CHAPTER 400

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7, DELAWARE CODE, BY PROVIDING FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PUBLIC PARK, RECREATION AND CONSERVATIONS LANDS FROM THE CAPITAL INVESTMENT FUND CREATED BY CHAPTER 32, VOLUME 54, LAWS OF DELAWARE.

WHEREAS, the land area of the State of Delaware is limited and its continuing population growth now demands, and will in the future increasingly demand, that suitable portions of that area be set aside and preserved for public use as parks and open spaces for recreation and conservation; and

WHEREAS, the acquisition costs of such lands is likely substantially to increase in the future; and

WHEREAS, neighboring states have undertaken extensive programs of acquisition of such lands, thereby causing this State to suffer comparative disadvantage; and

WHEREAS, acquisition by this State is necessary for the present and future welfare of its citizens and for the protection of property values and the preservation of the tax bases; and

WHEREAS, Chapter 32, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, established a Capital Investment Fund from revenues derived to the State of Delaware from taxation pursuant to Chapter 11, Title 30, Delaware Code, of capital gains upon divested stock of the character referred to in Section 1148 of said Chapter 11 and made the Budget Commission the custodian and administrator of this fund,

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (three-fourths of the Members elected to each Branch concurring therein):

Section 1. Title 7 of the Delaware Code, is hereby amended by adding at the end thereof a new chapter as follows:

CHAPTER 58 STATE AID FOR ACQUISITION

OF PUBLIC LANDS FOR PARK, RECREATION

AND CONSERVATION PURPOSES

§ 5801. There is appropriated Three Million Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($3,250,000.00) from the Capital Investment Fund, when first available, established by Chapter 32, Volume 54, Laws of Delaware, to be distributed by the Budget Commission of the State of Delaware as follows:

(a) 61.5 per centum thereof to the State Park Commission.

(b) 23 per centum thereof to the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners.

(c) 15.5 per centum thereof to the Levy Courts of three Counties of the State and to the City of Wilmington in the proportion set out by Section 5804 of this Chapter.

§ 5802. The appropriation made to the State Park Commission by the provisions of Section 5801 (a) of this Chapter shall be employed by the said Commission for the acquisition of lands and waters, any and all interests therein, for the use as or in connection with state parks. This appropriation should be turned over to the State Park Commissioner upon the presentation by the Commission to the Budget Commission a description of the proposed acquisition by the State Park Commission and the consideration to be paid for such acquisition.

§ 5803. The appropriation made to the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners by the provisions of Section 5801 (b) of this Chapter shall be employed by the said Board for the acquisition of lands and waters, and any and all interest therein, for use as or in connection with the functions of the Board of Came and Fish Commissioners. This appropriation should be turned over to the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners upon the presentation by the Commission to the Budget Commission a description of the proposed acquisition by the Board of Game and Fish Commission and the consideration to be paid for such acquisition.

§ 5804. The appropriation made by Section 5801 (c) of this Chapter shall be employed on a matching basis in the acquisition of lands and waters, and any and all interest therein, for use as or in connection with municipal parks and open spaces for public use. The money so appropriated shall be distributed subject to the limitations hereinafter set forth to the Levy Courts of the Three Counties of the State and to the City of Wilmington in the following percentages:

New Castle County 39.95 percent

Kent County 24.03 percent

Sussex County 24.87 percent

City of Wilmington 11.15 percent

Upon the submission to the Budget Commission of the State of Delaware of the requisition of any of the said Levy Courts or the said City setting forth;

(a) A description of the proposed acquisition by or for any incorporated municipality within the County of such Levy Court, or proposed to be acquired by the said Levy Courts or by the said City, for the purposes aforesaid, and

(b) The consideration to be paid for such acquisition, and

(c) A certification from the State Planning Office that the proposed acquisition has been referred to the County Planning Commission for the County making the requisition, if a said Commission exists, or to the Commission on Zoning and Planning of the City of Wilmington if that City is making the requisition. If no County Planning Commission exists for a County making a requisition, then the proposed acquisition will be referred to the State Planning Office. The report and findings of the appropriate planning agency must be included in this certification, and in the case of the County and City Planning Agencies, the report and findings will be submitted to the State Planning Office. If no report or findings are documented within sixty days of the date that the proposed acquisition was received by the appropriate Planning Agency, then it will be assumed that the findings of the referral are in accord with the proposal for the purposes of this section,

(d) A certification by the State Park Commission of Delaware that the County or City making the requisition satisfied the following requirements:

(1) A satisfactory program utilizing the property to be acquired.

(2) A legally constituted recreation or park agency having responsibility to carry out the contemplated program.

(3) Satisfactory administrative and financial arrangements necessary for the contemplated program.

The Budget Commission of the State of Delaware shall issue payment to the Levy Court or the said City submitting such requisition in the amount requested thereby, but not in excess of seventy-five per centum of the purchase price to be paid for such acquisition; provided, however, that the aggregate of all payments made to any of the said Levy Courts or to the City of Wilmington pursuant to this Section shall not at any time exceed the percentage of the monies theretofore allocated to such Levy Court or to the said City by the foregoing provisions of this Section.

§ 5805. Any monies paid by the Budget Commission to any Levy Court or to the City of Wilmington upon a requisition submitted pursuant to the provisions of Section 5804 of this Chapter, which shall not within six months next following after the date of such payment have been employed by the recipient thereof for the acquisition described in such requisition, shall be forthwith refunded to the Budget Commission to be redeposited in Capital Investment Fund.

§ 5806. Before the State Park Commission of Delaware or the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners may acquite title to property under the provisions of this Chapter, the acquisition proposal shall be referred to the State Planning Office and the Office shall indicate the consistency of the proposed acquisition with the State Comprehensive Development Plan for Delaware. If no report is made by the State Planning Office within sixty (60) days of the date the proposed acquisition is received by said Office, then concurrence of the State Planning Office will be assumed for the purpose of this section.

§ 5807. No land for which the title to any facilities acquired in whole or in part with the use of monies appropriated by this Chapter may be converted to uses other than those originally intended without the approval of the State Planning Office. The State Planning Office shall approve no conversion of land unless the Office finds that such conversion is essential to the orderly development and growth of the area involved and is in accord with the applicable comprehensive plans and the State Comprehensive Development Plan. The State Planning Office shall approve any such conversions only upon such conditions as the office deems necessary to assure the substitution of other land of at least equal fair market value and equivalent usefulness and location. If said facilities shall cease to be used for the purpose for which they were acquired as authorized by this Chapter without the approval by the State Planning Office as outlined in this section, then said title shall automatically upon the cessation of such use, vest absolutely in the State of Delaware.

§ 5808. The Appropriation made pursuant to the provisions of Section 5804 shall be on a matching basis and the Levy Court or municipality requesting such appropriation must make available 25 percent of the purchase price of any proposed acquisitions in the form of deposited funds and any park lands already held by such Levy Court or municipality shall not be considered as representing said Levy Courts or municipalities matching share, and although monies received from the Federal Government under any land acquisition program of the Federal Government may be used in a program of the Levy Court or said City along with the funds appropriated by this Chapter, such funds shall not constitute the 25% matching funds needed by said Levy Courts or said City.

Section 2. This act shall be affected upon its approval by the Governor.

Section 3. No funds provided for in this Act shall be used for the acquisition of public park, recreation and conservation lands by eminent domain.

Approved November 24, 1964.