16 U.S. Code § 459b–3 - Acquisition by condemnation
(a) Right of use and occupancy for residential purposes for life or fixed term of years; exercise of right of election; impairment of interests of lienholders, etc.; right as running with land; transfer, assignment and termination of right; computation of compensation
(1) The beneficial owner or owners, not being a corporation, of a freehold interest in improved property which the Secretary acquires by condemnation may elect, as a condition to such acquisition, to retain the right of use and occupancy of the said property for noncommercial residential purposes for a term of twenty-five years, or for such lesser time as the said owner or owners may elect at the time of such acquisition.
(2) The beneficial owner or owners, not being a corporation, of a freehold estate in improved property which property the Secretary acquires by condemnation, who held, on September 1, 1959, with respect to such property, an estate of the same nature and quality, may elect, as an alternative and not in addition to whatever right of election he or they might have under paragraph (1) of this subsection, to retain the right of use and occupancy of the said property for noncommercial residential purposes
(i) for a term limited by the nature and quality of his or their said estate, if his or their said estate is a life estate or an estate pur auter vie, or
(ii) for a term ending at the death of such owner or owners, or at the death of the survivor of them, if his or their said estate is an estate of fee simple.
(3) Where such property is held by a natural person or persons for his or their own life or lives or for the life or lives of another or others (such person or persons being hereinafter called “the life tenant”), with remainder in another or others, any right of election provided for in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be exercised by the life tenant, and any right of election provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be exercised by the concurrence of the life tenant and the remainderman or remaindermen.
(4) The beneficial owner or owners of a term of years in improved property which the Secretary acquires by condemnation may elect, as a condition to such acquisition, to retain the right of use and occupancy of the said property for noncommercial residential purposes for a term not to exceed the remainder of his or their said term of years, or a term of twenty-five years, whichever shall be the lesser. The owner or owners of the freehold estate or estates in such property may, subject to the right provided for in the preceding sentence, exercise such right or rights of election as remain to them under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(5) No right of election accorded by paragraphs (1), (2), or (4) of this subsection shall be exercised to impair substantially the interests of holders of encumbrances, liens, assessments, or other charges upon or against the property.
(6) Any right or rights of use and occupancy retained pursuant to paragraphs (1), (2), and (4) of this subsection shall be held to run with the land, and may be freely transferred and assigned.
(7) In any case where a right of use and occupancy for life or for a fixed term of years is retained as provided in paragraph (1), (2), or (4) of this subsection, the compensation paid by the Secretary for the property shall not exceed the fair market value of the property on the date of its acquisition by the Secretary, less the fair market value on such date of the said right retained.
(8) The Secretary shall have authority to terminate any right of use and occupancy of property, retained as provided in paragraph (1), (2), or (4) of this subsection, at any time after the date when any use occurs with respect to such property which fails to conform or is in any manner opposed to or inconsistent with any applicable standard contained in regulations issued pursuant to section 459b–4 of this title and in effect on said date: Provided, That no use which is in conformity with the provisions of a zoning bylaw approved in accordance with said section 459b–4 which is in force and applicable to such property shall be held to fail to conform or be opposed to or inconsistent with any such standard. In the event that the Secretary exercises the authority conferred by this paragraph, he shall pay to the owner of the right so terminated an amount equal to the fair market value of the portion of said right which remained on the date of termination.
(b) Suspension of authority for one year and during existence of zoning regulations
(1) The Secretary’s authority to acquire property by condemnation shall be suspended with respect to all improved property located within such area in all of the towns referred to in section 459b of this title for one year following August 7, 1961.
(2) Thereafter such authority shall be suspended with respect to all improved property located within such area in any one of such towns during all times when such town shall have in force and applicable to such property a duly adopted, valid zoning bylaw approved by the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of section 459b–4 of this title.
(c) Suspension of authority respecting property used for commercial or industrial purposes
The Secretary’s authority to acquire property by condemnation shall be suspended with respect to any particular property which is used for commercial or industrial purposes during any periods when such use is permitted by the Secretary and during the pendency of the first application for such permission made to the Secretary after August 7, 1961 provided such application is made not later than the date of establishment of the seashore.
(d) “Improved property” defined
The term “improved property,” wherever used in sections 459b to 459b–8 of this title, shall mean a detached, one-family dwelling the construction of which was begun before September 1, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as “dwelling”), together with so much of the land on which the dwelling is situated, the said land being in the same ownership as the dwelling, as the Secretary shall designate to be reasonably necessary for the enjoyment of the dwelling for the sole purpose of noncommercial residential use, together with any structures accessory to the dwelling which are situated on the land so designated. The amount of the land so designated shall in every case be at least three acres in area, or all of such lesser amount as may be held in the same ownership as the dwelling, and in making such designation the Secretary shall take into account the manner of noncommercial residential use in which the dwelling and land have customarily been enjoyed: Provided, however, That the Secretary may exclude from the land so designated any beach or waters, together with so much of the land adjoining such beach or waters as the Secretary may deem necessary for public access thereto.