Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose which is to transfer forthwith certain land owned by the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. The commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with the department of conservation and recreation, notwithstanding sections 40E to 40I, inclusive, of chapter 7 of the General Laws, may convey a conservation easement to Karen and Mark Packard, owners of the Sterling Greenery in the town of Sterling, for vegetation control and appurtenant uses subject to the terms of this act, the terms of said conservation easement and to such additional terms and conditions consistent with this act as the commissioner may prescribe in consultation with the department of conservation and recreation, on a certain parcel of commonwealth land in the town presently under the care and control of the department of conservation and recreation. The parcel is identified on the town of Sterling’s assessor map 159 as lot 10, parcel 2 and is approximately 0.44 acres. The exact boundaries of the property described above shall be determined by the commissioner, in consultation with the department of conservation and recreation, after completion of a survey.
SECTION 2. The deed conveying the conservation easement shall contain all the standard provisions contained within the department of conservation and recreation watershed preservation restriction and conservation easement policy statement, as well as the following, site-specific conditions, that:
(i) the land cannot be used to satisfy any zoning requirements or contribute to an increased footprint of the business infrastructure;
(ii) no impervious surfaces shall be created;
(iii) smaller trees and underbrush may be cleared to improve visibility from the highway;
(iv) certain large overstory trees may be removed in consultation with the chief forester of the department of conservation and recreation or his designee for the purpose of benefiting the use of the land as a nursery business, but that removal of all overstory trees shall not be permitted;
(v) storage, stockpiling and marketing of nursery-related products are permitted;
(vi) business-related equipment may be used;
(vii) clean fill may be used to raise the grade of the parcel in areas where the land is low;
(viii) use, storage and stockpiling of hazardous materials, petroleum products, pesticides and herbicides is strictly prohibited;
(ix) the parcel shall not be used for access purposes; and
(x) physical evidence of the location of the boundary between this parcel and grantee’s existing property shall be maintained for future monitoring purposes.
SECTION 3. No deed conveying, by or on behalf of the commonwealth, a conservation easement to the property described in section 1 shall be valid unless the deed contains the site-specific terms and conditions described in section 2. The deed shall also include a reversionary clause that stipulates that the property will revert to the commonwealth and assigned to the care, custody and control of the department of conservation and recreation if the property ceases to be used for the express purposes for which it was conveyed.
SECTION 4. The grantee of said property shall pay for all costs of any appraisals, surveys and other expenses for the conveyances authorized by this act as may be considered necessary by the commissioner.
SECTION 5. As compensation for the conveyance authorized in section 1, the grantee shall transfer to the commonwealth the fee interest in a parcel of land identified as lot 15 on the plan described in section 1, consisting of approximately 0.21 acres. The commissioner shall determine whether this parcel has an equal or greater value than the full and fair market value of the property described in section 1, or its value in use as proposed, whichever is greater, as determined by independent appraisal. If there is a disparity in these values in favor of the grantee, the grantee will pay a sum equal to the difference to the department of conservation and recreation, pursuant to sections 6 and 7 of this act. The exact boundaries of the property described above shall be determined by the commissioner, in consultation with the department of conservation and recreation, after completion of a survey.
SECTION 6. The commissioner shall, 30 days before the execution of any agreement or release deed authorized by this act, or any subsequent amendment thereof, submit the agreement, release deed or amendment and a report thereon to the inspector general for his review and comment. The inspector general shall issue his review and comment within 15 days of receipt of any agreement, release deed or amendment. The commissioner of the division of capital planning and operations shall submit the agreement, release deed and any subsequent amendments thereof, and the reports and the comments of the inspector general, if any, to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the chairmen of the joint committee on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets 15 days prior to execution.
SECTION 7. Any additional compensation received by the commonwealth pursuant to section 5 shall be deposited in the Water Supply Protection Trust established pursuant to section 73 of chapter 10 of the General Laws.
Approved August 9, 2006.