[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Greenwich 2-11-2020. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The acquisition of the properties and the current use of the Town office space raises the question of how to meet the potential demand for the use of the Town property by private citizens or organizations. The subject includes both limited short-term uses, i.e., permits for single events, as well as long-term leases. This Town policy will be helpful by:
The Supervisor will establish a Committee to oversee and manage the Town's real property. Members: five members appointed by the Supervisor. Members shall be volunteers and serve without pay.
Inventory: establish and maintain an inventory of all real property owned by the Town and current use.
Eligible property: identify property eligible for leasing, including property requiring renovations in order to be made eligible.
Use: identify the purposes for which eligible parcels could be used, e.g., government, commercial, nonprofit, etc.
Rent: ascertain fair market value or rent for parcels deemed eligible private use potential public benefit use by nonprofit organization with reduced or in-kind service rental after evaluating the financial status of the organization.
Master lease: in consultation with the Town Attorney, establish a master lease agreement and permit. In the case of a lease to nonprofits for less than fair market value, the lease should specify in detail the public benefit or service to be provided.
Lease application: develop a standard lease and permit application, which should include but need not be limited to:
Details of each person or entity that will have an interest in the proposed lease, including evidence of financial condition;
The capability, expertise and experience of the potential lessee with respect to the proposed leasehold development and operation;
In the case of a not-for-profit organization, the special public benefits to be derived from the lease or permit.
Recommendations: Report recommendations to Town Council of property eligible for lease or temporary permits and possible uses. On approval by Town Council:
Advertise properties eligible for lease or permits;
Review and judge applications;
Submit negotiated lease to Town Council for action pursuant to Town Law, § 64, Subsection 2 (see below).
(Note: Town Council could delegate to board, committee, etc., power to approve short-term, single-event permits.)
Section 64, Subsection 2, of the New York State Town Law authorizes Town Boards to lease real property in the name of the Town: " 2. Acquisition and conveyance of real property. May …upon the adoption of a resolution, convey or lease real property in the name of the town, which resolution shall be subject to a permissive referendum."
ARTICLE VIII New York State Constitution.
(Gift or loan of property or credit of local subdivisions prohibited)
"§ 1. No county, city, town, village or school district shall give or loan any money or property to or in aid of any individual, or private corporation or association, or private undertaking, … nor shall any county, city, town, village or school district give or loan its credit to or in aid of any individual, or public or private corporation or association…."
Note: There is Case Law that says although municipalities may not give funds to a private entity, they may contract with such entities to provide specific activities or services that constitute a proper municipal purpose. This should be considered when leasing for less than market value.
Town Law, § 90 Acts or resolutions of the town board that are subject to a referendum on petition.
"Whenever this chapter shall expressly provide that an act or resolution of the town board is subject to a permissive referendum, such act or resolution shall be subject to a referendum on petition as set forth in the next section…. Within ten days after the adoption by the town board of any resolution which is subject to a permissive referendum as above defined, the town clerk, in the same manner as provided for notice of a special election, shall post and publish a notice which shall set forth the date of the adoption of the resolution and contain an abstract of such act or resolution concisely stating the purpose and effect thereof. The notice shall specify that such resolution was adopted subject to a permissive referendum."
See Town Law, § 91 Referendum on petition, for procedure on filing.