There are several methods that PILP uses to preserve undeveloped land on Peaks Island, including what has come to be the most popular tool – Conservation Easements. The Conservation Easement is a method of land conservation that "keeps land in the family" or in private ownership, while ensuring the property's long-term protection.
Customized to the particular needs of each landowner and property, a Conservation Easement is a versatile conservation tool. In placing a Conservation Easement on your land, you formally agree to give up development rights that you otherwise would have. Granting a Conservation Easement may greatly reduce a landowner's burden from estate, income and property taxes.
Each Conservation Easement is a legal agreement in which PILP assumes permanent responsibility for monitoring the property and enforcing the easement terms. If an easement is violated by the donor or a subsequent owner of the property, PILP can take action to have the violation corrected.
Because subsequent owners of the property have to observe the restrictions set forth in the easement, it is truly a way to ensure that certain land will never be developed, or that it will be developed only in a very limited way, while still keeping it in private ownership.
Donation of a Conservation Easement offers tax advantages if the easement provides significant public benefits and meets certain tax code provisions.
For more information about Conservation Easements, or to discuss whether the Peaks Island Land Preserve would interested in holding a Conservation Easement on some of your land, feel free to contact a board member, or come to one of our monthly board meetings.
Prepared with assistance from the Maine Coast Heritage Trust