Property Acquisition Process
The City at some time or another will need to acquire land for the following purposes: transportation right-of-way (ROW), parks and recreation facilities, senior centers, open space, utilities (drainage control, flood control, sanitary sewer service, water service, treatment plants), firehouses, police stations, central management facilities, building and fleet maintenance, and/or public transit.
Each acquisition, regardless of the purpose, follows these steps:
- Identifying City Department Needs: Each department that may need land must submit to the Land Coordinator a Project Referral Form which identifies the legal and street address identification, the pertinent project description, and alternative acquisitions.
- Clearing Title: The title to the property is researched to establish ownership and clearing requirements for the parcels to be acquired.
- Survey of Right-of-Way (ROW) Mapping: ROW Mapping is submitted to the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) for review and approval.
- Formal Appraisal: The Land Coordinator uses several independent appraisal firms to commission appraisals for the properties that will need to be acquired.
- Notification to Property Owner: The Land Coordinator notifies the owner of the property that needs to be acquired and to let them know that an appraiser will contact them to schedule a site visit to the property.
- Receipt and Review of Appraisal: Once the appraisal is complete it is submitted to the NMDOT Reviewer who checks the appraisal against a set of criteria.
- Formal Offer: Once the appraisal is reviewed and accepted the Land Coordinator makes a formal offer to the property owner and begins negotiations.
- Negotiation: When the property owner receives the formal offer, then negations are done.Negotiations determine when the property is acquired and conveyed to the City.
- Executing the Agreement/Referring the Acquisition for Condemnation: There are two areas where this step can go.If the terms are favorable to the property owner and Land Coordinator then a closing document is drafted for signing. If the terms are not favorable, then a letter of intent to file for condemnation in District Court is conducted.
- Closing: The closing of a property transfers ownership from the property owner to the City.
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