Options for Landowners

Conservation Tools & Strategies for Protecting Open Space & Farmland

Bargain Sale

Sale / conveyance of title to land or development rights to a charitable organization at less than fair market value.

Conservation Easement

Landowner voluntarily decides to restrict use of property with high conservation value while still retaining ownership. Can provide tax advantages and/or tax abatement provided that easement is long term or perpetual.


Land subdivision / proposed development is clustered on portion of property to protect open space.

Fee Simple Acquisition / Fair Market Value

Outright purchase of full title to land at fair market value.

Like-Kind Land Exchange

Tax-free land transaction whereby public agency or non-profit conservation organizations exchanges like-kind land, able to be developed, with property targeted for protection.

Limited Development / Reduced Density

Property is subdivided at a reduced density to better protect open space. Can provide tax advantages, reduced infrastructure building costs, and enhanced marketability.

Other Land Conservation Options

Land conservation is fostered by combining various land protection tools and/or by designing other site-specific preservation arrangements.

Outright Land Donation

Donation, by landowner, of all or partial interest in property.

Purchase of Development Rights

Landowner sells all or part of a property's development rights to municipality or non-profit conservation organization, while still retaining ownership and the right to certain land uses such as farming.

Tax-Exempt Installment Sale

A long-term contract to sell property or associated development rights can be negotiated between the landowner and municipality and/or non-profit organization, providing significant tax relief.

Transfer of Development Rights

Landowner can transfer the property's development rights to another parcel of land and/or sell the development rights to other landowners whose property can support increased density.