BPW Advisory 2006-2 DNR-Managed Property Leases

Revised: 1/8/2020

Purpose
: To delegate certain leases of, and clarify procedures for the award of:  
  • Leases of State-owned dwelling houses, outbuildings, and agriculture lands located on State parks, forests, wildlife management areas, and other Department of Natural Resources managed properties; and
  • Hunting leases on Chesapeake Forest Lands.​
 
Authority: Any real property of the State may be leased for a consideration the Board of Public Works decides is adequate. Section 10-305, State Finance and Procurement Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.   
 
Adopted:  Secretary Agenda Item 5 (1/8/2020). This action: 
  • Updates Advisory 2006-2 originally adopted as Sec. Agenda Item 7 (10/4/2006)
  • Supersedes Sec. Agenda Item 4 [6/23/2004].​
 
Policy
  1. DNR Leasing: DNR will conduct and supervise leases of the following Stateowned property:

    • 1.1. Dwelling houses, agricultural lands, and outbuildings located in State parks, forests, wildlife management areas, and other DNR-managed properties; and
    • 1.2 Hunting leases on Chesapeake Forest lands.​

  2. Delegation: The Board of Public Works delegates to DNR the authority to enter into and execute individual leases that are conducted as follows:

    • 2.1 Dwelling Houses.
      • 2.1.1 Lease Term. DNR may lease dwelling houses as a month-tomonth tenancy or for a term of five years or less.
      • 2.1.2 Leases to Those on Waiting List. DNR shall maintain a tenant waiting list and shall offer available dwelling houses at market-value rent to qualified prospective tenants on the list.
      • 2.1.3 Market-Value Rent. DNR may lease dwelling houses at market-value rent as determined by the Department of General Services. DGS will determine market-value rent by using comparable rents from a recognized real estate listing service and other information including the property's age, condition, and amenities. For existing tenancies, DNR shall increase rents every three years, an increase that DNR may phase in by one-third each year following the increase.
      • 2.1.4 Competitive Bidding. DNR may, in writing, solicit competitive bids, to be submitted in writing, for the lease of dwelling houses if:
        • Lack of comparable rental rates prevents DGS from determining market-value rent;
        • No qualified prospective tenant agrees to pay the DGS-determined rent; or
        • ​​The tenant waiting list has no qualified prospective tenants for the dwelling house.

    • 2.2 Agricultural Lands and Outbuildings.
      • 2.2.1 Lease Term. DNR may lease agricultural lands and outbuildings for a term of five years or less.
      • 2.2.2 Competitive Bidding.
        • DNR may, in writing, solicit competitive bids, to be submitted in writing, for the lease of agricultural land and outbuildings such as barns and sheds.
        • If no bids are received for a specific property, DNR may subsequently lease the agricultural land or outbuilding for the:
          • ​Per-acre or building price (or higher) as established by the competitive bid process for similar DNR properties in the general area; or
          • County average price per-acre (or higher) as compiled by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
      • 2.2.3 Landlocked parcel. Without going through the competitive bid process, DNR may lease landlocked parcels for the:
        • Per-acre price (or higher) as established by the competitive high bid process for similar DNR properties in the general area; or
        • County average price per-acre (or higher) as compiled by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
      • 2.2.4 Fair Hill NRMA. Without going through the competitive bid process, DNR may lease the horse paddock outbuildings at Fair Hill NRMA in Cecil County based on the current monthly rental rate with a minimum 5% annual rent increase.​

    • 2.3 Chesapeake Forest Hunting Leases
      • 2.3.1 Definitions
        • Hunting lease means a lease of hunting rights on a parcel within the Chesapeake Forest Lands that authorizes the tenant(s) and members or guests of tenant(s) who are authorized to hunt the property under the lease to hunt species of wild game legal to hunt in accordance with State and local law.
        • Tenant means (1) an individual or individuals; or (2) a qualified hunt club
        • Qualified hunt club means one organized as a legal business entity (for example, a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited liability partnership, a limited partnership, a general partnership, or a sole proprietorship). It must be registered to do business in Maryland and in good standing with the State Department of Assessment and Taxation.
      • 2.3.2 New Tenants. DNR may offer new 10-year Hunting leases either:
        • In accordance with a lottery that randomly selects applicants who meet the “tenant” definition; or
        • Outside a lottery, when DNR determines that a Hunting lease with a specific tenant is in the State’s best interest taking into account land conservation and management needs, a landlocked parcel, unimproved right-of-way, or access conflicts with adjacent landowners.
      • 2.3.3 Current Tenants
        • At the end of a Hunting lease term, DNR may offer an additional 10-year term if the tenant is in good standing with the State and has complied with its prior Hunting leases.
        • DNR may offer a Hunting lease on a parcel contiguous with an already-leased parcel to the current tenant for the remainder of the current lease term and for the same per-acre price. If the tenant does not accept a lease on the contiguous parcel, DNR may terminate the existing lease and place both parcels into the lottery as a single unit.
      • 2.3.4 Pricing. DNR shall determine the rate for a Hunting lease based on fair market value. DNR will determine fair market value by using comparable leases from other forest landowners and other parcel-specific information such as forest type, property condition, wildlife species, county location, and access.

  3. Control Agency Reporting of Delegated Leases: DNR shall submit to DGS a report of all leases annually. No later than 90 days after the fiscal year close, the report shall be submitted to the Board of Public Works through the Department of General Services Action Agenda.

  4. Non-Delegated Leases: DNR must submit to the Board of Public Works for approval on the Department of General Service Action Agenda any lease that is not specifically delegated in Section 2.

  5. Subleasing Only with Board Approval: All leases must prohibit the tenant from assigning or subleasing the property without prior approval from the Board of Public Works.

  6. Tenants in State Service: If a tenant is a State employee, agent, servant, or any individual in State service and the purpose of the proposed lease is to permit the tenant to maintain a residence, the lease must approved by the Secretary of General Services.​


Questions concerning this Advisory may be addressed to:

Department of Natural Resources
Tawes State Office Building
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Fax: 410.260.8404
Toll Free:  877.620.8367

Nita Settina, Acting Assistant Secretary of Land Resources
Tel: 410.260.8157  |  email: nita.settina@maryland.gov

Bill Anderson, Assistant Secretary of Aquatic Resources
Tel: 410.260.8108   |  email: bill.anderson@maryland.gov