Using legal tools called “conservation easements” or “grants of development rights,” land trusts help landowners to voluntarily limit development while keeping the land open for forestry, farming, and recreation. The property remains in private ownership with the peace of mind that it is protected now and forever.
Donations of easements, as valued by certified appraisers, currently qualify as charitable contributions for federal income and estate tax purposes, but do not necessarily reduce property taxes.
GLT works with Greensboro landowners who love their land and want to see it conserved. We buy and accept gifts of development rights. Sometimes we share a project with the Vermont Land Trust, which receives funding from The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Freeman Foundation, and private donors. But mainly we rely on funds raised from residents and friends of Greensboro.
The first step in GLT acquisition of development rights is negotiation of a purchase and sale (P&S) agreement between GLT and the landowner. This is followed by negotiation of a grant of development rights, leading to a contract entered in the Town of Greensboro Land Records.
GLT’s current policy is to raise or transfer $6,000 to its Stewardship Endowment Fund for each new easement, in order to cover monitoring and enforcement costs. Easement donors are invited to contribute to this fund in recognition that GLT is assuming a perpetual responsibility to preserve their land.
Several of these are listed below, although it should be noted that GLT approaches each project flexibly out of a desire to accommodate as far as possible specific needs and goals of the landowner:
GLT normally follows guidelines issued by the Vermont Land Trust. VLT templates comprise our point of departure for negotiating Purchase & Sale agreements and grants of development rights. These are summarized on VLT’s website.
See in particular the pages:
For further information contact:
John Cannon, chair, at 802-533-7122, or
Clive Gray, vice-chair, at 802-533-2609 (Oct-May) or 802-533-7723 (June-Sep)
Greensboro Land Trust, Box 135, Greensboro, VT 05841