The Conservation Easement and Purchase of Development Rights programs in Warren County are initiatives aimed at assisting County landowners in protecting and preserving various aspects of the local environment. This includes farm and forest land, open space, scenic vistas, historic sites, water resources, environmentally sensitive lands, and the rural character of the community for future generations.
A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement by the owner to limit the use of their property to preserve its conservation values. Currently, there are twenty-two properties and 2,000 acres under conservation easement in Warren County. More information about conservation easements can be found in this brochure (PDF) created by the Warren County Planning Department.
In recognition of the contributions of landowners to the conservation easement program, the County has initiated a signage program (PDF) to identify these properties.
Eligibility Criteria for Conservation Easement
To be eligible for a conservation easement, there are certain criteria that must be met:
The use of the parcel subject to the conservation easement must be consistent with the Warren County Comprehensive Plan.
The proposed terms of the conservation easement must align with the minimum conservation easement terms and conditions as outlined in Warren County Code Section 81-8.
The identified parcel should score at least 15 points under the ranking criteria set forth under Warren County Code Section 81-7, unless the waiving of the requirement by the Board of Supervisors is determined to be in the best interest of the County.
Steps to Apply for Conservation Easement
To apply for a conservation easement, you need to:
Complete and file the Conservation Easement Application
Benefits of Conservation Easement
Applying for a conservation easement comes with a variety of benefits. These include potential tax breaks, preservation of your property, promotion of tourism, and the protection of watersheds, viewsheds, and environmentally sensitive lands.