An Act relative to a municipality’s right of first refusal of agricultural land


Chapter 61A §14 and Chapter 61B §9 of the General Laws pertain to the process in which a city or town has the option to exercise, waive or assign its right of first refusal of agricultural and recreational land when a property owner seeks to sell or use land, subject to these provisions, for non-agricultural or recreational purposes. The existing statutory timelines, however, are not conducive a municipality’s ability to effectively conduct the required due diligence of a potential land acquisition; particularly communities that have a town meeting form of government. The bill extends the existing time period a municipality (i) may exercise its right of first refusal, and (ii) to fulfill the purchase and sale contract. The bill would establish a 30-day timeline in which the seller may accept the purchase and sale agreement. The legislation also seeks to clarify the existing law by ensuring that communities are not required to purchase land that is not classified under Chapter 61A or Chapter 61B, even if the non-61A or non-61B property is included within the same purchase and sale agreement provided to the municipality by the landowner.