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buying land with use and activity limitation

  1. #1

    buying land with use and activity limitation


    I am in the process of purchasing a lot which has contaminated soil due to oil spill in the past. the building that was on the lot has already been removed. I am attaching the notice of activity and use limitation. Anyone know what it would take to make this lot regular and buildable again? Would adding soil on top of the "bad" soil in order to get around the 4ft rule work? Would I have to remove and replace the polluted soil? Any advice in regards to this is welcomed.

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  2. #2

    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Have you consulted a lawyer? Looks like trouble to me!

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  3. #3
    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    I am in the process of purchasing a lot which has contaminated soil due to oil spill in the past. the building that was on the lot has already been removed. I am attaching the notice of activity and use limitation. Anyone know what it would take to make this lot regular and buildable again? Would adding soil on top of the "bad" soil in order to get around the 4ft rule work? Would I have to remove and replace the polluted soil? Any advice in regards to this is welcomed.

    buying land with use and activity limitation-screen-shot-2018-02-14-a
    buying land with use and activity limitation-screen-shot-2018-02-14-a
    buying land with use and activity limitation-screen-shot-2018-02-14-a
    buying land with use and activity limitation-screen-shot-2018-02-14-abuying land with use and activity limitation-screen-shot-2018-02-14-a
    I know very little about the laws, but do know contaminated soil remediation in Boston and Cambridge is an astronomical expense - both to test and remove, then to pay a facility to take it. If the land had some huge value increase if cleaned up Id wonder why a contractor/developer wasnt already on it.

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  4. #4
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Unless you forsee the clean piece of property being worth a fortune I can’t see this being worth the hassle.
    But yes, you have to remove and replace.

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  5. #5
    Posting Freak Gecko's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Run Forrest, RUN!!!

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  6. #6
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Massachusetts is not your friend when it comes to remediating any soil. It is like they don't want to have it done and will throw every roadblock at you possible in the form of fees and regulations. Other states will allow you to remediate on site, which usually only takes time.
    I don't know what your plans are for the land, but as others have said, I'd walk away from this.

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  7. #7
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Several people told me to walk away from a property I bought a couple years ago for technical issues, I didn’t listen and glad I didn’t!
    Land contamination however, is not cheap to deal with. It also takes a long time to clean up. Also, I don’t think it will ever be classified as free and clear of all contamination.

    About 10 years ago, a friend wanted to buy land that was zoned business and used to be a auto repair shop. The soil around the building was contaminated with oil/gas, etc. The price to purchase was $35k, the estimate to clean it started at a half million, and the estimate was best case scenario.

    I’m a risk taker, but the risk in your situation (without knowing full details) seems bigger than the reward.

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  8. #8
    xxaarraa
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Quote Originally Posted by R7 View Post
    I’m a risk taker...
    Yes, from the stranger things phenomena you describe in your house, it's very clear you are a risk taker! lol..


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  9. #9

    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    side note: I met an investor and that's all he does...just cleans up sites and sells/leases them

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    Lifer SteveM's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Sav,

    Ignore all the naysayers, I think you should absolutely do this because it could create an all time top 10 thread here.

    Seriously, if you are thinking of remediating it back to a developable use and turning a profit, I find it hard to imagine a worse place to attempt that than Massachusetts unless you are in a program where the state subsidizes the cleanup and indemnifies you under a program designed to reinvigorate neglected parcels.


    Brownfields Cleanup | Mass.gov

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    Last edited by SteveM; 02-15-18 at 02:03 PM.

  11. #11
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    some things ARE worse to play with than fire.

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  12. #12
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    unfortunately, most of the time a bigger deal is made from soil contamination than it really is

    spilt gasoline or anti freeze, yup, it works it's way to groundwater, oil, not so much, it adheres to the first few inches, and in reality, scrape it off, (dispose properly) and yer good to go

    BUT, the guys that do remediation plans, see it as a cash cow

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    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    20 years ago one of my employees pumped a tank out side with wire lubricant in it

    Trucks etc and a mear $45,000 later I was out of their immediate attention

    It was gravelly soil so they made me go down 4 feet and area about 40 x 40 feet

    They also keep changing the rules so you are never DONE


    run away

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    Last edited by Stromper; 02-17-18 at 05:34 PM.
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    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    So, did you buy the mess? and if so, why?

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  15. #15
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    I am old so not making 30 year investment

    I passed on 82 acres of woodland with hills across the street for 200 thousand

    I have that money plus but when it came down to it I had to admit that I had No use for woodland in my life

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  16. #16
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromper View Post
    I am old so not making 30 year investment

    I passed on 82 acres of woodland with hills across the street for 200 thousand

    I have that money plus but when it came down to it I had to admit that I had No use for woodland in my life
    I’ve been temped by a lot of these types of deals, but for me it always comes down to not wanting to pay a boatload of taxes every year for not all that much benefit except being able to feel like a land baron...unless, of course, the land will skyrocket in value or has a lot of timber or other harvestable resources on it.

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  17. #17
    xxaarraa
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    tsorfas, why do you keep us in suspense?

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  18. #18
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    He ate the soil and died.

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  19. #19
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Quote Originally Posted by Imbeek View Post
    I’ve been temped by a lot of these types of deals, but for me it always comes down to not wanting to pay a boatload of taxes every year for not all that much benefit except being able to feel like a land baron...unless, of course, the land will skyrocket in value or has a lot of timber or other harvestable resources on it.
    I’m not sure what programs are available in Ct or Ma, but in RI, you put the land in open space/farm forest programs. The restrictions of use once in the plan, is minimal.

    I have 153 acres in RI, 148 of them are in the farm forest program. The program reduces the taxable value of the land to $115 per acre, so my 148 acres only has a $17,000 tax value, and only costs me about $400 per year in taxes.
    My farm/forest plan is focused on cutting and maintaining trails, which works out great for someone that has a dirtbike and quad

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  20. #20
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    He ate the soil and died.
    You have died of dysentery.

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  21. #21
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Quote Originally Posted by R7 View Post
    I’m not sure what programs are available in Ct or Ma, but in RI, you put the land in open space/farm forest programs. The restrictions of use once in the plan, is minimal.

    I have 153 acres in RI, 148 of them are in the farm forest program. The program reduces the taxable value of the land to $115 per acre, so my 148 acres only has a $17,000 tax value, and only costs me about $400 per year in taxes.
    My farm/forest plan is focused on cutting and maintaining trails, which works out great for someone that has a dirtbike and quad
    Do you have a penalty of you change the use ? in NH when you take land out of "Current Use Taxation" there is a 10% of current fair market value penalty. Generally, you have to have land in current use for 7-10 years before the tax savings offsets the penalty, say you take out a building lot that has a value of $100k, you would pay a $10k penalty

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  22. #22
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    Do you have a penalty of you change the use ? in NH when you take land out of "Current Use Taxation" there is a 10% of current fair market value penalty. Generally, you have to have land in current use for 7-10 years before the tax savings offsets the penalty, say you take out a building lot that has a value of $100k, you would pay a $10k penalty
    If I remove all the land from the plan, there is a penalty. If I were to subdivide and sell off some lots, I would have to modify the plan to exclude the acres sold. There would be no penalty as long as a modified the plan. It cost me $1k to have the plan drawn up, it’s a 10 year plan. If I sell the house/all the land within the 10 year plan, the plan has to be transferred to the new owner. If the new owner fails to transfer, or opts out of the plan, they will pay a penalty.

    When I sold my last house, the buyer failed to transfer the plan to his name. The town issued him the penalty and he tried to take me to court and force me to pay it. The penalty was North of $30k, not my fault he and his lawyers failed to read the fine print of the plan, which was disclosed in the purchase and sales agreement.

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  23. #23
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Is it NOT viable for development as contaminated then might as well be in land trust

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  24. #24
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    I was under the impression that no matter who owns the property now, the owner at the time of contamination is responsible for clean up. It prevents people from contaminating land and selling it off unknown to the new buyer.

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  25. #25

    Re: buying land with use and activity limitation

    Quote Originally Posted by xxaarraa View Post
    tsorfas, why do you keep us in suspense?
    Trying to not jinx things

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