15A NCAC 02R .0403       DONATION OF PROPERTY

(a)  If approved by the Council of State, donations or dedications of interests in real property, for the purposes of restoration, enhancement, or preservation, may be accepted by the Secretary, or the Secretary's designee, if the property is consistent with the Basinwide Restoration Plan for the appropriate river basin subject to the factors listed in Paragraphs (b) and (c) of this Rule, or if the property interest is being donated to satisfy a condition of a certification issued by the Department under 33 USC 1341.  The property is consistent with the Basinwide Restoration Plan if the property is located within an area that is identified as a priority for restoration in the Basinwide Restoration Plan or is located at a site that is otherwise consistent with the goals outlined in the Basinwide Restoration Plan for the appropriate river basin.

(b)  The factors that shall be considered by the Secretary, or the Secretary's designee, in determining whether to accept donations or dedications of interests in real property for the purposes of wetland or riparian area restoration or enhancement include the following:

(1)           whether the property is adjacent to, or will become a part of, a Department approved restoration or preservation project; or is adjacent to or includes a sensitive natural resource, as identified in the Basinwide Restoration Plan; or is adjacent to or includes property with known occurrences of rare species as identified by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program in the "Natural Heritage Program List of Rare Animal Species of North Carolina" or the "Natural Heritage Program List of the Rare Plant Species of North Carolina"; or is adjacent to or includes a Significant Natural Heritage Area as identified by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program in the "North Carolina Natural Heritage Program Biennial Protection Plan, List of Significant Natural Heritage Areas."  Copies of these documents may be obtained from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, PO Box 27687, Raleigh, North Carolina 27611;

(2)           whether the size of the property is at least five contiguous acres;

(3)           the likelihood that the site can be successfully restored or enhanced, based on hydrology, soils, and vegetation;

(4)           the extent of activities required to successfully restore or enhance the site.  Sites requiring extreme measures for successful restoration, such as removal of structures or infrastructure, will not be accepted;

(5)           absence of cultural and historic resources;

(6)           prior, current, and future land use of the donated property and adjacent properties;

(7)           existence of federally or state-listed sensitive, endangered, or threatened species, or their critical habitat;

(8)           the potential for enhancement of natural resource values of public lands;

(9)           absence of hazardous substance and solid waste;

(10)         whether the property is adjacent to non-supporting, partially supporting, or support-threatened waters as designated by the Division of Water Quality pursuant to 40 CFR 131.10(a) through (g).  This material is available for inspection at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality, Water Quality Section, 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina;

(11)         absence of encumbrances and conditions on the transfer of the property interests; and

(12)         provisions have been made for the long term maintenance and management of the property.

(c)  The factors that shall be considered by the Secretary, or the Secretary's designee, in determining whether to accept donations or dedications of interests in real property for the purpose of preservation of existing wetland and riparian areas include the following:

(1)           whether the property has clearly identifiable unique wetland or riparian area functions or values, such as  federally or state-listed sensitive, endangered or threatened species, or their critical habitat;

(2)           the potential for enhancement of natural resource values of public lands;

(3)           whether the property is adjacent to, or will become a part of a Department approved restoration or preservation project; or is adjacent to or includes a sensitive natural resource, as identified in the Basinwide Restoration Plan; or is adjacent to or includes property with known occurrences of rare species as identified by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program in the "Natural Heritage Program List of Rare Animal Species of North Carolina" or the "Natural Heritage Program List of the Rare Plant Species of North Carolina"; or is adjacent to or includes a Significant Natural Heritage Area as identified by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program in the "North Carolina Natural Heritage Program Biennial Protection Plan, List of Significant Natural Heritage Areas."  Copies of these documents may be obtained from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, PO Box 27687, Raleigh, North Carolina 27611;

(4)           whether the size of the property is at least five contiguous acres;

(5)           whether the property is under imminent threat of degradation;

(6)           prior, current, and future land use of the donated property and adjacent properties;

(7)           absence of extensive structures and infrastructure;

(8)           absence of hazardous substance and solid waste;

(9)           absence of cultural and historic resources;

(10)         whether the property is adjacent to non-supporting, partially supporting, or support-threatened waters as designated by the Division of Water Quality pursuant to 40 CFR 131.10(a) through (g).  This material is available for inspection at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality, Water Quality Section, 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina;

(11)         absence of encumbrances and conditions on the transfer of the property interests; and

(12)         provisions have been made for the long term maintenance and management of the property.

(d)  At the expense of the applicant or donor, the following information must be submitted with any proposal for donations or dedications of interest in real property:

(1)           documentation that the property meets the criteria outlined in Paragraph (b) and (c) of this Rule;

(2)           US Geologic Survey 1:24,000 (7.5 minute) scale topographic map, county tax map, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service County Soil Survey Map, and county road map showing the location of the property to be donated along with information on existing site conditions, vegetation types, presence of existing structures and easements;

(3)           a current property survey performed in accordance with the procedures of the North Carolina Department of Administration, State Property Office as identified by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors in "Standards of Practice for Land Surveying in North Carolina."  Copies may be obtained from the North Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, 3620 Six Forks Road, Suite 300, Raleigh, North Carolina 27609;

(4)           a current appraisal of the value of the property performed in accordance with the procedures of the North Carolina Department of Administration, State Property Office as identified by the Appraisal Board in the "Uniform Standards of Professional North Carolina Appraisal Practice."  Copies may be obtained from the Appraisal Foundation, Publications Department, PO Box 96734, Washington, D.C. 20090-6734;

(5)           a title certificate; and

(6)           documentation that the property does not contain structures that present health or safety problems to the general public.  If wells, septic, water or sewer connections exist, they shall be filled, remediated or closed at owner's expense, and in accordance with state and local health and safety regulations.

(e)  In addition to the factors outlined in Paragraphs (b) through (d) of this Rule, the Secretary, or the Secretary's designee, shall consider the following factors when determining whether to accept a donation of interest in real property to satisfy compensatory mitigation requirements:

(1)           whether restoration of the property will offset the adverse impacts of the permitted project; and

(2)           whether the adverse impacts of the permitted project are within the same subbasin as the property proposed for donation.

(f)  Donations of interests in real property for the purpose of satisfying compensatory mitigation requirements will only be considered for acceptance when the proposed donation will offset an impact for which an application has already been made to the United States Army Corps of Engineers under 33 USC 1344 or to the Department under 33 USC 1341.

(g)  For the purposes of satisfying compensatory mitigation requirements through the donation of interests in real property, for property requiring restoration, enhancement, or preservation, the size of property to be donated must equal or exceed the acreage of wetland required to be mitigated under the approved permit and every parcel must be a minimum of five contiguous acres in size.

(h)  Donation of real property interests to satisfy compensatory mitigation requirements will only be accepted if such property meets the requirements of Paragraphs (a) through (i) of this Rule and 15A NCAC 2H .0506(h) and satisfies the compensatory mitigation requirements of the approved permit.

(i)  The donation of conservation easements to satisfy compensatory mitigation requirements will only be accepted if the conservation easement is granted in perpetuity and the property to be encumbered meets the requirements of Paragraphs (a) through (j) of this Rule, or if the property interest is being donated to satisfy a condition of a certification issued by the Department under 33 USC 1341.

(j)  Donation of interests in real property may contribute to or fulfill compensatory mitigation requirements that may be satisfied through payment of a fee as outlined in the Schedule of Fees in Rule .0402(a) of this Section.  The value of the property interest shall be determined by an appraisal performed in accordance with Subparagraph (d)(4) of this Rule.  The required fee as calculated in accordance with Rule .0402(a) of this Section shall be satisfied if the appraised value of the donated property interest is equal to or greater than the fee.  If the appraised value of the donated property interest is less than the designated fee requirement as calculated in accordance with Rule .0402(a) of this Section, the applicant shall pay the remaining balance due.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143-214.11; 143-214.12; 143-215.3;

Eff. August 1, 1998.