Act 154, signed into law on 11/29/2006 by Governor Rendell, greatly facilitates local government partnerships with land trusts. The Act empowers local government units to:
1. appropriate money to a land trust “for the acquisition or conservation and preservation of interests in real property for the purpose of achieving open space benefits…” (including costs of appraisals, legal services, title searches, document preparation, title insurance, closing fees and survey)
2. transfer open space property interests to a land trust with or without consideration; and
3. create a “Local Land Trust” subject to various accountability measures.
While a number of local governments and land trusts have found ways to partner on projects, Act 154’s authorization for the above activities will greatly facilitate partnerships. Additionally, the Act enables local governments (excluding counties in this case) to use voter authorized millage and earned income tax rate increases—previously confined for purchase of open space interests and retiring indebtedness incurred in acquisitions—to be used for incidental transactional fees such as appraisals and legal services. Additionally, the Act enables local governments (excluding counties in this case) to use voter authorized millage and earned income tax rate increases—previously confined for purchase of open space interests and retiring indebtedness incurred in acquisitions—to be used for incidental transactional fees such as appraisals and legal services.
In the context of conservation easements:
1. Easement provisions that require the property owner to maintain the resources protected by the easement (e.g. mow a field to open a view) or that require the holder to maintain if owner does not
2. rights granted to the easement holder to perform physical acts on the property (e.g., build a trail or access the property for monitoring). [Source: Elizabeth Byers and Karin Marchetti Ponti, The Conservation Easement Handbook, Published by the Trust for Public Land and the Land Trust Alliance, 2005.]
Producers and manufacturers of agricultural goods and services, such as fertilizer and farm equipment makers, food and fiber processors, wholesalers, transporters, and retail food and fiber outlets. [source: http://aces.nmsu.edu/news/aggloss.html]
An interest in agricultural land, less than fee simple, which represents the right to prevent the development or improvement of a parcel for any purpose other than agricultural production. The easement may be granted by the owner of the fee simple to any third party or to a unit of government. The land may or may not be in active agricultural use, depending on the goals of easement holder and landowner. [source: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us]
A conservation easement purchased through the Pennsylvania Agricultural Conservation Easement Purchase Program, which enables state, county and local governments to purchase conservation easements on eligible properties for the purpose of protecting working farmlands.
Established by the act of May 13, 1988 (P.L.398, No.64), entitled "An act amending the act of June 18, 1982 (P.L.549, No.159), entitled 'An act providing for the administration of certain Commonwealth farmland within the Department of Agriculture,' providing for the disposition of proceeds from the sale of certain land, equipment or facilities.
A unit of 250 or more acres of land used for the agricultural production of crops, livestock and livestock products under the ownership of one or more persons and designated as such by the procedures set forth in this act or designated as such pursuant to the act of January 19, 1968 (1967 P.L. 992, No. 442) [source: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us]
Refers to cropland planted to an agricultural crop, used for haying or grazing, idled for weather-related reasons or natural disasters, or diverted from crop production to an approved cultural practice that prevents erosion or other degradation. [Source: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Features/FarmBill/2002Glossary.htm]
This USDA program provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands. Under the Agricultural Land Easements component, NRCS helps American Indian tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements component, NRCS helps to restore, protect, and enhance enrolled wetlands. [More information at: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/easements/acep/]
APZ ordinances designate areas where farming is the primary land use. It limits non-farm uses such as high-density development and restricts subdivision of land into parcels that are too small to farm. This stabilizes the land base by keeping large tracts of land free of development and reduces conflicts between farmers and their non-farming neighbors. [source: Pennsylvania Land Choices, An Educational Guide, Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources in partnership with Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, March 2009]
Pennsylvania law defines ATVs as: 1. Class 1 ATV – A motorized off-highway vehicle, which travels on three or more inflatable tires and has a maximum width of 50 inches and a maximum dry weight of 1000 pounds. 2. Class 2 ATV – A motorized off-highway vehicle, which travels on three or more inflatable tires and has a width which exceeds 50 inches or a dry weight which exceeds 1000 pounds. [source: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us]
A real estate appraisal is the practice of developing an opinion of the value of real property, usually its market value. The appraisal is performed by a licensed or certified appraiser. If the appraiser's opinion is based on market value, then it must also be based on the highest and best use of the real property. Appraisals can vary in quality and utility. The IRS sets standards for appraisals used for federal tax purposes and other agencies may set other standards.
Under common law, an easement that benefits adjacent property in any number of ways, for instance, by providing rights of access or protection of views. [Source: Elizabeth Byers and Karin Marchetti Ponti, The Conservation Easement Handbook, Published by the Trust for Public Land and the Land Trust Alliance, 2005.]
Aquatic buffers serve as natural boundaries between local waterways and existing development. They help protect water quality by filtering pollutants, sediment, and nutrients from runoff. Other benefits of buffers include flood control, stream bank stabilization, stream temperature control, and room for lateral movement of the stream channel. [source: http://www.epa.gov/nps/ordinance/buffers.htm]