Conserve Your Land
Conserve your land and be paid for it! In Calvert County, land owners have a number of options to conserve their land, while still owning it. Land ownership has many benefits. Owners of rural farm and forest lands can farm, harvest timber, hunt, mine gravel, prevent trespass and enjoy the many other benefits of a rural lifestyle. In most places, owners may still have the ability to create a lot or lots to convey to others. Subject to property location and funding, there are three local programs and three state programs available in Calvert County that pay owners who are willing to limit or restrict the creation of future lots from their property.
Local Programs. Calvert County created the first program in the country to allow others to sell or “transfer development rights" to developers wishing to develop land that they own at higher density. After that program was created, the County added two programs that “retire” the development rights: the Purchase and Retirement (PAR) program and the Leveraging and Retirement (LAR) program. Contact Rachel O'Shea at the Calvert County Department of Community Planning and Building for additional information on any of these county programs.
State Programs. The state has three easement programs that retire development potential from willing owners. They are operated by the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, the Rural Legacy Board and the Maryland Environmental Trust. With the first two programs, the property owners sell an easement to the state. With the latter, the owners donate an easement and may benefit from a tax break from the value of the easement over the next 15 years.
A summary of the status of all of these programs can be reached here.
Conserve your land by selling it to a land trust! There are five land trusts operating in Calvert County that may want to buy and conserve your property if you are interested.
American Chestnut Land Trust – Parkers Creek and Governor’s Run areas
Calvert Nature Society – throughout Calvert
Calvert Farmland Trust – throughout Calvert
Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust – primarily south Calvert
Southern Calvert Land Trust – primarily small lot donation and conservation