted areas; to  amend  the  New  York
          state urban development corporation act, in relation to the definition
          of blight and substandard or insanitary area; and to amend the general
          municipal  law  and  the New York state urban development and research
          corporation act, in relation to substandard and insanitary areas
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1. Section 103 of the eminent domain procedure law is amended
     2  by adding a new subdivision (H) to read as follows:
     3    (H) "Blighted property" and "blighted area"  means  property  that  is
     4  declared blighted under section two hundred four-a of this chapter.
     5    §  2.  Subdivision  (B) of section 204 of the eminent domain procedure
     6  law is amended by adding a new closing paragraph to read as follows:
     7    A condemnor shall not take action against a property or area when  the
     8  public  use,  benefit,  or  purpose  to be served by the proposed public
     9  project is to remedy blight, unless such property or area satisfies  the
    10  definition of "blighted property or blighted area" as defined by section
    11  two  hundred  four-a  of this article.  The condemnor shall include such
    12  findings in its determination and findings pursuant to this  subdivision
    13  in order to take action against an area or property to remedy blight.
    14    §  3.  The  eminent  domain  procedure  law is amended by adding a new
    15  section 204-a to read as follows:
    16    § 204-a. Blighted property and blighted  areas.  (A)  Subject  to  the
    17  exceptions  listed  in paragraph two of subdivision (B) of this section,
    18  any single property may be declared blighted if:
    19    (1) (a) (I) The property is unfit for human habitation  due  to  iden-
    20  tifiable  conditions  that  endanger  the life, health and safety of the
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01861-01-1

        A. 1142                             2
 
     1  owners, occupants, or general public.    Conditions  rendering  property
     2  unfit  for  human habitation include, but are not limited to, structural
     3  defects,  dilapidation,  deterioration,   vermin   infestation,   health
     4  hazards,  fire  hazards,  lack  of  proper sanitary facilities, obsolete
     5  systems of utilities, or inadequate maintenance; or
     6    (II) The property has deteriorated to the point where:
     7    1. the building is structurally unsound or poses an  immediate  threat
     8  to life or other property; or
     9    2. the cost of rehabilitation significantly exceeds the post-rehabili-
    10  tation market value.
    11    (b) The owner fails to remedy subparagraph (a) of this paragraph with-
    12  in  a  reasonable time after receiving notice of violation by the appro-
    13  priate governing body requiring the owner to:
    14    (I) rehabilitate the building to conform to minimum code  habitability
    15  requirements; or
    16    (II) demolish the building for health and safety reasons.
    17    (2) The property is abandoned. Property shall be deemed abandoned if:
    18    (a)  Property  is  unoccupied and has been tax delinquent for at least
    19  two years; or
    20    (b) A building is unoccupied by the owner or  tenants,  is  unfit  for
    21  human habitation, and has deteriorated to the point where:
    22    (I)  The building is structurally unsound or poses an immediate threat
    23  to life or other property; or
    24    (II) The cost of rehabilitation significantly exceeds the post-rehabi-
    25  litation market value; and
    26    (III) The owner is unknown or the owner fails to  respond  within  six
    27  months to a violation notice from the appropriate governing body requir-
    28  ing the owner to:
    29    1.  rehabilitate  the  building  to  conform  to  minimum habitability
    30  requirements; or
    31    2. demolish the building for health and safety reasons.
    32    (3) A vacant lot on which a building has been demolished and for which
    33  a municipal lien for demolition costs remains unpaid for six months.
    34    (4) Property that is environmentally  contaminated  requiring  remedi-
    35  ation for current or future use under state or federal law, if the owner
    36  fails  to  remedy  the  problem within six months of receiving notice of
    37  violation from the appropriate governing body.
    38    (5) A premises  which,  because  of  physical  condition  or  use,  is
    39  regarded  as  a  public  nuisance  at  common law or has been declared a
    40  public nuisance under a statute or an applicable municipal code, and the
    41  owner fails to abate the nuisance within six months of receiving  notice
    42  of violation from the appropriate governing body.
    43    (6) Defective or unusual conditions of title that make the free trans-
    44  fer or alienation of the property impossible.
    45    (7)  Property  that  is  occupied  or unoccupied has tax delinquencies
    46  exceeding the value of the property.
    47    (B) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (A) of this section,
    48  the following exceptions shall apply:
    49    (1) Property shall in no case be declared blighted if it meets one  or
    50  more of the following criteria:
    51    (a)  Vacant  and  unimproved property located in any rural or suburban
    52  area which is not served by existing utilities.
    53    (b) Property which satisfies the definition of "farm woodland",  "land
    54  used in agricultural production", "unique and irreplaceable agricultural
    55  land",  or  "viable  agricultural  land",  as those terms are defined in
    56  section three hundred one of the agriculture and markets law.

        A. 1142                             3
 
     1    (2) For purposes of this section, if a developer or condemner involved
     2  in a redevelopment project has caused or  brought  about  by  action  or
     3  inaction  or  maintained for more than seven years a condition listed in
     4  subdivision (A) of this section within the proposed project  area,  that
     5  condition may not be used in the determination of blight.
     6    (3)  For purposes of this section, if property located in an urbanized
     7  area generally served by municipal infrastructure  and  utilities  meets
     8  one  or more of the conditions listed in subdivision (A) of this section
     9  due to failure on the part of the appropriate governing body to  provide
    10  necessary utility services and/or infrastructure, that condition may not
    11  be used in the determination of blight.
    12    (C) Multiple properties and project areas may be declared blighted.
    13    (1) A condemner may use eminent domain to acquire any unit of property
    14  within a blighted project area.
    15    (2)  For  purposes  of acquiring multiple units of property by eminent
    16  domain, an area may be declared generally blighted only if a majority of
    17  the individual parcels in the area are declared blighted under  subdivi-
    18  sion (A) of this section and represent a majority of the geographic area
    19  of the project.
    20    (3)  Properties  owned by a developer or condemner involved in a rede-
    21  velopment project may be included in any blighted project area  determi-
    22  nation.
    23    (D) For purposes of this section, a building containing multiple units
    24  shall be treated as a single property.
    25    (E)  Before  a  property  may  be  declared  blighted pursuant to this
    26  section, the condemner shall:
    27    (1) In the case of a single property, make written findings  identify-
    28  ing  the  specific  conditions  which render the property blighted under
    29  subdivision (A) of this section;
    30    (2) In the case of multiple properties or project areas, make  written
    31  findings  demonstrating  that  the conditions of subdivision (C) of this
    32  section have been met. In order to demonstrate that a  majority  of  the
    33  individual parcels are blighted and comprise a majority of the geograph-
    34  ical  area of the project, each blighted property must be identified and
    35  the specific conditions rendering it blighted under subdivision  (A)  of
    36  this section must be identified.
    37    (F) Any declaration made pursuant to this section shall be valid for a
    38  period of up to fifteen years.
    39    §  4. Section 206 of the eminent domain procedure law, subdivision (E)
    40  as added by chapter 468 of the laws of  1978,  is  amended  to  read  as
    41  follows:
    42    §  206. Exemptions. The condemnor shall be exempt from compliance with
    43  the provisions of this article when:
    44    (A) pursuant to other state, federal, or local law  or  regulation  it
    45  considers  and submits factors [similar to those] enumerated in subdivi-
    46  sion (B) of section two hundred four,  to  a  state,  federal  or  local
    47  governmental  agency,  board  or  commission  before proceeding with the
    48  acquisition and obtains a license, a permit,  a  certificate  of  public
    49  convenience  or  necessity  or  other similar approval from such agency,
    50  board, or commission or;
    51    (B) pursuant to article VII [or article VIII] of  the  public  service
    52  law  it obtained a certificate of environmental compatibility and public
    53  need or;
    54    (C) pursuant to other law or regulation it undergoes or  conducts  [or
    55  offers  to  conduct] prior to an acquisition one or more public hearings
    56  upon notice to the public and owners of property  to  be  acquired,  and

        A. 1142                             4
 
     1  provided  further that factors [similar to those] enumerated in subdivi-
     2  sion (B) of section two hundred four herein [may] shall be considered at
     3  such public hearings, or;
     4    (D) when in the opinion of the condemnor the acquisition is de minimis
     5  in  nature  so  that  the  public interest will not be prejudiced by the
     6  construction of the project or because of  an  emergency  situation  the
     7  public  interest  will  be  endangered by any delay caused by the public
     8  hearing requirement in this article.
     9    (E) when it complies with the procedures contained in section 41.34 of
    10  the mental hygiene law.
    11    § 5. Section 3 of section 1 of  chapter  174  of  the  laws  of  1968,
    12  constituting  the  New  York state urban development corporation act, is
    13  amended by adding a new subdivision 31 to read as follows:
    14    (31)  "Blighted  property"  and  "blighted  area".  Property  that  is
    15  declared  blighted  under  section 204-a of the eminent domain procedure
    16  law.
    17    § 6. Subdivision 12 of section 3 of section 1 of chapter  174  of  the
    18  laws  of  1968, constituting the New York state urban development corpo-
    19  ration act, is amended to read as follows:
    20    (12) "Substandard or insanitary area". The term "substandard or insan-
    21  itary area" shall mean and be interchangeable with a [slum,]  blighted[,
    22  deteriorated  or  deteriorating]  area, or an area which has a blighting
    23  influence on the surrounding area, whether residential, non-residential,
    24  commercial, industrial, vacant or land in highways,  waterways,  railway
    25  and subway tracks and yards, bridge and tunnel approaches and entrances,
    26  or  other  similar  facilities,  over  which air rights and easements or
    27  other rights of user necessary for the use and development of  such  air
    28  rights,  to  be developed as air rights sites for the elimination of the
    29  blighting influence, or any combination thereof and  may  include  land,
    30  buildings  or  improvements,  or air rights and concomitant easements or
    31  other rights of user necessary for the use and development of  such  air
    32  rights not in themselves substandard or insanitary.
    33    §  7. The second and the sixth undesignated paragraphs of section 2 of
    34  section 1 of chapter 174 of the laws of 1968, constituting the New  York
    35  state urban development corporation act, are amended to read as follows:
    36    It  is  further  found  and  declared that there exist in many munici-
    37  palities within  this  state  residential,  nonresidential,  commercial,
    38  industrial  or  vacant  areas, and combinations thereof, which are [slum
    39  or] blighted, or which are becoming [slum or] blighted areas because  of
    40  substandard[,]  or insanitary conditions, [deteriorated or deteriorating
    41  conditions, including obsolete and dilapidated buildings and structures,
    42  defective construction, outmoded design, lack of proper sanitary facili-
    43  ties or adequate fire or safety  protection,  excessive  land  coverage,
    44  insufficient  light and ventilation, excessive population density, ille-
    45  gal uses and conversions, inadequate maintenance, buildings abandoned or
    46  not utilized in whole or substantial part, obsolete  systems  of  utili-
    47  ties,  poorly  or improperly designed street patterns and intersections,
    48  inadequate access to areas, traffic congestion hazardous to  the  public
    49  safety,  lack  of  suitable  off-street  parking, inadequate loading and
    50  unloading facilities,  impractical  street  widths,  sizes  and  shapes,
    51  blocks  and lots of irregular form, shape or insufficient size, width or
    52  depth, unsuitable topography, subsoil or other physical conditions,  all
    53  of] which hamper or impede proper and economic development of such areas
    54  and  which  impair  or arrest the sound growth of the area, community or
    55  municipality, and the state as a whole.

        A. 1142                             5
 
     1    It is further declared to be the policy of the state  to  promote  the
     2  safety,  health,  morals  and  welfare of the people of the state and to
     3  promote the sound growth and development of our  municipalities  through
     4  the  correction of such substandard, insanitary[,] or blighted[, deteri-
     5  orated  or deteriorating] conditions, factors and characteristics by the
     6  clearance, replanning,  reconstruction,  redevelopment,  rehabilitation,
     7  restoration  or  conservation  of  such  areas,  and of areas reasonably
     8  accessible thereto the undertaking of  public  and  private  improvement
     9  programs related thereto, including the provision of educational, recre-
    10  ational  and cultural facilities, and the encouragement of participation
    11  in these programs by private enterprise.
    12    § 8. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 6 of section 16-n of  section  1  of
    13  chapter  174  of the laws of 1968, constituting the New York state urban
    14  development corporation act, as added by section 2 of part C-2 of  chap-
    15  ter 109 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:
    16    (d)  A  municipality  that  is  granted  an award or awards under this
    17  section shall provide a  matching  contribution  of  no  less  than  ten
    18  percent of the aggregated award or awards amount. Such matching contrib-
    19  ution  may  be  in  the form of a financial and/or in kind contribution.
    20  Financial contributions may include grants from federal, state and local
    21  entities.  In kind contributions may include but shall not be limited to
    22  the efforts of municipalities to conduct an inventory and assessment  of
    23  vacant, abandoned, surplus, and condemned[, and deteriorated] properties
    24  and  to  manage  and administer grants pursuant to subdivisions four and
    25  five of this section.
    26    § 9. Section 501 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter 402
    27  of the laws of 1961, is amended to read as follows:
    28    § 501. Policy and purposes of article. There  exist  in  many  munici-
    29  palities  within  this  state  residential, non-residential, commercial,
    30  industrial or vacant areas, and combinations thereof,  which  are  [slum
    31  or]  blighted, or which are becoming [slum or] blighted areas because of
    32  substandard[,] or insanitary[,  deteriorated  or  deteriorating]  condi-
    33  tions,  factors,  and characteristics, with or without tangible physical
    34  blight. The existence of such areas constitutes a  serious  and  growing
    35  menace,  is  injurious to the public safety, health, morals and welfare,
    36  contributes increasingly to the spread of  crime,  juvenile  delinquency
    37  and disease, necessitates excessive and disproportionate expenditures of
    38  public  funds for all forms of public service and constitutes a negative
    39  influence on adjacent properties impairing their economic soundness  and
    40  stability, thereby threatening the source of public revenues.
    41    In order to protect and promote the safety, health, morals and welfare
    42  of  the people of the state and to promote the sound growth and develop-
    43  ment of our municipalities, it is necessary to correct such substandard,
    44  insanitary, or blighted[,  deteriorated  or  deteriorating]  conditions,
    45  factors   and  characteristics  by  the  clearance,  replanning,  recon-
    46  struction, redevelopment, rehabilitation, restoration or conservation of
    47  such areas, the undertaking of public and private  improvement  programs
    48  related thereto and the encouragement of participation in these programs
    49  by private enterprise.
    50    It is necessary for the accomplishment of such purposes to grant muni-
    51  cipalities of this state the rights and powers provided in this article.
    52  The  use  of  such rights and powers to correct such conditions, factors
    53  and characteristics and to eliminate  or  prevent  the  development  and
    54  spread  of [deterioration and] blight through the clearance, replanning,
    55  reconstruction, rehabilitation, conservation or renewal of  such  areas,
    56  for  residential,  commercial,  industrial,  community, public and other

        A. 1142                             6

     1  uses is a public use and public purpose essential to the  public  inter-
     2  est, and for which public funds may be expended.
     3    §  10.  Subdivision  4 of section 502 of the general municipal law, as
     4  amended by chapter 748 of the laws  of  1967,  is  amended  to  read  as
     5  follows:
     6    4.  "Substandard or insanitary area." The term "substandard or insani-
     7  tary area" shall mean and be interchangeable with a  [slum,]  blighted[,
     8  deteriorated  or  deteriorating]  area, or an area which has a blighting
     9  influence on the surrounding area, whether residential, non-residential,
    10  commercial, industrial, vacant, or land in highways, railway and  subway
    11  tracks,  bridge  and  tunnel  approaches and entrances, or other similar
    12  facilities, over which air rights and easements or other rights of  user
    13  necessary  for  the use and development of such air rights, to be devel-
    14  oped as air rights sites for the elimination of the blighting influence,
    15  or any combination thereof and may include land, buildings  or  improve-
    16  ments,  or  air rights and concomitant easements or other rights of user
    17  necessary for the use and development of such air rights, not  in  them-
    18  selves  substandard  or  insanitary,  the  inclusion  of which is deemed
    19  necessary for the effective undertaking of one  or  more  urban  renewal
    20  programs.
    21    §  11.  Paragraph  (a)  of subdivision 5 of section 510 of the general
    22  municipal law, as amended by chapter 829 of the laws of 1968, is amended
    23  to read as follows:
    24    (a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this article to the  contra-
    25  ry, the commissioner may in the name of the state, within appropriations
    26  heretofore  or  hereafter  made  for  state  capital grants to assist in
    27  carrying out one or more local urban renewal programs, make or  contract
    28  to  make  state  capital grants to municipalities to assist in financing
    29  the cost of the preparation and completion  of  one  or  more  community
    30  renewal programs.
    31    A  community renewal program may include, without being limited to (1)
    32  the identification of [slum areas or] blighted[, deteriorated, or  dete-
    33  riorating] areas in the community, (2) the measurement of the nature and
    34  degree  of  blight and blighting factors within such areas, (3) determi-
    35  nation of the financial, relocation,  and  other  resources  needed  and
    36  available  to  renew  such  areas,  (4)  the identification of potential
    37  project areas and, where feasible, types of urban renewal action contem-
    38  plated within such areas, and (5) scheduling  or  programming  of  urban
    39  renewal activities.
    40    §  12.  Section  520 of the general municipal law, as added by chapter
    41  402 of the laws of 1961, is amended to read as follows:
    42    § 520. Construction. This article  shall  be  construed  liberally  to
    43  effect  the  purposes  hereof  and the enumeration of specific powers in
    44  this act shall not operate to restrict the meaning of any general  grant
    45  of  power  contained  in this chapter or to exclude other powers compre-
    46  hended in such general grant. In construing this  chapter  consideration
    47  shall  be given to its purposes and intent, among others, of consolidat-
    48  ing, clarifying and simplifying the respective provisions of  the  chap-
    49  ters  repealed  as hereinafter specified in section five hundred twenty-
    50  five hereof and of authorizing municipalities to undertake one  or  more
    51  programs  of  urban  renewal  with respect to the clearance, replanning,
    52  reconstruction, rehabilitation, redevelopment, conservation, restoration
    53  or improvement of substandard, insanitary, [slum,] or blighted[, deteri-
    54  orated  or  deteriorating]  residential,  non-residential,  improved  or
    55  vacant  areas,  or the remedying of unsuitable topographical, subsoil or
    56  other physical conditions which tend to impede the development  of  such

        A. 1142                             7
 
     1  areas,  for  residential,  commercial, industrial, community, public and
     2  other uses and to apply for and accept federal or state loans, subsidies
     3  or grants in connection therewith. Insofar as  the  provisions  of  this
     4  article  are  inconsistent  with  the  provisions  of any other general,
     5  special or local law, the provisions of this article shall  be  control-
     6  ling.
     7    §  13.  The  third undesignated paragraph of section 2 of section 1 of
     8  chapter 173 of the laws of 1968, constituting the New York  state  urban
     9  development and research corporation act, is amended to read as follows:
    10    The  legislature  hereby declares it to be the policy of this state to
    11  provide an adequate supply of safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations;
    12  to increase job opportunities and protect against involuntary  unemploy-
    13  ment and underemployment by promoting, attracting, stimulating and revi-
    14  talizing  business,  commerce,  industry  and manufacturing in the urban
    15  areas of the state; and to arrest  the  spread  of  [deterioration  and]
    16  blight  and  promote the economic and physical development of such areas
    17  through the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and improvement
    18  of residential, commercial  and  industrial  structures  and  facilities
    19  therein.
    20    § 14. This act shall take effect immediately.
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