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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

84.0274 LANDOWNERS' BILL OF RIGHTS.
    Subdivision 1. Citation. This section may be cited as "the landowners' bill of rights."
    Subd. 2. Policy. It is the intent of this section to clarify the responsibilities of the state in the
natural resources land acquisition process and to provide additional protections to landowners in
their dealings with the state.
    Subd. 3. Condemnation limits. No lands shall be acquired by the commissioner of natural
resources by means of condemnation unless the owner requests that the owner's lands be
condemned or the condemnation is specifically authorized by law.
    Subd. 4. Rights cumulative. The protections for landowners and responsibilities of the state
set forth in this section shall not limit, but shall be in addition to all rights and responsibilities
contained in state or federal law.
    Subd. 5. Owner's rights. When the state proposes to purchase in fee or any lesser interest in
land which will be administered by the commissioner of natural resources, the landowner shall
have the following rights:
    (a) the right to be informed of the specific intended use of the property and of any change in
the intended use of the property which occurs during the acquisition process. The owner shall
also be informed that the documents regarding the purchase will be public records if the land
is purchased by the state;
    (b) the right to be paid a fair price for the property. The price shall include the fair market
value of the land plus:
    (1) all necessary incidental costs such as abstracting and recording fees related to the sale.
The costs of clearing title defects, paying taxes, and attorney's fees are not reimbursable; and
    (2) any penalties incurred by the owner where the property is security for a loan or advance
of credit that contains a provision requiring or permitting the imposition of a penalty if the loan or
advance of credit is prepaid;
    (c) the right to payment, at the owner's election, in a lump sum or in up to four annual
installments;
    (d) the right to have the property fairly appraised by the state. The state's appraiser shall
physically inspect the property and the owner shall be allowed to accompany the appraiser
when the appraisal is made. The state's appraiser shall certify in the appraisal report to having
physically inspected the property and having given the landowner an opportunity to accompany
the appraiser on inspections. Notwithstanding section 13.44, subdivision 3, before an offer is
made, the landowner shall be informed of the value determined pursuant to section 84.0272;
    (e) the right to retain a qualified independent appraiser to conduct an appraisal at any time
prior to certification of the state's appraisal of the property and to be reimbursed for appraisal
fees as provided in section 117.232, subdivision 1, if the land is sold to the state and to have that
appraisal considered along with the state's in certifying the selling price;
    (f) the right to have the state acquire the property by means of condemnation upon the
owner's request with the agreement of the commissioner;
    (g) the right to receive or waive relocation assistance, services, payments and benefits as
provided in sections 117.52 and 117.521;
    (h) the right to accept the state's offer for the property and contest the state's offer for
relocation and moving expenses;
    (i) the right to continue occupancy of the property until full payment is received, provided
that when the owner elects to receive payment in annual installments pursuant to clause (c), the
owner may retain occupancy until the first payment is made; and
    (j) the right to seek the advice of counsel regarding any aspect of the land transaction.
    Subd. 6. State's responsibilities. When the state proposes to purchase land for natural
resources purposes, the commissioner of natural resources and, where applicable, the
commissioner of administration shall have the following responsibilities:
(a) The responsibility to deal fairly and openly with the landowner in the purchase of
property;
(b) The responsibility to refrain from discussing price with the landowner before an appraisal
has been made. In addition, the same person shall not both appraise and negotiate for purchase of
a tract of land;
(c) The responsibility to use private fee appraisers to lower the state's acquisition costs to
the greatest extent practicable; and
(d) The responsibility to acquire land in as expeditious a manner as possible. No option shall
be made for a period of greater than two months if no survey is required or for nine months if a
survey is required, unless the landowner, in writing, expressly requests a longer period of time.
Provided that, if county board approval of the transaction is required pursuant to section 97A.145,
no time limits shall apply. If the state elects not to purchase property upon which it has an option,
it shall pay the landowner $500 after the expiration of the option period. If the state elects to
purchase the property, unless the landowner elects otherwise, payment to the landowner shall be
made no later than 90 days following the state's election to purchase the property provided that
the title is marketable and the owner acts expeditiously to complete the transaction.
    Subd. 7. Disclosure. When the state proposes to purchase lands for natural resources
purposes, the landowner shall be given a written statement in lay terms of the rights and
responsibilities provided for in subdivisions 5 and 6. Before a purchase can be made, the
landowner must sign a statement acknowledging in writing that the statement has been provided
and explained to the landowner. Within 60 days following the date of final approval of Laws
1980, chapter 45B, the commissioner of natural resources shall submit a proposed form for the
statement to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The commission
shall review the proposed form for compliance with the intent of this section and shall make
any changes which it deems proper.
    Subd. 8. Exception for railroad right-of-way acquisitions. When the commissioner of
natural resources acquires abandoned railroad right-of-way from a railroad, railroad holding
company, or similar entity, any or all of the provisions of this section may be waived by mutual
agreement of the commissioner and the landowner.
    Subd. 9. Exception for nonprofit organizations and governmental entities. When the
commissioner acquires land or interests in land from a nonprofit organization or governmental
entity, any or all of the provisions of this section may be waived by mutual agreement of the
commissioner and the nonprofit organization or governmental entity.
    Subd. 10. Right of first refusal agreement. The commissioner may enter into a right of
first refusal agreement with a landowner prior to determining the value of the land. No right of
first refusal agreement shall be made for a period of greater than two years and payment to the
landowner for entry into the agreement shall not exceed $5,000.
History: 1980 c 458 s 1-7; 1986 c 386 art 4 s 5; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 690 art 1 s 1; 1989 c 335
art 1 s 68,269; 1Sp2005 c 1 art 2 s 15,16; 2006 c 243 s 21; 2007 c 129 s 47; 2007 c 131 art 2 s 2