From John Vickery, the City Assessor…
If someone wanted to use their property as a dog park they would have to have Zoning permit approval which would allow that type of use. A really good lease agreement may limit the liability of the owner and put the liability on to the lessee (City). I am not aware of any legal tax exemption for a private owner. The owner may charge a fee which would cover the taxes. That would need to be outlined in the lease.
Hi Gene and John,
We had a dog park meeting this morning and the subject of private property owners wanting to allow the use of their land for a dog park came up.
My question(s) is: what would be the best way to set that up if someone did want to allow that use? Would there be liability on the part of the owner of the property or is there a way legally either by some sort of limited transfer or agreement the city could be liable? And lastly, would there be a scenario under which there could be some tax benefit to the property owner for doing this? And how would that need to be set up?
Ok, so four questions. If either of you can answer them, I’d appreciate it. Our group is not meeting until May 9 so please don’t rush.
Thanks for your time,
Ward 6 City Councilor
171 Crescent Road
on the web at karenpaulvt.com
Facebook: karen paul
From: Eugene Bergman [mailto:EBer...@ci.burlington.vt.us]
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 3:47 PM
To: John Vickery; Paul, Karen
Cc: Richard Haesler
Subject: RE: questions on dog parks
I think John has touched basics. It is not clear if you are proposing that
the city be involved in the management of a park on private property. There
are important insurance details that we'd need to consider if we were
leasing property to operate a dog park, as well as the cost of leasing and
running the program. Without the city running such a program on such private
property, it would be an extremely risky venture for the city to take on any
liability because we'd have no control over our liability. I agree that
there is no property tax exemption for property leased to the city solely on
the basis of it being leased to the city. Rent or another fee would be the
means to cover the use of the property. And again, as John said, the use
would have to conform to zoning requirements. One of the zoning
considerations is that it also seems that this use would be a commercial
use, even if it is only a break even proposition, thereby bringing into play
whether or not it is an allowable use in whatever zoning districts it is
From: John Vickery