Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. The metropolitan district commission is hereby authorized, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, in consultation with the inspector general, subject to section forty J of chapter seven of the General Laws, to execute and deliver in the name of and on behalf of the commonwealth one or more instruments to lease to the trustees of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for consideration described in Section 1A of this act a certain parcel of land, which shall not exceed forty acres with the buildings thereon and under the jurisdiction and control of said commission, known as the Elm Bank Reservation, for a term set forth in section two, for recreational, horticultural, educational and all other purposes consistent and compatible with the protection, restoration, preservation, use and enjoyment of said Reservation by the public, and the operation of the historic Elm Bank buildings and gardens within the metropolitan park system, in cooperation with and as deemed appropriate by said commission. The more exact location and configuration of the premises to be leased shall be shown on a plan or plans to be surveyed and prepared by the lessee and at the sole expense of the lessee, subject to the approval of said commission. The existing soccer fields shall not be included nor attendant or adjacent parking diminished as part of any lease heretofore described.
SECTION 1A. The consideration for the lease described in section one shall be in the form of the expenditures for the stabilization and restoration of the structures on the premises which are the subject of the lease as described in section two and for such additional consideration, if any, that the inspector general deems necessary to effectuate and achieve the full and fair market value of the lease or leases authorized herein. Any such determination of additional consideration in the form of compensation, shall be determined by the inspector general only after an appraisal of the value of the property in its present condition and an appraisal of the value of the property in its proposed improved condition as stabilized and restored.
SECTION 2. The commission is authorized to grant the following lease or leases and extensions of same, and any other related documents to implement the provisions of this section and this act.
The commission shall grant a lease for a period of five years to the trustees of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, a parcel of land which shall not exceed forty acres in size and which shall be configured to include at the minimum the historic mansion and gardens on site, the carriage house and the horticulture and the school buildings, so-called. Upon the signing of such lease, said trustees shall immediately undertake, at their sole expense and under the supervision of the commission, to expend at least one hundred thousand dollars to stabilize the deterioration of the mansion and the school building and to expend at least one million dollars to restore the carriage house, the horticulture building and the greenhouses on the premises. Upon the presentation by said trustees of documentary evidence deemed sufficient by the commission that such sums have been expended for the stabilization and restoration of such structures on the premises, the commission shall then extend the lease on the aforesaid parcel for a period of thirty years.
If, within the five-year period of the initial lease described in the preceding paragraph any of the following events occur, the commission shall then extend the initial lease as follows:
(a) if the trustees of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society present documentary evidence deemed sufficient by the commission that they have expended or have raised the minimum of three million dollars for the stabilization and the restoration of the mansion, said commission shall then extend the lease for a total rental period of ninety-nine years;
(b) if said trustees discover that a structural analysis of the mansion leads to a conclusion that the capital and operating costs of restoration are excessive or unmanageable and thereupon propose, in consultation with said commission and with the Massachusetts historical commission that the mansion be demolished and replaced with a new horticultural education building as the functional equivalent of the mansion, said trustees shall present documentary evidence deemed sufficient by the metropolitan district commission that such analysis and conclusions are valid and that a minimum of three million dollars in funds have been raised to demolish the mansion and build a new building and said commission shall then extend the lease for a total rental period of ninety-nine years;
(c) if said trustees are unable to raise sufficient funds under clause (a) to stabilize and restore the mansion or if said trustees are unable to raise sufficient funds under clause (b) to demolish the mansion and build a new horticultural education building, but said trustees are able to document in consultation with said commission and with the Massachusetts historical commission that the mansion is not structurally sound under clause (b) and that a minimum of one million four hundred thousand dollars has been raised and shall be expended on the demolition of the mansion and the rehabilitation of the school building, then said trustees shall present documentary evidence deemed sufficient by said metropolitan district commission, and said commission shall then extend the lease for a total rental period of sixty-nine years with an option to extend such lease for an additional period of thirty years.
SECTION 3. The commission shall provide the clerk of the house of representatives, who shall forward copies to the legislature's joint committee on state administration and to the inspector general of the commonwealth, a copy of any such lease or leases at least twenty business days prior to the execution thereof by said commission. The inspector general shall review and comment within fifteen business days of the receipt of such lease or leases by said inspector general. A copy of said review and comments, and any recommendations thereon by the inspector general, shall thereupon be forwarded to said clerk. Said lease or leases, when executed by the commission, shall be deemed conclusively authorized hereby; provided, however, that all provisions therein are consistent with the provisions of this act. The commissioner of the metropolitan district commission from time to time is hereby authorized to execute and deliver, in the name and on behalf of the commonwealth, a notice of such lease or leases for recording and any and all other agreements and instruments related to the lease or leases authorized hereby.
The lease or leases authorized hereby shall provide that all capital improvements to the Elm Bank property shall become the property of the commonwealth upon termination of same, without payment of compensation of any kind by the commonwealth. The lessee shall carry comprehensive general and public liability insurance, with the commonwealth as co-insured, protecting the lessee and the commonwealth against personal injuries and property damage occurring on said leased premises or within any structure or building thereon, and such fire and extended risk insurance as deemed appropriate by the commission.
No lease or leases other than that provided for by this section, nor any new construction by the said lessee other than as set forth within said lease or leases, nor any sale, transfer, conveyance, or any other disposition of such land and buildings, may be made without the prior approval of the general court; provided, however, that the metropolitan district commission is hereby authorized under this section and this act, to grant utility easements to enhance and otherwise promote park operations at the Elm Bank Reservation as such commission deems necessary.
All payments, proceeds and other sums received by the metropolitan district commission under the leases and agreements and easements authorized hereby, shall be deposited in the Metropolitan Parks Trust Fund.
In the event that the aforementioned purpose described in section one ceases at any time, the lease or leases authorized hereunder shall be terminated under such terms and conditions as the commission may prescribe.
SECTION 4. The metropolitan district commission shall have final design review for all buildings and structures to be built, erected and installed on the premises. No buildings or structures shall be built, erected, installed, renovated, demolished or replaced upon said leased premises other than as authorized by said lease or leases, without the prior approval of the metropolitan district commission. The trustees of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society shall assume all costs for surveys, appraisals, and other expenses as deemed necessary by the commission for the leasing of this property.
SECTION 4A. Prior to the signing of any lease under this act, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society (M.H.S.) shall present to the metropolitan district commission traffic impact and visitor safety studies. The metropolitan district commission shall contemplate such studies in preparation of its lease with the M.H.S.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect upon its passage.