The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) has decided to begin imposing fees on all donations of conservation easements, effective January 1, 2016. This decision was made during VOF’s quarterly Board of Trustees meeting held on June 25, 2015. The official announcement of the decision was posted to VOF’s website in a blog post dated July 2, 2015. Let’s walk through the announcement and see how land preservation in Virginia might be affected. Continue reading VOF Increases Conservation Easement Fees, Financial Aid
Purchase of Development Rights (PDR)
Purchase of development rights (PDR) programs take various forms in Virginia. In the simplest form, a locality will purchase a conservation easement from a landowner, typically at a price below market value—what, in tax terms, is usually referred to as either a “bargain sale” or a “part sale, part donation.” More complicated PDR programs actually involve the transfer of development rights from one landowner to another—known as “transfer of development rights” programs.
Many PDR programs in Virginia are managed by localities. However, other funding sources for the purchase of development rights exist at both the state and national levels. One prominent example is the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program, which benefits properties in the vicinity of Fort Pickett and Fort A.P. Hill. An excellent resource for learning more about the rationale behind the ACUB program is “Compatible Use Buffers: A New Weapon to Battle Encroachment,” an article published in the October–December 2004 issue of Engineer magazine.
For more information about PDR programs generally, see the posts that follow.
Governor McAuliffe Announces Funding for Farmland Preservation Grants in Six Localities
On Monday, January 12, 2015, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that six Virginia localities had been awarded a total of more than $1,581,000 in funding to preserve working farmland through the localities’ purchase of development rights (PDR) programs. The named localities include Albemarle County, Fauquier County, James City County, Stafford County, Clarke County, and the City of Virginia Beach. PDR programs provide funding for the purchase of perpetual conservation easements from landowners, as opposed to many conservation easement programs which rely on landowners to donate easements. Continue reading Governor McAuliffe Announces Funding for Farmland Preservation Grants in Six Localities