CHAPTER 8

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 152

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 5 AND SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 2, 3, 4 AND 5

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTERS' 93 AND 95 OF TITLE 29 RELATING TO UNIFORM RELOCATION ASSISTANCE AND REAL PROPERTY ACQUISITION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1 - Amend Title 29, Chapter 93, Section 9301 by deleting the same and inserting in lieu thereof:

§9301 – Definitions as used in this chapter:

(a) The term 'agency' means any department, agency, or instrumentality of the State or of a political subdivision of the State; any department, agency, or instrumentality of two or more States, or two or more political subdivisions of the State, or States, and any person who has the authority to acquire property by eminent domain under State law.

(b) The term 'person' means any individual, family, partnership, corporation, or association.

(c) (1) The term 'displaced person' means:

(A) any person who moves from real property, or moves personal property from real property --

(1) as a direct result of a written notice of intent to acquire, the initiation of negotiations, or the acquisition of such real property in whole or in part for a program or project undertaken by an agency; or

(ii) as a direct result of rehabilitation, demolition, or such other displacing activity as the Agency may prescribe, under a program or project undertaken by an agency in any case in which the agency determines that such displacement is permanent; and

(iii) as a direct result of a written notice of intent to acquire, the acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition of in whole or part, of other real property on which the person conducts a business or farm operation, for a program or project undertaken by an agency; however, eligibility for such person under this paragraph applies only for purposes of obtaining moving expenses and relocation assistance advisory services under Sections 9302(a) and (b) and 9306 of this Chapter.

(2) The term 'displaced person' does not include --

(A) a person who has been determined, according to criteria established by the Agency, to be either unlawfully occupying the displacement dwelling, been evicted for lawful cause prior to the initiation of negotiations for the property or to have occupied such dwelling for the purpose of obtaining assistance under this chapter;

(B) in any case in which the agency acquires property for a program or project, any person (other than a person who was an occupant of such property at the time it was acquired) who occupies such property on a rental basis for a short term or a period subject to termination when the property is needed for the program or project.

(C) in any case where such action is of voluntary nature where the agency would not seek to purchase such real property through eminent domain proceedings.

(d) The term 'business' means any lawful activity, except a farm operation, conducted primarily:

(1) for the purchase, sale, lease and rental of personal and/or real property, and/or for the manufacture, processing, and/or marketing of products, commodities or any other personal property;

(2) for the sale of service to the public;

(3) by a lawful nonprofit organization; or

(4) solely for the purposes of Section 9302 of this chapter for assisting in the purchase, sale, resale, manufacture, processing or marketing of products, commodities, personal property, or services by the erection and maintenance of an outdoor advertising display or displays, whether or not such display or displays are located on the premises on which any of above activities are conducted.

(e) The term 'farm operation' means any activity conducted solely or primarily for the production of one or more agricultural products or commodities, including timber, for sale or home use, and customarily producing such products or commodities in sufficient quantity to be capable of contributing materially to the operator's support.

(f) The term 'comparable replacement dwelling' means any dwelling that is (A) decent, safe, and sanitary; (B) adequate in size to accommodate the occupants; (C) within the financial means of the displaced person; (0) functionally equivalent to the displacement dwelling; (E) in an area not subject to unreasonably adverse environmental conditions; (F) in a location generally not less desirable than the location of the displaced person's dwelling with respect to public utilities, facilities, services, and the displaced person's place of employment; (G) on a site that is typical in size for residential development; and (H) currently available on the open market to the displaced person.

(g) The term 'mortgage' means such classes of liens as are commonly given to secure advances on, or the unpaid purchase price of, real property, under the laws of the State of Delaware, together with the credit instruments, if any, secured thereby.

(h) 'criteria established by the Agency' as used in this Chapter, shall mean those criteria established and approved pursuant to the relevant provisions of 49 CFR Part 24, as amended.

(i) in the event a term in this Chapter is undefined, but which term is defined in 49 CFR Part 24, as amended, the definition contained therein shall apply.

Section 2. Amend Section 9302(a), Chapter 93, Title 29 Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection to be designated as subsection (4) and to read as follows:

"(4) Actual expenses necessary to reestablish a displaced farm, nonprofit organization, or small business at its new site, In accordance with criteria established by the Agency, but not to exceed $10,000. Notwithstanding the limitations of the preceding sentence, State agency payments under this subsection shall use the same criteria and shall be authorized to pay in excess of the $10,000 payment permitted by the preceding sentence under said criteria, but shall not use or attempt to obtain reimbursement from federal funds to the extent of the excess. In any event, total payments under this subsection shall not exceed $22,500."

Section 3. Amend Section 9302, Chapter 93, Title 29 Delaware Code by deleting existing subsections (b) and (c) and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

(b) Any displaced person eligible for payments under subsection (a) of this section who is displaced from a dwelling and who elects to accept the payments authorized by this subsection in lieu of the payments authorized by subsection (a) of this section may receive a fixed expense allowance payment in an amount to be determined according to criteria established by the agency, except that such payment shall not be less than $250.00 nor more than $850.00.

(c) Any displaced person eligible for payments under subsection (a) of this section who is displaced from the person's place of business or farm operation and who is eligible under criteria established by the Agency may elect to accept the payment authorized by this subsection in lieu of the payment authorized by subsection (a) of this section. Such payment shall consist of a fixed payment in an amount to be determined according to criteria established by the Agency, except that such payment shall be not less than $1,000 nor more than $20,000. A person whose sole business at the displacement dwelling is the rental of such property to others shall not qualify for a payment under this subsection."

Section 4. Amend Title 29, Chapter 93, Section 9303 by deleting the same and inserting in lieu thereof:

§9303 - Replacement Housing for Homeowners

(a) In addition to payments otherwise authorized by this chapter, the displacing agency shall according to established criteria make an additional payment, not in excess of $22,500, to any displaced person who is displaced from a dwelling actually owned and occupied by such displaced person for not less than one hundred and eighty days prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of the property. Such additional payment shall include the following elements:

(1) The amount, if any, which when added to the acquisition cost of the dwelling acquired by the displacing agency, equals the reasonable cost of a comparable replacement dwelling.

(2) The amount, if any, which will compensate such displaced person for any increased interest costs and other debt service costs which such person is required to pay for financing the acquisition of any such comparable replacement dwelling. Such amount shall be paid only if the dwelling acquired by the agency was encumbered by a bona fide mortgage which was a valid lien on such dwelling for not less than one hundred and eighty days immediately prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of such dwelling.

(3) Reasonable expenses incurred by such displaced person for evidence of title, recording fees, and other closing costs incident to the purchase of the replacement dwelling, but not including prepaid expenses.

(b) The additional payment authorized by this section shall be made only to a displaced person who purchases and occupies a decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling within one year after the date on which such person receives final payment from the agency for the acquired dwelling or the date on which the obligation of the agency under section 9307 of this chapter is met, whichever is later, except that the agency may extend such period for good cause. If such period is extended, the payment under this section shall be based on the costs of relocating the person to a comparable replacement dwelling within one year of such date.

Section 5. Amend Title 29, Chapter 93, Section 9304 by deleting the same and inserting in lieu thereof:

§9304 - Replacement Housing for Tenants and Certain Others

(a) In addition to amounts otherwise authorized by this chapter, an agency shall make a payment to or for any displaced person displaced from any dwelling not eligible to receive a payment under section 9303 which dwelling was actually and lawfully occupied by such displaced person for not less than ninety days immediately prior to (1) the initiation of negotiations for acquisition of such dwelling and has rented or purchased and occupied a decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling within one year of moving from the displacement dwelling or (2) in any case in which displacement is not a direct result of acquisition, such other event as the Agency shall prescribe. Such payment shall be made in accordance with criteria established by the agency not to exceed $5,250.00 and shall consist of the amount necessary to enable such person to lease or rent for a period not to exceed 42 months, a comparable replacement dwelling. At the discretion of the agency, a payment under this subsection may be made in periodic installments.

(b) Any person eligible —for a payment under subsection (a) of this section may elect to apply such payment to a down payment on, and other incidental expenses pursuant to, the purchase of a decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling. Any such person may, at the discretion of the agency, be eligible under this subsection for the maximum payment allowed under subsection (a), except that, in the case of a displaced homeowner who has owned and occupied the displacement dwelling for at least 90 days but not more than 180 days immediately prior to the initiation of negotiations for the acquisition of such dwelling, such payment shall not exceed the payment such person would otherwise have received under section 9303(a) of this chapter had the person owned and occupied the displacement dwelling 180 days immediately prior to the Initiation of such negotiations.

(c) The full amount of the replacement housing payment for down payment assistance must be applied to the purchase price of the replacement dwelling and related incidental expenses."

Section 6. Amend Title 29, Chapter 93, Section 9306, by deleting the same and inserting in lieu thereof:

§9306 - Relocation Assistance Advisory Services

(a) Programs or projects undertaken by an agency shall be planned In a manner that:

(1) recognizes, at an early stage in the planning of such programs or projects and before the commencement of any actions which will cause displacements, the problems associated with the displacement of individuals, families, businesses, and farm operations; and

(2) provides for the resolution of such problems in order to minimize adverse impacts on displaced persons and to expedite program or project advancement and completion.

(b) Agencies shall ensure that the relocation assistance advisory services described in subsection (c) of this section are made available to all persons displaced by such agency. If such agency determines that any person occupying property immediately adjacent to the property where the displacing activity occurs is caused substantial economic injury as a result thereof, the agency may make available to such person such advisory services.

(c) Each relocation assistance advisory program required by subsection (b) of this section shall include such measures, facilities, or services as may be necessary or appropriate in order to:

(1) determine, and make timely recommendations on, the needs and preferences, if any, of displaced persons for relocation assistance;

(2) provide current and continuing information on the availability, sales prices, and rental charges of comparable replacement dwellings for displaced homeowners and tenants and suitable locations for businesses and farm operations;

(3) assist a person displaced from a business or farm operation in obtaining and becoming established in a suitable replacement location;

(4) supply (A) information concerning Federal, State, and local programs which may be of assistance to displaced persons, and (8) technical assistance to such persons in applying for assistance under such programs;

(5) provide other advisory services to displaced persons in order to minimize hardships to such persons in adjusting to relocation; and

(6) the agency shall coordinate relocation activities performed by such agency with other Federal, State or local governmental actions in the community which could affect the efficient and effective delivery of relocation assistance and related services.

(d) Notwithstanding section 9301(c)(2) of this chapter, in any case in which an agency acquires property for a program or project, any person who occupies such property on a rental basis for a short term or a period subject to termination when the property is needed for the program or project shall be eligible for advisory services to the extent determined by the agency."

Section 7. Amend Title 29, Chapter 93, section 9307, by deleting the same and inserting in lieu thereof:

§9307 - Assurance of Availability of Housing

(a) If a program or project undertaken by an agency cannot proceed on a timely basis because comparable replacement dwellings are not available, and the agency determines that such dwellings cannot otherwise be made available, the head of the agency may take such action as Is necessary or appropriate to provide such dwellings by use of funds authorized for such project. The agency may use this section to exceed the maximum amounts which may be paid under sections 9303 and 9304 on a case-by-case basis for good cause as determined In accordance with such regulations as the agency shall issue.

(b) No person shall be required to move from a dwelling on account of any program or project undertaken by an agency unless the agency is satisfied that comparable replacement housing Is available to such person.

(c) The agency shall assure that a person shall not be required to move from a dwelling unless the person has had a reasonable opportunity to relocate to a comparable replacement dwelling, except in the case of --

(1) a major disaster as defined in section 102(2) of the Federal Disaster Relief Act of 1974;

(2) a national emergency declared by the President or a state of emergency declared by the Governor; or

(3) any other emergency which requires the person to move Immediately from the dwelling because continued occupancy of such dwelling by such person constitutes a substantial danger to the health or safety of such person."

Section 8. Amend Title 29, Chapter 93, Section 9310 by deleting the same and inserting In lieu thereof:

§9310 - Fund Availability

(a) Funds appropriated or otherwise available to any agency or unit of local government for the acquisition of real property or any interest therein for a particular program or project shall also be available to carry out the provisions of this Act as applied to that program or project.

(b) No payment or assistance under this chapter or under chapter 95 of this title shall be required to be made to any person or included as a program or project cost under this section, if such person receives a payment required by Federal, State, or local law which is determined by the Agency to have substantially the same purpose and effect as such payment under this chapter or under Chapter 95 of this title."

Section 9. Amend Chapter 95, Title 29, Section 9501 by deleting the second paragraph thereof and inserting in lieu thereof:

§9501 - Declaration of Policy and Definitions

The term 'agency' means any department, agency, or Instrumentality of the State or of a political subdivision of the State, any department, agency, or Instrumentality of two or more States, or two or more political subdivisions of the State, or States, and any person who has the authority to acquire property by eminent domain under State law."

Section 10.Amend Section 9505(2), Chapter 95, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by deleting the period at the end of said subsection and inserting thereto the following:

"except that the agency may with owner's permission, eliminate the appraisal in cases involving acquisition by donation."

Section 11. Amend Section 9S05(9), Chapter 95, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by deleting said subsection in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(9) If the acquisition of only a portion of a property would leave the owner with an uneconomic remnant, the agency concerned shall offer to acquire that uneconomic remnant For the purpose of this Act,

"(10) an uneconomic remnant is a parcel of real property in which the owner is left with an interest after the partial acquisition of the- owner's property and the agency concerned has determined the parcel has little or no value or utility to the owner."

Section 12. Amend Section 9505, Chapter 95, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto subsections (10 and (11), which shall read as follows:

"(11) A person whose real property is being acquired in accordance with this Title may, after the person has been fully informed of his right to receive just compensation for such property, donate such property, any part thereof, any interest therein, or any compensation paid therefor, to an agency, as such person shall determine.

(12) The term 'appraisal' means a written statement independently and impartially prepared by a qualified appraiser setting forth an opinion of defined value of an adequately described property as of a specific date, supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information."

Section 13. Severability — If any provision, clause, or phrase of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is adjudged invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not invalidate the remainder of this Act, and the application thereof to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Section 14. Effective Date

This bill shall become effective on approval by the Governor as to business relocation payments and assistance by state agencies taking place after April 2, 1987, solely to the extent needed to increase benefit payments accordingly. In all other respects, this bill shall become effective April 2, 1989.

Approved April 25, 1989