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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary and pursuant to chapter 365 of the acts of 1897, the Boston parks and recreation commission, consistent with established procedures and as provided herein, may lease real property or buildings under its control and supervision to any person or organization if the commission makes a determination that such lease will adequately ensure the preservation and maintenance of a historic property for park-related purposes and that such lease shall otherwise be consistent with the commission’s duties and responsibilities.

Any lease entered into by the commission pursuant to this section shall provide, at a minimum, for the following: (a) the improvement, maintenance and management of the property by the lessee in conformance with appropriate standards approved by the Boston parks and recreation commission and all other applicable provisions of laws; (b) the payment to the commission of fair market rent for the property; provided, however, that the value of any improvements provided by the lessee under the lease may be partially deducted from the amount payable over the term of the lease; (c) a finding by the commission that the property covered by the lease, while not needed for use by the commission for the duration of the lease, is subject to its statutory authority under chapter 185 of the acts of 1875 to exercise control, construct, improve, equip, supervise and regulate the use of all parks, public grounds, playgrounds, ways or means of outdoor recreation and that the lease is entered into by the department pursuant to that duty; and (d) any other provisions, terms and conditions as the commission deems necessary and appropriate to protect the interests of the commonwealth and ensure the adequate preservation of the historic or other qualities of the property for future generations.

For the purposes of this act, “historic property” shall mean the comfort station, also known as the Duck House, located in the Back Bay/Fens section of the city of Boston and the men’s comfort station also known as Pink Palace, located on Boston Common.

The commissioner shall establish guidelines for the execution of leases authorized in this act; provided, however, that the guidelines shall at least provide for an open, competitive process for selecting lessees. Prior to the implementation of the guidelines, the commissioner shall provide a period of public comment.

Approved August 3, 2010