WHAT IS A CONSERVATION EASEMENT?
Recorded legal agreement - between landowner and land trust or government agency
Always voluntary – landowners choose to participate
Two general types of tools – donated or purchased
Giving up of development rights – restricts certain activities to protect important agricultural or natural features of land
Permanent – binds all future owners
Owner still owns land – can use and sell the land No public access
WHAT IS ALLOWED UNDER THE EASEMENT
AGRICULTURAL USES – generally allowed
TIMBERING – generally allowed - timber management plan may be required
ADDITIONS AND REMODELING TO THE PRIMARY RESIDENCE – generally allowed
ACCESSORY STRUCTURES - structures that serve the primary residence (garages, pools, etc..) generally allowed
AGRICULTURAL ACCESSORY STRUCTURES – generally allowed
WHAT RESTRICTIONS WILL BE PLACED ON THE PROPERTY?
STREAM BUFFERS – vary by program – MET minimum of 100-foot grassed buffers required – stream crossings allowed – larger buffers and wooded buffers encouraged wherever possible
SUBDIVISION – generally prohibited – some non-density subdivisions may be allowed under the easement in special circumstances
PUBLIC ACCESS – not required
ADDITIONAL HOMES – generally prohibited
INSPECTION – once every other year – property owner notified before visit. No access to interior of structures allowed
COMMERCIAL USES – generally prohibited – some limited may be allowed by easement.