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  • Acts
  • 2008
  • Chapter 291 AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE DIVISION OF CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE TO GRANT AN EASEMENT IN CERTAIN LAND IN THE TOWN OF HOLDEN.

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. Notwithstanding sections 40E to 40I, inclusive, of chapter 7 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may, in consultation with the commissioner of conservation and recreation, convey an exclusive easement under, over, in and through a parcel of land containing approximately 13.82 acres, located in the town of Holden on Route 31, Paxton – Holden road, which is currently under the control of the department of conservation and recreation and held for watershed conservation purposes, to the Worcester Natural History Society, a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation, its successors and assigns, for the purpose of traveling over such easement area to and from said road and the land of the Worcester Natural History Society, its successors and assigns, in the towns of Holden and Paxton. The easement shall include the rights to: (i) create, maintain, repair and replace a paved driveway in the easement area; (ii) install, maintain, repair, replace and flow utilities to service the land of the Worcester Natural History Society; and (iii) use the easement area only for educational or scientific purposes consistent with the mission of the Worcester Natural History Society or for driveway purposes for access and egress to or not more than two dwelling units. The burdened property is owned by the commonwealth and is a portion of the property more particularly described in an Order of Taking dated June 21, 2001 and recorded with the Worcester district registry of deeds in Book 24446, Page 353. The benefited property owned by the Worcester Natural History Society is more particularly described in a deed recorded with the Worcester district registry of deeds in Book 3014, Page 521. The proposed easement area shall be approximately 25 feet wide and shall be located in the general area of an existing gravel driveway over the commonwealth’s property which is currently used to access the land of the Worcester Natural History Society. The exact boundaries of the easement shall be determined by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance in consultation with the department of conservation and recreation after completion of a survey.

SECTION 2.
No instrument granting, by or on behalf of the commonwealth, the easement described in section 1 shall be valid unless such instrument provides that the easement shall be used solely for the purposes described in section 1. The grant of easement shall stipulate that the easement granted thereby shall terminate if the property ceases to be used for the express purpose set forth in the instrument granting the easements.

SECTION 3.
The Worcester Natural History Society shall assume all costs associated with any appraisals, engineering, surveys, deed preparation and other expenses deemed necessary by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance to effectuate the conveyance authorized in section 1.

SECTION 4. The grantees shall compensate the commonwealth through the following: the transfer of land, development rights or an interest of land to the department of conservation and recreation, equal to, or greater 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; or a sum equal to 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; or through some combination thereof, including, but not limited to, extinguishing all their rights, title and interests in the Worcester Natural History Society’s existing 25 foot right-of-way easement created by an instrument recorded with the Worcester district registry of deeds in Book 4105, Page 151 over lands under the care, custody and control of the department of conservation and recreation within the town of Holden more particularly described in an Order of Taking dated June 21, 2001 and recorded with the Worcester district registry of deeds in Book 24446, Page 353 or including, but not limited to, the conveyance of a conservation restriction or a watershed preservation restriction, as defined in sections 31 to 33, inclusive, of chapter 184 of the General Laws, to the department of conservation and recreation in, over and on a portion of the grantees property, encumbering not less than 3 acres of land. The exact boundaries of any property interests to be extinguished or conveyed shall be determined by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance in consultation with department of conservation and recreation after completion of a survey.

SECTION 5. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, if the appraised value of property interests described in section 4 shall be determined to be greater than the appraised value of the easement described in section 1, the commonwealth shall not be obligated to pay the difference as additional consideration to the Worcester Natural History Society. The market value of the easement described in section 1 and the appraised value of the property interests received by commonwealth shall be as determined by an independent appraisal prepared in accordance with the usual and customary professional appraisal practice by a qualified appraiser commissioned by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance. The commissioner shall submit any appraisals to the inspector general for his review and comment. The inspector general shall review and approve any appraisals. The review shall include an examination of the methodology utilized for the appraisal. The inspector general shall prepare a report of his review and file the report with the commissioner for submission by the commissioner to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the chairmen of the joint committee on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets. The commissioner shall submit copies of the appraisals and the inspector general's review and approval and comments, if any, to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the chairmen of the joint committee on state administration at least 15 days prior to the execution of the conveyance.

SECTION 6. If there is a disparity in these appraised values, as determined in sections 4 and 5 in favor of the grantee, the grantee shall pay a sum equal to the difference in appraised values to the department of conservation and recreation. Any additional compensation received by the commonwealth pursuant to section 5 shall be deposited in the Water Supply Protection Trust established under section 73 of chapter 10 of the General Laws.

Approved August 6, 2008