The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 3201. Definitions
The following terms wherever used or referred to in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context:
(1) "Agency" or "urban renewal agency" shall mean a public agency created by section 3220 of this title.
(2) "Area of operation" shall mean the area within the corporate limits of the municipality and the area within five miles of such limits, except that it shall not include any area which lies within the territorial boundaries of another incorporated city or town unless a resolution shall have been adopted by the governing body of such other city or town declaring a need therefor.
(3) "Blighted area" shall mean an area which, by reason of the presence of a substantial number of slum, deteriorated, or deteriorating structures; predominance of defective or inadequate street layout; faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility, or usefulness; insanitary or unsafe conditions; deterioration of site or other improvements; diversity of ownership; tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the fair value of the land; defective or unusual conditions of title; or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes; or any combination of such factors, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of a municipality, retards the provision of housing accommodations, or constitutes an economic or social liability and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use. If such blighted area consists of open land the conditions contained in the proviso in subsection 3207(d) of this title shall apply. Any disaster area referred to in subsection 3207(g) of this title shall constitute a "blighted area." No area shall be determined to be a blighted area solely or primarily because its condition and value for tax purposes are less than the condition and value projected as the result of the implementation of any State, municipal, or private redevelopment plan.
(4) "Board" or "commission" shall mean a board, commission, department, division, office, body, or other unit of the municipality.
(5) "Bonds" shall mean any bonds, including refunding bonds, notes, interim certificates, certificates of indebtedness, debentures, or other obligations.
(6) "Clerk" shall mean the clerk or other official of the municipality who is the custodian of the official records of such municipality.
(7) "Federal government" shall include the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.
(7a) "Housing authority" means a housing authority established under chapter 113 of this title.
(8) "Local governing body" shall mean the council or other legislative body charged with governing the municipality.
(9) "Mayor" shall mean the mayor of a municipality or other officer or body having the duties customarily imposed upon the executive head of a municipality.
(10) "Municipality" shall mean any city, village, or town in the State.
(11) "Obligee" shall include any bondholder, agents, or trustees for any bondholders, or lessor demising to the municipality property used in connection with an urban renewal project, or any assignee or assignees of such lessor's interest or any part thereof, and the federal government when it is a party to any contract with the municipality.
(12) "Person" shall mean any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint stock association, or body politic; and shall include any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other person acting in a similar representative capacity.
(13) "Public body" shall mean the State or any municipality, township, village, board, commission, authority, district, or any other subdivision or public body of the State.
(14) "Public officer" shall mean any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the municipality relating to health, fire, building regulations, or to other activities concerning dwellings in the municipality.
(15) "Real property" shall include all lands, including improvements and fixtures thereon, and property of any nature appurtenant thereto, or used in connection therewith, and every estate, interest, right, and use, legal or equitable therein, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage, or otherwise.
(15a) "Related activities" means:
(A) planning work for the preparation of a general neighborhood renewal plan, or for the preparation or completion of a community-wide plan or program under section 3208 of this title; and
(B) the functions related to the acquisition and disposal of real property under subdivision 3209(4) of this title.
(16) "Slum area" shall mean an area in which there is a predominance of buildings or improvements, whether residential or nonresidential, which by reason of dilapidation, deterioration, age, or obsolescence; inadequate provision for ventilation, light, air, sanitation, or open spaces; high density of population and overcrowding; or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes; or any combination of such factors is conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, juvenile delinquency, or crime, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare.
(17) "Urban renewal area" means a slum area or a blighted area or a combination thereof which the local governing body designates as appropriate for an urban renewal project.
(18) "Urban renewal plan" means a plan, as it exists from time to time, for an urban renewal project, which plan:
(A) shall conform to the general plan for the municipality as a whole except as provided in subsection 3207(g) of this title and shall be consistent with definite local objectives respecting appropriate land uses, improved traffic, public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities, and other public improvements;
(B) shall be sufficiently complete to indicate such land acquisition, demolition and removal of structures and redevelopment, and such rehabilitation as may be proposed to be carried out in the urban renewal area, to indicate proposed zoning and planning changes, if any, land uses, maximum densities, and building requirements, and to indicate in general terms the types of public improvements and proposal for redevelopment to be permitted or required; and
(C) may include such additional materials as may from time to time be required by federal laws, regulations, and administrative requirements.
(19) "Urban renewal project" may include undertakings and activities of a municipality in an urban renewal area for the elimination and for the prevention of the development or spread of slums and blight, and may involve slum clearance and redevelopment in an urban renewal area, or rehabilitation or conservation in an urban renewal area, or any combination or part thereof in accordance with an urban renewal plan. Such undertakings and activities may include:
(A) acquisition of a slum area or a blighted area or portion thereof;
(B) demolition and removal of buildings and improvements;
(C) installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other improvements necessary for carrying out in the urban renewal area the urban renewal objectives of this chapter in accordance with the urban renewal plan;
(D) disposition of any property acquired in the urban renewal area, including sale, initial leasing, or retention by the municipality itself, at its fair value for uses in accordance with urban renewal plan;
(E) acquisition of real property in the urban renewal area which, under the urban renewal plan, is to be repaired or rehabilitated for dwelling use or related facilities, repair or rehabilitation of the structures for guidance purposes, and resale of the property;
(F) acquisition, without regard to any requirement that the area be a slum or blighted area, of air rights in an area consisting principally of land in highways, railway or subway tracks, bridge or tunnel entrances, or other similar facilities which have a blighting influence on the surrounding area and over which air rights sites are to be developed for the elimination of those blighting influences and for the provision of housing and related facilities and uses designed specifically for, and limited to, families and individuals of low or moderate income;
(G) construction of foundations and platforms necessary for the provision of air rights sites of housing and related facilities and uses designed specifically for, and limited to, families and individuals of low or moderate income;
(H) related activities as defined in subdivision (15a) of this section;
(I) carrying out plans for a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements in accordance with the urban renewal plan; and
(J) acquisition of any other real property in the urban renewal area where necessary to eliminate unhealthful, insanitary, or unsafe conditions, lessen density, eliminate obsolete or other uses detrimental to the public welfare, or otherwise to remove or prevent the spread of blight or deterioration, or to provide land for needed public facilities. (Amended 1963, No. 2, § 4, eff. Feb. 14, 1963; 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. March 14, 1966; 2005, No. 111 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)
§ 3202. Repealed. 1963, No. 2, § 2, eff. Feb. 14, 1963.
§ 3203. Findings and declarations of necessity
(a) It is hereby found and declared that there exist in municipalities of the State slum and blighted areas, as herein defined, which constitute a serious and growing menace, injurious to the public health, safety, morals, and welfare of the residents of the State; that the existence of such areas contributes substantially and increasingly to the spread of disease and crime, constitutes an economic and social liability imposing onerous municipal burdens which decrease the tax base and reduce tax revenues, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of municipalities, retards the provision of housing accommodations, aggravates traffic problems and substantially impairs or arrests the elimination of traffic hazards and the improvement of traffic facilities; and that the prevention and elimination of slums and blight is a matter of State policy and State concern in order that the State and its municipalities shall not continue to be endangered by areas which are focal centers of disease, promote juvenile delinquency, and consume an excessive proportion of its revenues because of the extra services required for police, fire, accident, hospitalization, and other forms of public protection, services, and facilities.
(b) It is further found and declared that certain slum or blighted areas, or portions thereof, may require acquisition, clearance, and disposition subject to use restrictions, as provided in this chapter, since the prevailing condition of decay may make impracticable the reclamation of the area by conservation or rehabilitation; that other areas or portions thereof may, through the means provided in this chapter, be susceptible of conservation or rehabilitation in such a manner that the conditions and evils hereinbefore enumerated may be eliminated, remedied, or prevented; and that salvable slum and blighted areas can be conserved and rehabilitated through appropriate public action as herein authorized, and the cooperation and voluntary action of the owners and tenants of property in such areas.
(c) It is further found and declared that the powers conferred by this chapter are for public uses and purposes for which public money may be expended and the power of eminent domain and police power exercised; and that the necessity in the public interest for the provisions herein enacted is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.
§ 3204. Encouragement of private enterprise
A municipality, to the greatest extent it determines to be feasible in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, shall afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the municipality as a whole, to the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the urban renewal area by private enterprise. A municipality shall give consideration to this objective in exercising its powers under this chapter, including the formulation of a workable program, the approval of urban renewal plans and community-wide plans or programs for urban renewal and general neighborhood renewal plans consistent with the general plan of the municipality, the exercise of its zoning powers, the enforcement of other laws, codes, and regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements, the disposition of any property acquired, and the provision of necessary public improvements. (Amended 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 14, 1966.)
§ 3205. Workable program
A municipality for the purposes of this chapter may formulate for the municipality a workable program for utilizing appropriate private and public resources to eliminate and prevent the development or spread of slums and urban blight, to encourage needed urban rehabilitation, to provide for the redevelopment of slum and blighted areas, or to undertake such of the aforesaid activities or other feasible municipal activities as may be suitably employed to achieve the objectives of such workable program. Such workable program may include provision for: the prevention of the spread of blight into areas of the municipality which are free from blight through diligent enforcement of housing, zoning, and occupancy controls and standards; the rehabilitation or conservation of slum and blighted areas or portions thereof by re-planning, removing congestion, providing parks, playgrounds, and other public improvements, by encouraging voluntary rehabilitation and by compelling the repair and rehabilitation of deteriorated or deteriorating structures; and the clearance and redevelopment of slum and blighted areas or portions thereof.
§ 3206. Finding of necessity by local governing body
No municipality shall exercise the authority hereafter conferred upon municipalities by this chapter until after it has voted by a majority of the voters present and voting on the question at a regular or special meeting duly warned for such purpose to adopt a resolution finding that: (1) one or more slum or blighted areas exist in such municipality; and (2) the rehabilitation, conservation, redevelopment, or a combination thereof, of such area or areas is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, morals, or welfare of the residents of such municipality.
§ 3207. Preparation and approval of urban renewal projects and urban renewal plans
(a) A municipality shall not approve an urban renewal project for an urban renewal area unless the governing body has, by resolution, determined such area to be a slum area or a blighted area or a combination thereof and designated such area as appropriate for an urban renewal project. The local governing body shall not approve an urban renewal plan until a general plan for the municipality has been prepared. A municipality shall not acquire real property for an urban renewal project unless the local governing body has approved the urban renewal project in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.
(b) The municipality may itself prepare or cause to be prepared an urban renewal plan, or any person or agency, public or private, may submit such a plan to a municipality. Prior to its approval of an urban renewal project, the local governing body shall submit such plan to the planning commission of the municipality, if any, for review and recommendations as to its conformity with the general plan for the development of the municipality as a whole. The planning commission shall submit its written recommendations with respect to the proposed urban renewal plan to the local governing body within 30 days after receipt of the plan for review. Upon receipt of the recommendations of the planning commission or, if no recommendations are received within said 30 days, then without such recommendations, the local governing body may proceed with the hearing on the proposed urban renewal project prescribed by subsection (c) of this section.
(c) The local governing body shall hold a public hearing on an urban renewal project, after public notice thereof by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the area of operation of the municipality. The notice shall describe the time, date, place, and purpose of the hearing, shall generally identify the urban renewal area covered by the plan, and shall outline the general scope of the urban renewal project under consideration.
(d) Following such hearing, the local governing body may approve an urban renewal project if it finds that (1) a feasible method exists for the location of families who will be displaced from the urban renewal area in decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling accommodations within their means and without undue hardship to such families; (2) the urban renewal plan gives due consideration to the provision of adequate park and recreational areas and facilities that may be desirable for neighborhood improvement, with special consideration for the health, safety, and welfare of children residing in the general vicinity of the site covered by the plan; (3) the urban renewal plan conforms to the general plan of the municipality as a whole; and (4) the urban renewal plan will afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the municipality as a whole, for the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the urban renewal area by private enterprise; provided, that if the urban renewal area consists of an area of open land to be acquired by the municipality, such area shall not be so acquired unless (A) if it is to be developed for residential uses, the local governing body shall determine that a shortage of housing of sound standards and design which is decent, safe, and sanitary exists in the municipality; that the need for housing accommodations has been or will be increased as a result of the clearance of slums in other areas, including other portions of the urban renewal area; that the conditions of blight in the area and the shortage of decent, safe, and sanitary housing cause or contribute to an increase in and spread of disease and crime and constitute a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare; and the acquisition of the area for residential uses is an integral part of an essential to the program of the municipality; or (B) if it is to be developed for nonresidential uses, the local governing body shall determine that such nonresidential uses are necessary and appropriate to facilitate the proper growth and development of the community in accordance with sound planning standards and local community objectives, with acquisition may require the exercise of governmental action, as provided in this chapter, because of defective or unusual conditions of title, diversity of ownership, tax delinquency, improper subdivisions, outmoded street patterns, deterioration of site, economic disuse, unsuitable topography or faulty lot layouts, the need for the correlation of the area with other areas of a municipality by streets and modern traffic requirements, or any combination of such favors or other conditions which retard development of the area.
(e) An urban renewal plan may be modified at any time; provided, that if modified after the lease or sale by the municipality of real property in the urban renewal project area, such modification may be conditioned upon such approval of the owner, lessee, or successor in interest as the municipality may deem advisable and in any event shall be subject to such rights at law or in equity as a lessee or purchaser, or his successor or successors in interest, may be entitled to assert.
(f) Upon the approval by a municipality by a vote of a majority of the voters present and voting on the question at a regular or special meeting duly warned for that purpose of an urban renewal plan or of any modification thereof, such plan or modification shall be deemed to be in full force and effect for the respective urban renewal area and the municipality may then cause such plan or modification to be carried out in accordance with its terms.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, where the local governing body certifies that an area is in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation as a result of a flood, fire, hurricane, earthquake, storm, or other catastrophe respecting which the government of the State has certified the need for disaster assistance under Public Law 875, eighty-first Congress, or other federal law, the local governing body may approve an urban renewal plan and an urban renewal project with respect to such area without regard to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section and the provisions of this section requiring a general plan for the municipality and a public hearing on the urban renewal project. (Amended 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.), § 4, eff. March 14, 1966.)
§ 3208. Neighborhood and community-wide plans
(a) A municipality or a planning commission may prepare a general neighborhood renewal plan for an urban renewal area, together with any adjoining areas having specially related problems, which may be of such scope that urban renewal activities may have to be carried out in stages. The plan may include a preliminary plan which:
(1) outlines the urban renewal activities, proposed for the areas involved;
(2) provides a framework for the preparation of urban renewal plans; and
(3) indicates generally the land uses, population density, building coverage, prospective requirements for rehabilitation, and improvement of property and portions of the area contemplated for clearance and redevelopment.
A general neighborhood renewal plan shall, in the determination of the local governing body, conform to the general plan of the locality as a whole and the workable program of the municipality.
(b) A municipality or planning commission may prepare or complete a community-wide plan or program for urban renewal which shall conform to the general plan for the development of the municipality as a whole and may include identification of slum or blighted areas, measurement of blight, determination of resources needed and available to renew those areas, identification of potential project areas and types of action contemplated, and scheduling of urban renewal activities. (Added 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.), § 5, eff. March 14, 1966.)
§ 3209. Powers
Every municipality shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:
(1) to undertake and carry out urban renewal projects within its area of operation; and to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of its powers under this chapter; and to disseminate slum clearance and urban renewal information;
(2) to provide or to arrange or contract for the furnishing or repair by any person or agency, public or private, of services, privileges, works, streets, roads, public utilities, or other facilities for or in connection with an urban renewal project; to install, construct, and reconstruct streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other public improvements; and to agree to any conditions that it may deem reasonable and appropriate attached to federal financial assistance and imposed pursuant to federal law relating to the determination of prevailing salaries or wages or compliance with labor standards, in the undertaking or carrying out of an urban renewal project, and to include in any contract let in connection with such a project, provisions to fulfill such of said conditions as it may deem reasonable and appropriate;
(3) within its area of operation, to enter into any building or property in any urban renewal area in order to make inspections, surveys, appraisals, soundings, or test borings, and to obtain an order for this purpose from a court of competent jurisdiction in the event entry is denied or resisted; to acquire by purchase, lease, option, gift, grant, bequest, devise, eminent domain, or otherwise, any real property, or personal property for its administrative purposes, together with any improvements thereon; to hold, improve, clear, or prepare for redevelopment any such property; to mortgage, pledge, hypothecate, or otherwise encumber or dispose of any real property; to insure or provide for the insurance of any real or personal property or operations of the municipality against any risks or hazards, including the power to pay premiums on any such insurance; and to enter into any contracts necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter; provided, however, that no statutory provision with respect to the acquisition, clearance, or disposition of property by public bodies shall restrict a municipality or other public body exercising powers hereunder, in the exercise of such functions with respect to an urban renewal project, unless the Legislature shall specifically so state;
(4) with the approval of the local governing body, (A) before approval of an urban renewal plan, or approval of any modifications of the plan, to acquire real property in an urban renewal area, demolish and remove any structures on the property, and pay all costs related to the acquisition, demolition, or removal, including any administrative or relocation expenses; and (B) to assume the responsibility to bear any loss that may arise as the result of the exercise of authority under this subsection if the real property is not made part of the urban renewal project;
(5) to invest any urban renewal project funds held in reserve or sinking funds or any such funds not required for immediate disbursement, in property or securities in which savings banks may legally invest funds subject to their control; to redeem such bonds as have been issued pursuant to section 3214 of this title at the redemption price established therein or to purchase such bonds at less than redemption price, all such bonds so redeemed or purchased to be cancelled;
(6) to borrow money and to apply for and accept advances, loans, grants, contributions, and any other form of financial assistance from the federal government, the State, county, or other public body, or from any sources, public or private, for the purposes of this chapter, and to give such security as may be required and to enter into and carry out contracts in connection therewith. A municipality may include in any contract for financial assistance with the federal government for an urban renewal project such conditions imposed pursuant to federal laws as the municipality may deem reasonable and appropriate and which are not inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter;
(7) within its area of operation, to make or have made all surveys and plans necessary to the carrying out of the purposes of this chapter and to contract with any person, public or private, in making and carrying out such plans and to adopt or approve, modify, and amend such plans. Such plans may include: (A) a general plan for the locality as a whole, (B) urban renewal plans, (C) preliminary plans outlining urban renewal activities for neighborhoods to embrace two or more urban renewal areas, (D) plans for carrying out a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings and improvements, (E) plans for the enforcement of State and local laws, codes, and regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements and to the compulsory repair, rehabilitation, demolition, or removal of buildings and improvements, (F) appraisals, title searches, surveys, studies, and other plans and work necessary to prepare for the undertaking of urban renewal projects and to develop, test, and report methods and techniques, and carry out demonstrations and other activities, for the prevention and the elimination of slums and urban blight and developing and demonstrating new or improved means of providing housing for families and persons of low income and to apply for, accept, and utilize grants of funds from the federal government for such purposes;
(8) to prepare plans for and assist in the relocation of persons, including individuals, families, business concerns, nonprofit organizations, and others, displaced from an urban renewal area, and to make relocation payments to or with respect to such persons for moving expenses and losses of property, including the making of such payments financed by the federal government;
(9) to appropriate such funds and make such expenditures as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, and to levy taxes and assessments for such purposes; to zone or rezone any part of the municipality or make exceptions from building regulations; and to enter into agreements with a housing authority or an urban renewal agency vested with urban renewal project powers under section 3219 of this title, which agreements may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary, respecting action to be taken by such municipality pursuant to any of the powers granted by this chapter;
(10) to close, vacate, plan, or replan streets, roads, sidewalks, ways, or other places; and to plan or replan any part of the municipality;
(11) within its area of operation, to organize, coordinate, and direct the administration of the provisions of this chapter as they apply to such municipality in order that the objective of remedying slum and blighted areas and preventing the causes thereof within such municipality may be most effectively promoted and achieved, and to establish such new office or offices of the municipality or to reorganize existing offices in order to carry out such purpose most effectively; and
(12) to exercise all or any part or combination of powers herein granted. (Amended 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.), § 6, eff. March 14, 1966.)
§ 3210. Eminent domain; authority; survey
(a) A municipality shall have the right to acquire by condemnation a fee simple title or any other interest in real property which it may determine necessary for or in connection with an urban renewal project under this chapter. The powers conferred upon municipalities under this section shall be considered "urban renewal project powers" as defined in subsection 3219(b) of this title and the term "municipality,", as used in this section, shall mean the agency, board, commissioner or officers having such powers under subsection 3219(a) of this title. The municipality shall set out the necessary lands and cause them to be surveyed. An urban renewal plan approved under subsection 3207(d) of this title may be considered to constitute such a survey.
(b) Unless two-thirds of the voters present and voting thereon at an annual or special meeting duly warned for that purpose vote otherwise, nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the taking, by condemnation proceedings, of property of any religious, charitable, or educational society, institution, or organization, unless held or used by it for commercial purposes, without the written consent of the trustees or the governing body of such society, institution, or organization. Property already devoted to a public use may be acquired hereunder but no real property belonging to the State or any political subdivision thereof shall be acquired without its consent. (Amended 1963, No. 2, § 3, eff. Feb. 14, 1963; 1964, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 5, 1964.)
§ 3211. Determination of necessity
(a) After completion of such survey, the municipality shall petition a Superior Court judge, setting forth therein that it proposes to take certain land or rights therein and describing such lands or rights, and the survey shall be annexed to the petition and made a part thereof. The petition shall set forth the purposes for which the land or rights are desired, and shall contain a request that the judge fix a time and place when the judge, or some other Superior Court judge, will hear all parties concerned and determine whether such taking is necessary.
(b) The Superior Court judge to whom the petition is presented shall fix the time for hearing, which shall not be more than 60 nor less than 40 days from the date the judge signs such order. Likewise, the judge shall fix the place for hearing, which shall be the county courthouse or any other place within the county in which the land in question is located. If the Superior Court judge to whom the petition is presented cannot hear the petition at the time set therefor, the judge shall call upon the administrative judge to assign another Superior Court judge to hear the cause at the time and place assigned in the order.
(c) Notice of hearing on the petition, which shall include the name of the city, town, or village in which the lands to be taken or affected are located, the names of the persons having an interest in the lands, a brief statement identifying the urban renewal projects contemplated including its location, and the date, time, and place of hearing shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the city, town, or village in which the lands lie, once a week for three consecutive weeks on the same day of the week, the last publication to be not less than five days before the hearing date, and a complete copy of the original petition, together with a copy of the court's order fixing the time and place of hearing, and a copy of the survey shall be placed on file in the clerk's office of the city, town, or village in which the land included in the survey lies. A copy of the petition, together with the court's order fixing the time and place of hearing, shall be served upon each person owning or having an interest in land to be purchased or condemned like a summons by an officer authorized to make service of process under Vermont statutes and residing in the county in which the petition is to be served, or, on absent defendants in such manner as the Supreme Court may by rule provide for service of process in civil actions. If the service on any defendant is impossible, upon affidavit of the sheriff, deputy sheriff, or constable attempting service, stating that the location of the defendant within or without the State is unknown and that he or she has no known agent or attorney in the State of Vermont upon which service may be made, and upon affidavit of an officer of the municipality that diligent inquiry has been made to find the location of the defendant, the publication herein provided shall be considered sufficient service on the defendant. Petitions shall be returnable to the court on the tenth day next preceding the date set for hearing thereon. Compliance with the provisions hereof shall constitute sufficient service upon and notice to any persons owning or having any interest in the land proposed to be taken or affected.
(d) At the time and place appointed for the hearing, the court consisting of the Superior Court judge signing the order or such other Superior Court judge as may be assigned and the two assistant judges of the county in which the hearing is held shall hear all persons interested and wishing to be heard. If any person owning or having an interest in the land to be taken or affected appears and objects to the necessity of taking the land included within the survey or any part thereof, then the court shall require the municipality to proceed with the introduction of evidence of the necessity of such taking. The court may cite in additional parties in its discretion, shall make findings of fact, and shall file the same. The court shall, by its order, determine whether the taking of such land and rights is necessary and may modify the proposed taking in such respects as the court may consider proper.
(e) An appeal may be taken to the Supreme Court by any party aggrieved in such manner as the Supreme Court may by rule provide for appeals from Superior Courts. If an appeal is taken, all proceedings shall be stayed until final disposition of the appeal. If no appeal is taken within the time provided for or, if appeal is taken, upon final disposition thereof, a copy of the order of the court shall be placed on file in the office of the clerk of the city, town, or village where the urban renewal project is located and within a period of two years from the final order the municipality may institute proceedings for the condemnation of the land included in the survey as finally approved by the court without further hearing or consideration of the question of the necessity of such taking.
(f) In considering the issue of necessity, the Superior Court and assistant judges shall, to the extent constitutionally permitted, give effect to the legislative determinations made in this chapter and to the determinations made by the voters and appropriate municipal authorities under this chapter. The court shall not give weight to a projected increase in economic value of the subject property solely or primarily because its condition and value for tax purposes are less than the condition and value projected as the result of the implementation of any State, municipal, or private redevelopment plan. (Added 1964, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 5, 1964; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 201, eff. March 29, 1972; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 2005, No. 111 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)
§ 3212. Determination of compensation; payment; proceeds from bonding
(a) Following the final determination of the necessity of the taking, the municipality may proceed to acquire such lands. Whenever a municipality and an owner of land or rights agree as to the amount of compensation to be paid therefor, the municipality may take possession of the land or rights and proceed with the work for which it is taken upon making the agreed payment therefor. When an owner and the municipality are unable to agree on the amount of compensation to be paid therefor, and if the municipality desires to proceed with the taking thereof, it shall appoint a time and place for hearing and give at least ten days' notice thereof before such hearing to the persons interested, either personally or by written notice left at the residence of the owner or occupants of such lands. At such hearing it shall hear any person having an interest in such land and desiring to be heard. Within 20 days thereafter, it shall by order assess the damages sustained by such interested persons. The municipality shall file a copy of such order for record in the office of the clerk of the city, town, or village in which the land lies, and shall deliver to each interested person a copy of that portion of the order directly affecting such person and shall pay or tender 95 percent of the award to each person entitled thereto which may be accepted, retained, and disposed of to his or her own use without prejudice to such person's right of appeal as hereafter provided. Within ten days after the expiration of the period for taking an appeal from the amount of the award, the municipality shall pay or tender the remaining five percent to each person entitled thereto who has not appealed from said award. Upon the payment or tender of 95 percent of the award as above provided, the municipality may take possession of such land and proceed with the work for which it is taken. When an appeal has been taken by any person having an interest in any property, the remaining five percent awarded on account of the taking of such property shall be retained by the municipality pending final disposition of the appeal.
(b) When a person having an interest in the land is dissatisfied with the damages awarded therefor, the person may appeal to the Superior Court of the county wherein the land lies within 90 days of the recording of the order of the municipality. Any number of persons aggrieved may join in the appeal. Each of the appellants shall be entitled to a trial by jury.
(c) When the award made by the municipality is upheld, the court shall tax costs against the appellant, and, after deduction of taxed costs, the municipality shall forthwith pay appellant the balance, if any, of the five percent of award withheld, and, if such five percent of award withheld is insufficient to pay such costs, appellant shall pay the municipality such amounts at such time as the court may direct. When the appellant is allowed a sum greater than was awarded by the municipality, the court shall tax costs against the municipality, the municipality shall forthwith pay appellant the five percent of award withheld, and the municipality shall pay appellant such further amounts at such time as the court may direct.
(d) The full faith and credit of the municipality shall be pledged to the payment of all amounts awarded by such municipality or by order of the court and, if the funds of the municipality shall be insufficient to pay the amounts, the full faith, credit, and taxing power of the city, town, or village in which the applicable lands lie shall be pledged to such payment to the extent of the insufficiency. The local governing body of any city, town, or village may raise money by taxation to pay such amounts as the municipality lacks funds to pay, irrespective of any tax rate limits imposed by any general or special law. No obligation of a city, town, or village under this section shall be considered to be indebtedness for the purpose of any debt limit imposed by any general or special law.
(e) Title to the lands taken, or rights acquired, under this section shall vest in the municipality upon the filing for record of the municipality's order under subsection (a) of this section, unless previously acquired by deed or other appropriate instrument.
(f) The legality of any proceedings hereunder shall not be affected as to any person by a deficiency in the notice to any other person.
(g) If the necessity of the taking of any land for an urban renewal project is not sustained by the court, or if the taking of any such land is held to be invalid, the validity of bonds issued under subsection 3217(d) of this title shall not be affected; and the proceeds thereof may be expended for any lawful expenses of the project, and any excess proceeds may be expended for the lawful expenses of any other urban renewal project or for the payment of the principal of and interest on any outstanding general obligation of the city, town, or village issued for any purpose. (1964, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 5, 1964; amended 1965, No. 8; 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 202, eff. March 29, 1972; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 1997, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.)
§ 3213. Disposal of property in urban renewal area
(a)(1) A municipality may sell, lease, or otherwise transfer real property or any interest therein acquired by it, and may enter into contracts with respect thereto, in an urban renewal area for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, or other uses or for public use, or may retain such property or interest for public use, in accordance with the urban renewal plan, subject to such covenants, conditions, and restrictions, including covenants running with the land, as it may deem to be necessary or desirable to assist in preventing the development or spread of future slums or blighted areas or to otherwise carry out the purposes of this chapter; provided, that such sale, lease, other transfer, or retention, and any agreement relating thereto, may be made only after the approval of the urban renewal plan by vote of the municipality as provided in subsection 3207(f) of this title.
(2) The purchasers or lessees and their successors and assigns shall be obligated to devote such real property only to the uses specified in the urban renewal plan, and may be obligated to comply with such other requirements as the municipality may determine to be in the public interest, including the obligation to begin within a reasonable time any improvements on such real property required by the urban renewal plan.
(3) Such real property or interest shall be sold, leased, otherwise transferred, or retained at not less than its fair value for uses in accordance with the urban renewal plan. In determining the fair value of real property for uses in accordance with the urban renewal plan, a municipality shall take into account and give consideration to the uses provided in such plan; the restrictions upon, and the covenants, conditions, and obligations assumed by the purchaser or lessee or by the municipality retaining the property; and the objectives of such plan for the prevention of the recurrence of slum or blighted areas.
(4) The municipality in any instrument of conveyance to a private purchaser or lessee may provide that such purchaser or lessee shall be without power to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer the real property without the prior written consent of the municipality until he or she has completed the construction of any or all improvements which he or she has obligated himself or herself to construct thereon.
(5) Real property acquired by a municipality which, in accordance with the provisions of the urban renewal plan, is to be transferred, shall be transferred as rapidly as feasible in the public interest consistent with the carrying out of the provisions of the urban renewal plan.
(6) Any contract for such transfer and the urban renewal plan, or such part or parts of such contract or plan as the municipality may determine, may be recorded in the land records of the municipality in such manner as to afford actual or constructive notice thereof.
(b) A municipality may dispose of real property in an urban renewal area to private persons only under such reasonable competitive bidding procedures as it shall prescribe or as hereinafter provided in this subsection. A municipality may, by public notice by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the community, 30 days prior to the execution of any contract to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer real property and prior to the delivery of any instrument of conveyance with respect thereto under the provisions of this section, invite proposals from and make available all pertinent information to private redevelopers or any persons interested in undertaking to redevelop or rehabilitate an urban renewal area, or any part thereof. Such notice shall identify the area, or portion thereof, and shall state that proposals shall be made by those interested within 30 days after the date of publication of said notice, and that such further information as is available may be obtained at such office as shall be designated in said notice. The municipality shall consider all such redevelopment or rehabilitation proposals and the financial and legal ability of the persons making such proposals to carry them out, and may negotiate with any persons for proposals for the purchase, lease, or other transfer of any real property acquired by the municipality in the urban renewal area. The municipality may accept such proposal as it deems to be in the public interest and in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter; provided, that notification of intention to accept such proposal shall be filed with the governing body not less than 30 days prior to any such acceptance. Thereafter, the municipality may execute such contract in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section and deliver deeds, leases, and other instruments and take all steps necessary to effectuate such contract.
(c) A municipality may temporarily operate and maintain real property acquired in an urban renewal area pending the disposition of the property as authorized in this chapter, without regard to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, for such uses and purposes as may be deemed desirable even though not in conformity with the urban renewal plan.
(d) Any real property acquired under subdivision 3209(4) of this title may be disposed of without regard to other provisions of this section if the local governing body consents to the disposal.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, where the municipality is situated in an area designated as a redevelopment area or economic development center under the federal Area Redevelopment Act or other federal law enacted to assist in the economic development of areas suffering substantial and persistent unemployment or underemployment, land in an urban renewal project area designated under the urban renewal plan for industrial or commercial use may be disposed of to any public body or nonprofit corporation for later disposition as promptly as practicable by the public body or corporation, for redevelopment in accordance with the urban renewal plan, and only the purchaser from or lessee of the public body or corporation and their assignees shall be required to assume the obligation of beginning the building of improvements within a reasonable time. Any disposition of land to a public body or corporation under this subsection shall be made at its fair value for uses in accordance with the urban renewal plan.
(f) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter, a municipality may sell, lease, or otherwise transfer real property or any interest therein acquired by it for urban renewal purposes:
(1) To any person designated by the municipality and approved by the local governing body as a qualified eligible sponsor, if:
(A) The municipality publishes, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the municipality at least ten days before the sale, lease, or other disposition, a notice which includes a statement of the identity of the proposed sponsor and his or her proposed use or re-use of the urban renewal area or of the applicable portion thereof. That notice shall be in such form and manner as may be prescribed by the municipality.
(B) The proposed sponsor agrees to pay not less than the minimum price or rental fixed by the municipality for the real property.
(C) The proposed sponsor matches any bid higher than that minimum price or rental.
(D) And the sale, lease, or other disposition requires effectuation of the purpose thereof within a definite and reasonable time.
(E) If that sponsor does not agree to pay the minimum price or rental fixed by the municipality or fails to match any higher bid than that minimum price or rental, municipality may, in its sole discretion and only if consistent with the urban renewal plan, sell or lease any such real property or any interest therein to any other person bidding under provisions of subsection (b) of this section.
(2) To any person designated by the municipality and approved by the local governing body as a qualified sponsor, without bids or other requirements of subsection (b) of this section, if:
(A) the price or rental to be paid by the sponsor for the property and all other essential terms and conditions of the sale, lease, or other disposition are included in the notice published by the municipality under paragraph (A) of subdivision (1) of this section;
(B) the sale, lease, or other disposition is approved by the local governing body after a public hearing held not less than ten days after publication of the notice.
(g) Sponsors under subsection (f) of this section shall be designated by following the procedure set forth in subsection (b) of this section, except that the public notice therein required need not be made 30 days before the execution of any contract to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer real property, as set forth in subsection (b) of this section.
(h) For the effectuation of any of the purposes of an urban renewal project and in accordance with the urban renewal plan, a municipality may grant, sell, convey, or lease, without public hearing or public letting and without following the requirements of subsection (b) of this section, to a public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Service, for such length of time as it may deem advisable, franchises, easements, or rights-of-way, in, over, below, along, or across any lands acquired by the municipality under this chapter, upon such terms and conditions, for such consideration, and subject to such restrictions as in the judgment of its local governing body seem proper if the local governing body first determines that the use and enjoyment for those purposes of those lands is not inconsistent with the purposes and provisions of the urban renewal plan. (Amended 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.),§§ 7, 8, eff. March 14, 1966.)
§ 3214. Issuance of bonds
(a) A municipality shall have power to issue bonds from time to time in its discretion to finance the undertaking of any urban renewal project under this chapter, including, without limiting the generality thereof, the payment of principal and interest upon any advances for surveys and plans, or preliminary loans and shall also have power to issue refunding bonds for the payment or retirement of such bonds previously issued by it. Such bonds shall be made payable, as to both principal and interest, solely from the income proceeds, revenues, and funds of the municipality derived from or held in connection with its undertaking and carrying out of urban renewal projects under this chapter; provided, however, that payment of such bonds, both as to principal and interest, may be further secured by a pledge of any loan, grant, or contribution from the federal government or other source, in aid of any urban renewal projects of the municipality under this chapter, and by a mortgage of any such urban renewal projects, or any part thereof, title to which is in the municipality.
(b) Bonds issued under this section shall not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt limitation or restriction, and shall not be subject to the provisions of any other law or charter relating to the authorization, issuance, or sale of bonds. Bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter are declared to be issued for an essential public and governmental purpose and, together with interest thereon and income therefrom, shall be exempted from all taxes.
(c) Bonds issued under this section shall be authorized by resolution or ordinance of the local governing body and may be payable upon demand or mature at such time or times, bear interest at such rate or rates, be in such denomination or denominations, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, and be subject to such terms of redemption, such other characteristics, as may be provided by such resolution or trust indenture or mortgage issued pursuant thereto.
(d) Such bonds may be sold at not less than par at public sales held after notice published prior to such sale in a newspaper having a general circulation in the area of operation and in such other medium of publication as the municipality may determine or may be exchanged for other bonds on the basis of par; provided, that such bonds may be sold to the federal government at private sale at not less than par, and, in the event less than all of the authorized principal amount of such bonds is sold to the federal government, the balance may be sold at private sale at not less than par at an interest cost to the municipality of not to exceed the interest cost to the municipality of the portion of the bonds sold to the federal government.
(e) In case any of the public officials of the municipality whose signatures appear on any bonds or coupons issued under this chapter shall cease to be such officials before the delivery of such bonds, such signatures shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such officials had remained in office until such delivery. Any provisions of any law to the contrary notwithstanding, any bonds issued pursuant to this chapter shall be fully negotiable.
(f) In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforceability of any bond issued under this chapter or the security therefore, any such bond reciting in substance that it has been issued by the municipality in connection with an urban renewal project, as herein defined, shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for such purpose and such project shall be conclusively deemed to have been planned, located, and carried out in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Amended 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.), § 9, eff. March 14, 1966; 1969, No. 285 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. April 9, 1970.)
§ 3215. Bonds as legal investments
All banks, trust companies, bankers, savings banks and institutions, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, investment companies, and other persons carrying on a banking or investment business; all insurance companies, insurance associations, and other persons carrying on an insurance business; and all executors, administrators, curators, trustees, and other fiduciaries, may legally invest any sinking funds, monies, or other funds belonging to them or within their control in any bonds or other obligations issued by a municipality pursuant to this chapter or by any urban renewal agency or housing authority vested with urban renewal project powers under section 3219 of this chapter; provided, that such bonds and other obligations shall be secured by an agreement between the issuer and the federal government in which the issuer agrees to borrow from the federal government and the federal government agrees to lend to the issuer, prior to the maturity of such bonds or other obligations, monies in an amount which, together with any other monies irrevocably committed to the payment of interest on such bonds or other obligations, will suffice to pay the principal of such bonds or other obligations with interest to maturity thereon, which monies under the terms of said agreement are required to be used for the purpose of paying the principal of and the interest on such bonds or other obligations at their maturity. Such bonds and other obligations shall be authorized security for all public deposits. It is the purpose of this section to authorize any persons, political subdivisions, and officers, public or private, to use any funds owned or controlled by them for the purchase of any such bonds or other obligations. Nothing contained in this section with regard to legal investments shall be construed as relieving any person of any duty of exercising reasonable care in selecting securities.
§ 3216. Property exempt from taxes and from levy and sale by virtue of an execution
(a) All property of a municipality, including funds, owned or held by it for the purposes of this chapter shall be exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution, and no execution or other judicial process shall issue against the same nor shall judgment against a municipality be a charge or lien upon such property; provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to or limit the right of obligees to pursue any remedies for the enforcement of any pledge or lien given pursuant to this act by a municipality on its rents, fees, grants, or revenues from urban renewal projects.
(b) The property of a municipality, acquired or held for the purposes of this chapter, is declared to be public property used for essential public and governmental purposes and such property shall be exempt from all taxes of the municipality, the county, the State, or any political subdivision thereof; provided, that such tax exemption shall terminate when the municipality sells, leases, or otherwise disposes of such property in an urban renewal area to a purchaser or lessee which is not a public body entitled to tax exemption with respect to such property.
§ 3217. Cooperation by public bodies
(a)(1) For the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking, or carrying out of an urban renewal project located within the area in which it is authorized to act, any public body may, upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine:
(A) dedicate, sell, convey, or lease any of its interest in any property or grant easements, licenses, or other rights or privileges therein to a municipality;
(B) incur the entire expense of any public improvements made by such public body in exercising the powers granted in this section;
(C) do any and all things necessary to aid or cooperate in the planning or carrying out of an urban renewal plan;
(D) lend, grant, or contribute funds to a municipality;
(E) enter into agreements that may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provisions or rule of law to the contrary, with a municipality or other public body respecting action to be taken pursuant to any of the powers granted by this chapter, including the furnishing of funds or other assistance in connection with an urban renewal project; and
(F) cause public buildings and public facilities, including parks, playgrounds, recreational, community, educational, water, sewer or drainage facilities, or any other works that it is otherwise empowered to undertake to be furnished; furnish, dedicate, close, vacate, pave, install, grade, regrade, plan or replan streets, roads, sidewalks, ways, or other places; plan, replan, zone, or rezone any part of the public body or make exceptions from building regulations; and cause administrative and other services to be furnished to the municipality.
(2) If at any time title to or possession of any urban renewal project is held by any public body or governmental agency, other than the municipality, that is authorized by law to engage in the undertaking, carrying out, or administration of urban renewal projects, including any agency or instrumentality of the United States of America, the provisions of the agreements referred to in this section shall inure to the benefit of and may be enforced by such public body or governmental agency.
(3) As used in this subsection, the term "municipality" shall also include an urban renewal agency or a housing authority vested with all of the urban renewal project powers pursuant to the provisions of section 3219 of this title.
(b) Any sale, conveyance, lease, or agreement provided for in this section may be made by a public body without appraisal, public notice, advertisement, or public bidding.
(c) For the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking, or carrying out of an urban renewal project of an urban renewal agency or a housing authority hereunder, a municipality may, in addition to its other powers and upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine, do and perform any or all of the actions or things which, by the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a public body is authorized to do or perform, including the furnishing of financial and other assistance.
(d)(1) For the purposes of this section, or for the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking, or carrying out of an urban renewal project of a municipality, that municipality may, in addition to any authority to issue bonds pursuant to section 3214 of this title, issue and sell its general obligation bonds.
(2) Any bonds issued by a municipality pursuant to this section shall be issued in the manner and within the limitations prescribed by the laws of this state for the issuance and authorization of bonds by that municipality for public purposes generally. However, bonds so issued:
(A) shall not be considered as indebtedness of the municipality limited by the provisions of section 1762 of this title or any other general or special law; and
(B) may be authorized by a majority of all the voters present and voting on the question at a meeting of such municipality held for the purpose pursuant to subchapter 1 of chapter 53 of this title or pursuant to the provisions of any special law that governs the authorization of indebtedness by the municipality.
(3)(A) So long as any such bonds of the municipality are outstanding the local governing body may deduct, in any one or more years from any net increase in the aggregate taxable valuation of land and improvements in all areas covered by urban renewal plans the amount necessary to produce tax revenues equal to the current debt service on such bonds, assuming the previous year's total tax rate and full collection.
(B) Only the balance, if any, of such net increase shall be taken into account in computing the sums that may be appropriated for other purposes under applicable tax rate limits.
(C) All the taxable property in all areas covered by urban renewal plans, including the whole of such net increase, shall be subject to the same total tax rate as other taxable property, except as may be otherwise provided by law.
(D) The net increase shall be computed each year by subtracting, from the current aggregate valuation of the land and improvements in all the areas covered by urban renewal plans, the sum of the aggregate valuations of land and improvements in each such area on the date the urban plan for such area was approved under subsection 3207(f) of this title. An area shall be deemed to be covered by an urban renewal plan until the date shown in the plan as its expiration date or until the date all the indebtedness incurred by the municipality to finance the applicable project has been paid, whichever date is later.
(4) All the provisions of this subsection shall apply to all municipalities, notwithstanding any provision of general or special law to the contrary that specifies a different debt limit, that requires a greater vote to authorize bonds, that prescribes a different computation of appropriations under tax rate limits, or that is otherwise inconsistent with this subsection. (Amended 1963, No. 2, § 1, eff. Feb. 14, 1963; 2017, No. 74, § 108.)
§ 3218. Title of purchaser
Any instrument executed by a municipality and purporting to convey any right, title, or interest in any property under this chapter shall be conclusively presumed to have been executed in compliance with the provisions of this chapter insofar as title or other interest of any bona fide purchasers, lessees, or transferees of such property is concerned.
§ 3219. Exercise of powers in carrying out urban renewal project
(a) A municipality may itself exercise its urban renewal project powers, as herein defined, or may, if the local governing body by resolution determines such action to be in the public interest, elect to have such powers exercised by the urban renewal agency created by section 3220 of this title or by the housing authority, if one exists or is subsequently established in the community. In the event the local governing body makes such determination, the urban renewal agency or the housing authority, as the case may be, shall be vested with all of the urban renewal project powers in the same manner as though all such powers were conferred on such agency or authority instead of the municipality. If the local governing body does not elect to make such determination, the municipality in its discretion may exercise its urban renewal project powers through a board or commissioner or through such officers of the municipality as the local governing body may by resolution determine.
(b) As used in this section, the term "urban renewal project powers" shall include the rights, powers, functions, and duties of a municipality under this chapter, except the following: the power to determine an area to be a slum or blighted area or combination thereof and to designate such area as appropriate for an urban renewal project and to hold any public hearing required with respect thereto; the power to approve urban renewal plans and modifications thereof; the power to approve general neighborhood renewal plans and community-wide plans or programs for urban renewal; the power to acquire, demolish, remove, or dispose of property as provided in subdivision 3209(4)(A); the power to establish as general plan for the locality as a whole; the power to formulate a workable program under section 3205 of this title; the power to make the determinations and findings provided for in sections 3204, 3206, and 3207(d) of this title; the power to issue general obligation bonds under subsection 3217(d); the power to assume the responsibility to bear loss as provided in subdivision 3209(4); and the power to appropriate funds, to levy taxes and assessments, and to exercise other powers provided for in subdivision 3209(9) of this title. (Amended 1966, No. 69 (Sp. Sess.), § 10, eff. March 14, 1966.)
§ 3220. Urban renewal agency
(a) There is hereby created in each municipality a public body corporate and politic to be known as the "urban renewal agency" of the municipality; provided, that such agency shall not transact any business or exercise its powers hereunder until or unless the local governing body has made the finding prescribed in section 3206 of this title and has elected to have the urban renewal project powers exercised by an urban renewal agency as provided in section 3219 of this title.
(b) If the urban renewal agency is authorized to transact business and exercise powers hereunder, the mayor, by and with the advice and consent of the local governing body, shall appoint a board of commissioners of the urban renewal agency which shall consist of five commissioners. The term of office of each such commissioner shall be one year.
(c)(1) A commissioner shall receive no compensation for his or her services but shall be entitled to the necessary expenses, including traveling expenses, incurred in the discharge of his or her duties. Each commissioner shall hold office until his or her successor has been appointed and has qualified. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner shall be filed with the clerk of the municipality and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner.
(2) The powers of an urban renewal agency shall be exercised by the commissioners thereof. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business and exercising the powers of the agency and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the agency upon a vote of a majority of the commissioners present, unless in any case the bylaws shall require a larger number. Any persons may be appointed as commissioners if they reside within the area of operation of the agency, which shall be coterminous with the area of operation of the municipality, and are otherwise eligible for such appointments under this chapter.
(3) The mayor shall designate a chair and vice chair from among the commissioners. An agency may employ an executive director, technical experts, and such other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require, and determine their qualifications, duties, and compensation. For such legal service as it may require, an agency may employ or retain its own counsel and legal staff. An agency authorized to transact business and exercise powers under this chapter shall file, with the local governing body, on or before March 31 of each year a report of its activities for the preceding calendar year, which report shall include a complete financial statement setting forth its assets, liabilities, income, and operating expense as of the end of such calendar year. At the time of filing the report, the agency shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the community a notice to the effect that such report has been filed with the municipality and that the report is available for inspection during business hours in the office of the clerk and in the office of the agency.
(d) For inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, a commissioner may be removed only after a hearing and after he or she shall have been given a copy of the charges at least 10 days prior to such hearing and have had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel.
§ 3221. Interested public officials, commissioners, or employees
No public official or employee of a municipality, or board or commission thereof, and no commissioner or employee of a housing authority or urban renewal agency which has been vested by a municipality with urban renewal project powers under section 3219 of this title shall voluntarily acquire any personal interest, direct or indirect, in any urban renewal project, or in any property included or planned to be included in any urban renewal project of such municipality or in any contract or proposed contract in connection with such urban renewal project. Where such acquisition is not voluntary, the interest acquired shall be immediately disclosed in writing to the local governing body and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the governing body. If any such official, commissioner, or employee presently owns or controls, or owned or controlled within the preceding two years, any interest, direct or indirect, in any property which he or she knows is included or planned to be included in an urban renewal project, he or she shall immediately disclose this fact in writing to the local governing body, and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the governing body, and any such official, commissioner, or employee shall not participate in any action by the municipality, or board or commission thereof, housing authority, or urban renewal agency affecting such property. Any disclosure required to be made by this section to the local governing body shall concurrently be made to a housing authority or urban renewal agency which has been vested with urban renewal project powers by the municipality pursuant to the provisions of section 3219 of this title. No commissioner or other officer of any housing authority, urban renewal agency, board, or commission exercising powers pursuant to this chapter shall hold any other public office under the municipality other than his or her commissionership or office with respect to such housing authority, urban renewal agency, board, or commission. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute misconduct in office.