Land Use

    Many factors affect the way people make decisions on how to use the land, whether in an urban or rural environment.  Every local government has a zoning and planning department or board.  It is their job to decide what kinds of land uses will be permitted or prohibited.  The difficult job for planning officials is balancing tax revenue needs with quality of life, sense of community, and environmental impacts. 

    For farmers and other conservation-minded people, the District's Land Use program has two tools: conservation easements and agricultural easements.  The goal of the program is to protect the soil, water, air, plants, and wildlife of our open spaces from future urban land uses.    

    A conservation easement is a restriction of the property owner’s right to develop the land for urban uses (roads, subdivisions, industrial parks, etc.).  Furthermore, it is a voluntary, legally recorded agreement between the landowner and a qualified conservation organization such as The American Farmland Trust, or Montgomery SWCD.  Thus, the 'easement holder' accepts responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the restrictions.  While an easement removes the development rights, the landowner still holds the title to the property, the right to restrict public access, and the right to sell, give, or transfer the property.  Conservation easements held by the District at present have been donated, as there is no funding for purchase.

    There is funding for the purchase of agricultural easements. The Farmland Preservation Program is being overseen by the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Division of Farmland Preservation.  The program involves purchase of agricultural easements on eligible farmland, and specifically targets the following kinds of farmland:

    For information  on the funding round, contact Ed Everman at 937-854-7646 ext. 0516 or go to the Farmland Preservation  website.

 

Montgomery Soil & Water Conservation District

Helping People and Communities Care for Land and Water

     

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