PRIORITIZE OPEN SPACE PROTECTION & AFFORDABLE HOUSING by allowing low or no-cost transfers of surplus property to municipalities, (or their non-profit designees) for public purpose.

Municipalities ‚ or their non-profit designees ‚ should be able to acquire local surplus state property at low or no-cost for public interest use. This includes the preservation of existing open space and the redevelopment of existing buildings for affordable housing or community-economic development. (In past years, low cost transfers to municipalities for public purpose were not uncommon under Chapter 7.)

The so-called ìright of first refusalî included in Jones-Stanley puts a price tag on public land that few communities will be able to afford. It requires communities to buy surplus land at 85% of the highest market assessment If communities could afford to do this, they would already be buying private parcels. But most communities are in fiscal crisis, and are not spending money on land. Public land is their only option for meeting their needs. The privatization emphasis in Jones-Stanley closes that option for all but the wealthiest communities.