OCWA Property Sales – Otisco Lake Blue-line

The Onondaga County Water Authority (“OCWA”) is a public benefit corporation (or more generally known as a public authority) created by act of the New York State Legislature in 1951. Otisco Lake is one of our three primary public drinking water supplies.

Shortly after the turn of the twentieth century, OCWA’s predecessor in interest, the Syracuse Suburban Water Company, acquired fee title to lands around the perimeter of the Lake to raise the water level to increase the availability of public drinking water. The calculations at the time were conservative and not always precise, which resulted in OCWA owning a strip of property between lakefront property owners and the water’s edge (aka the “Blue-line”).

While OCWA is committed to maintaining water quality in Otisco Lake, it decided some time ago to make available for purchase our lake edge property to immediately adjacent landowners.

While OCWA’s paramount interest is not to profit from any such sales, the rules pertaining to the disposal of land by public authorities in New York State require that the land be appraised and sold for at least its appraised value. In addition, OCWA’s consulting engineers have recommended that certain conditions attach for sale to protect the lake as a public water-drinking source, including restrictions on building on the conveyed lands.

If a property owner wishes to purchase their adjacent Blue-line property, OCWA requires a deposit to cover the anticipated cost for the required appraisal and creation of an up-to-date survey map. Any additional cost will be added to the purchase price if you elect to purchase the property at its appraised value. The entire process typically takes approximately four months.

If you are interested in purchasing OCWA property located between your property line and Otisco Lake, please contact us to receive an information package and to have any of your questions answered.

Amy Allen
Executive Assistant
315 455-7061 ext. 3180