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Buying, Selling & Leasing Property: What Special Districts Need to Know About Successful Transactions and the Surplus Land Act

Whether it is leasing land to expand facilities or selling underutilized property to generate revenue, special districts frequently face the need to acquire, sell, or lease property to implement specific public service mandates. Such real estate transactions can be complex and require careful planning, detailed documentation and multi-departmental coordination. When considering a real estate deal, there are important legal and practical considerations to keep in mind.

  • Surplus Land Act: Requires local agencies, including special districts, to comply with certain requirements when disposing of real property.
  • Establishing the Price: A district should generally take steps to ensure that the price reflects the fair market value of the property to ensure that public funds are spent in a prudent manner and that the district receives a fair return when selling its assets.
  • California Environmental Quality Act: Compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is necessary before a district makes a commitment to carry out a new project.

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