How restrictive is a conservation easement?

An easement is as restrictive as the landowner wishes it to be.

While ensuring that conservation values of public benefit are protected.  Sometimes this totally prohibits new construction and sometimes it doesn’t.  If the goal is to protect farm or ranch land and keep it in productivity, an easement may restrict subdivision and development while allowing for structures and activities necessary for and compatible with the agricultural operation.  If the goal is to preserve a pristine natural area, an easement may prohibit all construction outside of a pre-determined “building envelope” as well as any activities that would alter the land’s present natural condition.  However, even the most restrictive easements permit the continuation of historical uses of the land.

Posted in: Easement FAQ