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Cities owning "real" property outside city limits...examples, please

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#1
Here in Buffalo, NY city officials built a "TB" hospital 40 miles to the south in Perrysburg, NY 90 years ago. Today some city officials are "blocking" the transfer of this abandoned property claiming the city has certain "reversonary rights" and perhaps a long term interest in some of the parcels.

I've written extensively about this deal over here....http://tinyurl.com/7kewr if you want to learn more about this specific case.

I'd like to know if there are other examples that come to mind of cities owning real property outside their respective "city limits." If so, what are the taxing rules and regs for the property. I know full well that city owned property with in city limits is not taxed. Yet what happens when the property is outside the city limits.

Thanks in advance...

David

http://fixbuffalo.blogspot.com
 
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#2
O'Hare in Chicago

O'Hare International Airport in Chicago is located outside the general perimeter of the city, yet it is still "in the city of Chicago." I think there is some sort of municipal pseudopod reaching out and surrounding it. I don't know how that managed to happen, but Mayor Daley seems very possessive of O'Hare.

I doubt that it is a similar case in terms of taxation, as O'Hare is somehow technically within the city limits, and airports tend to be under mixed control of more than just the municipal or even state governments.
 

DRJ

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#3
The City of Atlanta and New York City have purchased considerable property along rivers oputside of their city limits to preserve water quality. NYC purchased considerable property along the upper Hudson River and Atlana has purchased considerable property in Cobb County along the Chatahoochee River. It is a fairly common occurance.
 

NHPlanner

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#4
Manchester (NH) Airport is located 70% in the Town of Londonderry, NH but owns all of the property.

Fairly common for NH municipalities to own land in other communities for water supply or sewerage treatment.
 

donk

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#5
Village of Blackville, NB well is outside the village limits on property they own.

Moncton and Saint John have reservoirs outside their limits.

Toronto has a few reservoirs outside its limits.
 
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#6
The City of Detroit has numerous properties outside of the City limits. Many of there are being sold off to developers who are turning old prisons into luxury housing (yes they are bulldosing the whole prison, to call a loft made of a former prison cell luxury is quite the stretch). The City also owns a zoo and runs a municipal golf course outside of the City Limits.

The City of Dearborn (al large Detroit inner-ring suburb) also owns land outside its boundaries which is used as a private park for Dearborn residents for camping and golfing.

If I am not mistaken, the City of Chicago owns the rail lines that connect O'Hare with the City proper; giving it a contigous element to to real city limit.
 

mendelman

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#7
to clarify: O'Hare is fully within the Chicago city limits. The airport is connected to the rest of the city by a narrow isthmus of land straddling I-90.

Annexation laws here in Illinios allow munis to annex land a a rather haphazard and seemingly unstructured manner. Bascially the land just has to be contiguous to be annexable.

The City of Ann Arbor, MI recently approved a tax increase to fund the purchase of a greenbelt around the City.
 
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#9
I have found that it is not uncommon for cities to own property outside of their limits. Parks people buy it for open space preservation. Water utilities buy it to preserve water quality. Sewage treatment plants buy farmland for sludge spreading. Economic development organizations buy it for future development. No, not uncommon at all.
 

mgk920

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#10
mendelman said:
to clarify: O'Hare is fully within the Chicago city limits. The airport is connected to the rest of the city by a narrow isthmus of land straddling I-90.

Annexation laws here in Illinios allow munis to annex land a a rather haphazard and seemingly unstructured manner. Bascially the land just has to be contiguous to be annexable.

The City of Ann Arbor, MI recently approved a tax increase to fund the purchase of a greenbelt around the City.
The City of Appleton's new waterworks is in the City of Menasha, WI.

Also, Wisconsin law does allow a city or village to annex unincorporated land that it owns, even though it may not actually be contiguous to the city or village. Appleton has two city-owned parcels that are officially inside the city limits, even though they are islands of non-contiguous land. One is a closed city landfill and the other is the intake pumping station (on the Lake Winnebago lakeshore) for the city's water system.

Mike

Mike
 
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#11
mendelman said:
to clarify: O'Hare is fully within the Chicago city limits. The airport is connected to the rest of the city by a narrow isthmus of land straddling I-90.

Annexation laws here in Illinios allow munis to annex land a a rather haphazard and seemingly unstructured manner. Bascially the land just has to be contiguous to be annexable.
I kind of knew that already (an isthmus being somehow related to a pseudopod). I sort of just wanted to complain about it because it's fairly ridiculous.
 

Tom R

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#12
property

The City of Akron, Ohio owns several reservoirs that are outside the city limits. A continuing controversy is who owns the water rights to the (upper) Cuyahoga River which is empounded by one of the reservoirs.
 

Hceux

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#13
gkmo62u said:
nyc owns land upstate that includes a water resevoir
I was just going to say that because I remember doing a reading on how the water reservoir system developed for the city of New York sometimes during university...
 
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#14
DetroitPlanner said:
The City of Dearborn (al large Detroit inner-ring suburb) also owns land outside its boundaries which is used as a private park for Dearborn residents for camping and golfing.
I remember hearing that the City of Dearborn once owned property in Florida. Apparently they were so flush with tax revenue from Ford that the city was able to buy a beach resort exclusively of Dearborn residents. Is this true, or just an urban legend?
 
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#15
Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is outside the city limits of Atlanta. I don't know what the tax situation is though...

Atlanta also owns a big chunk of land in north Georgia that was to be used for a second airport. The locals are actually opposed to Atlanta (who they normally hate for the crime of existing) selling the land since they get it use it as a free recreation area.
 
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#16
pete-rock said:
I remember hearing that the City of Dearborn once owned property in Florida. Apparently they were so flush with tax revenue from Ford that the city was able to buy a beach resort exclusively of Dearborn residents. Is this true, or just an urban legend?

Yes you are quite right. They own a senior living center down there for the snowbirds. Good catch Pete! From the City of Dearborn's public housing home page:

Dearborn Towers, 813.446.2020, Clearwater, Florida
 
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#18
NYC and Syracuse

The City of Syracuse owns Hancock International Airport, and pays taxes under a PILOT agreement with the Town of DeWitt, where it sits.

NYC pays taxes on its Catskill Watershed properties that it owns.

Like the Dearborn public housing in Florida..
 
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#19
Here in little Sandusky, OH, our city owns several parcels outside the City, including a landfill, police shooting range and a cemetary. These things are often times better situated outside City limits.
 
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#20
This is from the Boston Globe a while back:
WOBURN
220-acre land gift presents dilemma
Fate of parcel lies with Boston
By Alexander Reid, Globe Staff | September 15, 2005

In 1930, widow Mary P. Cummings donated to Boston about 220 acres of land on the Burlington-Woburn border, hoping the city would find a way to create a ''public pleasure ground" for Boston residents.
A good 20 miles from Boston, it is too far from the city to make its use as a public park practical, Boston officials say. Burlington and Woburn would gladly take the land and build sorely needed baseball or soccer fields, but it's not theirs to use.
Now Boston has opened talks with Burlington officials about selling the property to a developer. The parcel is said to be worth more than $22 million, according to an appraisal done several years ago. The money would be funneled into a fund that would pay for maintenance costs for the Rose Kennedy Greenway and other new parks being created in or near the path of the old Central Artery.
Boston officials say they want a solution that is acceptable to all the communities since there is some question about what the Cummings's deed allows the city to do with the property, and they don't want Burlington and Woburn to challenge any sale.
Jeffrey Conley, executive director of the Boston Finance Commission, said the idea of selling the property to a developer seems the best solution. Boston officials lament the fact that the valuable parcel is not benefiting the city.
''The city has had this land in trust for 75 years now," said Conley. ''That's a long time. The city gets no use out of it today. We think the location might be suitable for something like a golf course and perhaps a hotel facility. Right now, though, we're just talking" with Burlington.
the talks so far have involved Burlington officials because most of the land, about 180 acres, lies in Burlington off Blanchard Road. Burlington Town Administrator Robert Mercier said the town has been receptive to Boston's overtures but has not committed to anything.
''The property is a big dilemma," said Mercier. ''It's a wonderful parcel of open space. There would be many uses that could benefit Burlington, but it's not our land. But whatever Boston decides to do with the land is of major interest to us since it would have an obvious impact on Burlington."
Burlington recreation officials approached Boston about using a portion of the property for ball fields in 2003.
''Our offer was to lease space, on a short-term basis for five years, for ball fields," said Kevin Sullivan, chairman of the town's Recreation Commission. ''It's a great site. Open space that was accessible. It's hard to find property like that, but Boston didn't sign on to any agreement so the idea didn't move forward."
Woburn Mayor John C. Curran said his city also has a stake in the fate of the Cummings property, though only 40 acres of the parcel are within its borders. He said Woburn would be opposed to any major development, particularly residential or commercial, that would increase density in the area. He said he didn't want to comment on the possibility of a golf course and hotel until he sees a proposal.
Curran said the land is adjacent to Cambridge Road (Route 3), which already suffers from high traffic volume generated by a shopping mall and an office park. A development company, Archstone Communities, has proposed building a 420-unit apartment complex on an adjacent 75-acre parcel on Cambridge Road, near Bedford Road. The developers want to designate 20 percent of the units as affordable under the state's Chapter 40B law.
''The prospect of any development on the Cummings Trust property would raise concerns in Woburn," said Curran. ''We already have traffic problems, which are related to aggressive development in that area of the city. We don't want to see anything that would make things worse."
Boston officials concede it is unclear whether Cummings's will allows the city to sell the land since the intent of the trust was that it be used as a recreational asset for city residents.
''It's not a black or white thing," said Conley. ''As things stand now, there is no practical way to use the land to benefit the City of Boston, so there is no way to fulfill the intent of the trust. In a situation like this, you look for viable alternatives."
Conley said the golf course/hotel alternative would bring tax revenue to Burlington and Woburn without the problems associated with residential or commercial development.
''We're hoping for a solution that would benefit all three communities," he said.
 
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