§ 2-487. Acquisition procedures for community development block grant program.

Latest version.
  • (a) Voluntary acquisition.

    (1) A voluntary acquisition occurs when real property is acquired from an owner who has submitted a proposal to the recipient for purchase of their property in response to a public invitation or solicitation of offers. The local governing body is committed to this mode of acquisition to the maximum practicable extent.

    (2) Voluntary acquisition shall be permitted only if the property being acquired is not site specific and at least two (2) properties in the community meet the criteria established by the local government for usage, location and/or interest to be acquired. All voluntary acquisitions must be approved in principle by the elected governing body prior to publication of a public notice or attendance of any local government representative at a property auction.

    (3) A public notice must be published inviting offers from property owners. This notice must:

    a. Accurately describe the type, size and approximate location of the property it wishes to acquire;

    b. Describe the purpose of the purchase;

    c. Specify all terms and conditions of sale, including maximum price;

    d. Indicate whether or not an owner-occupant must waive relocation benefits as a condition of sale;

    e. Announce a time and place for offers to be accepted; and

    f. Announce that local powers of condemnation shall not be invoked to acquire any property offered for which a mutually agreed to sale price cannot be reached.

    (4) Property may also be acquired at auction. The Uniform Relocation Act does not apply to voluntary acquisitions.

    (5) In each voluntary acquisition, a public solicitation shall occur. Offers shall be sealed and opened at the same time, in the same place, by a responsible official. Records of offers shall be kept. Appraisals are not required for purchases less than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) if a mutually agreed to sales price can be reached. Clear title must be present in every transaction. The local governing body must decide at the time of approving the acquisition whether or not appraisals and review appraisals will be necessary and what the maximum permissible sales price will be. The decision to acquire will rest with the governing body which can reject or accept any and all offers. Written records shall be maintained documenting decisions and rationale for selected coursed of action.

    (b) Non-voluntary acquisition.

    (1) Acquisition of property (including easements and right-of-way) using federal funds shall occur in accordance with the Uniform Relocation Act of 1970 (as amended) and with any state and federal regulations which may apply.

    (2) Fundamental steps which will occur in each purchase may vary case by case. However, in general terms, the following should take place: (1) source of funds and authority to acquire confirmed; (2) property/site identified and suitable; (3) legal description/survey/preliminary title search performed (services procured as necessary); (4) notice of intent to acquire sent owner; (5) appraisal and review appraisal services solicited and appraiser retained; (6) appraisal received and sent for review; (7) title companies solicited and retained after review received (title insurance amount and necessity determined in advance); (8) offer to purchase and notice of just compensation sent owner; (9) owner contacted by attorney or other representative and contract formalized; (10) settlement costs calculated and closing date set; (11) closing conducted with funds changing hands; and (12) records of proceedings retained.

    (3) The Uniform Relocation Act requires certain specific procedures such as some letters sent being sent certified. The CDBG Implementation Manual provides a checklist which may be utilized in following each transaction to successful conclusion.

    (c) Timing and planning.

    (1) Properties necessary for easements or acquisition shall be identified as early in the planning stage as is practicable. Every attempt shall be made to effect a design which is not wholly site dependent, that is, where two (2) or more sites are suitable for the project. It is recognized this may not always be possible, however, a policy of minimizing single site alternatives is emphasized.

    (2) The voluntary acquisition process shall be utilized to identify possible sites early in the project. Sites shall be evaluated for suitability prior to the final design phase to the maximum practicable extent. As soon as alternative sites are identified and evaluated, applicable acquisition procedures should commence.

    (3) Projects shall not normally be sent out for bids unless properties to be acquired or utilized for easements have been formally acquired or a commitment exits which is sufficiently firm and binding to be considered safe for the project to proceed with startup. The elected body shall make the determination as to whether or not bidding, award and start up may proceed prior to closing on the property.

    (4) In those cases where need for easements and/or acquisition is not identified until after the project is underway, procedures shall be expedited to the maximum practicable extent and utilization of funds, the value of which would be unrecoverable if the transaction did not occur, minimized.

    (d) Applicability. The policies and procedures contained in this section shall be applicable to all acquisitions of property involving CDBG funds.

(Ord. No. 2002-30, § 1, 11-19-02; Ord. No. 2003-16, § 1, 6-3-03; Ord. No. 2011-32, § 1, 12-20-11; Ord. No. 2013-17, § 1, 11-5-13)