THE ODLC EASEMENT PROCESS
Land & Water Conservation
Conserving Your Land
Tailoring a Conservation Easement to each landowner’s individual goals is a specialty of ODLC. No two properties are the same; the skill to evaluate and promote each property’s unique conservation value and potential is the expertise of ODLC. The Property Owner drives the easement process by setting goals for the property’s growth and use within the easement document, thus preserving their vision in perpetuity. ODLC will work collaboratively with the owner to best match their goals with conservation values as prescribed by the State. These goals will continue to be nurtured by ODLC through the annual monitoring process; by review and approval of changes to the property, including new buildings, agricultural ventures, forestry planning and ownership changes. Maintaining land in conservation is a delicate balance between nature and the individual owner’s desires for the property. ODLC’s role is to protect the environment while ensuring the owner’s future enjoyment of the land.
What you CAN do:
- Agribusinesses: Wineries, breweries, livestock operations, crops.
- Build a new home, outbuilding or restoration/extension of historic buildings.
- Create Wetlands and stream banks.
- Actively Forest through a Forest Management plan.
- Scenic Space Preservation.
- Preserve Natural Habitat and Biological Diversity.
- Historic Preservation.
- Hunting, mountain biking and motorized sports.
- Leave the land to descendants or sell.
- Donation for park land.
What you CAN’T do.
- End an Easement, they are permanent and stay with the land.
- Reduce protections on the land in an amendment.
- Clear cut your Forest.
- Tax Accountant/Tax Credit Brokers
- State & Local Agencies
Who Can Donate Land?
Individuals, trusts, large and small profit corporations such as LLCs and not-for-profits such as organizations, and religious and environmental groups can all donate land into conservancy. Donating an easement can involve many steps and requires the cooperation and coordination of multiple parties over many months. However, that the procedure will be slightly different for each property. ODLC will guide you through the steps.
ODLC is your partner in working through the process and will assist you with completing the required paperwork, inspecting the areas to be donated, recording the property with photos, and will inspect the property at least annually to make sure the land is being maintained according to the terms of the conservation easement.
Landowners should always seek advice from their legal and financial advisers regarding the financial and estate benefits of a conservation easement.
Please remember that land donations are completely voluntary and you may change your mind at any time during the application process.
“I enjoy working with landowners to protect our heritage from destruction. Being able to partner with the Leggett family, Loudoun County, and Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation to bring a park to western Loudoun County has been a great accomplishment for Old Dominion Land Conservancy.”
~ Henry Stribling, Executive Director, ODLC
- Consult with the Landowner regarding the Property and asses it’s Conservation Potential and the Process.
- Produce a Baseline Document Report and Draft Easement establishing the current state of the property and facilitating the process in conjunction with the Landowner’s Legal Representative.
- Continue to guide the Landowner in perpetuity regarding best use, approval of improvements and alterations.
- Annually contact the Landowner and visit the property to monitor the land, ensuring it complies with the Easement.
- The Landowner contacts ODLC to explore putting their land in Easement. When ready to begin the process, the owner signs the ODLC Consent Form and Letter of Intent.
- The Landowner retains a lawyer and upon legal advice, any other professional involved in the process (appraiser, tax accountant/Tax Credit Broker.)
- ODLC will visit the property, produce documents and reports for use in the establishment of the easement.
- The attorney will record the document with the local court.