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Conservation Easements

Conservation Easements

Conservation easement

Leaving a Legacy often comes not from completing grandiose plans of structures and buildings, memorials or medals, but in the simple act of land preservation. Many Fauquier residents have decided to do just that by placing their land in what is called a conservation easement. A conservation easement allows a landowner to maintain the natural beauty of their property while retaining full ownership and care of their land, but it generally restricts land divisions and some uses on the property.

Private landowners have made a choice to “go green” by placing over 99,000 acres in conservation easements, through government programs including the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Fauquier County, and non-profits such as Piedmont Environmental Council. Fauquier County has proudly promoted and sponsored many conservation easement programs. We suggest that you contact the County or one of the non-profit organizations for more information, and then consult your attorney and tax accountant to find the program that is right for you.

If you know someone who wants to leave a legacy, ask them to consider making a difference for generations to come by making a choice to protect their land, which tells so much about our history, culture, and their life. Join in this conservation effort today. You won’t regret it!

Acres of Conservation Easement in Fauquier County


Virginia Outdoor Foundation Open Space


Non-Common Open Space (Fauquier County)


Purchase of Development Rights Program (Fauquier County)


The Nature Conservancy


County of Fauquier


Land Trust of Virginia


Virginia Outdoors Foundation Owned


Piedmont Environmental Council


Marsh Resources Inc.


Virginia Board of Historic Resources




Source: Fauquier County GIS Department, November, 2013.

The Fauquier County Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program Allows landowners to enter into voluntary agreements to sell the development potential of qualifying property while retaining its ownership and use. The resulting conservation easements assure the availability of land for agricultural, forestal, recreational or open-space use, while protecting its natural and cultural resources, maintaining or enhancing air and/or water quality, and moderating the impacts of development.

Conservation easement Fauquier County Board of Supervisors Open Space Easement Certain types of land divisions in the rural district require that 85% of the original parcel be maintained in a single lot, with recordation of a Deed of Non-Common Open Space on the property. The non-common open space easement limits further development of the property, generally assuring that the property is preserved for agricultural use.

The Fauquier County Conservation Easement Incentive Overlay District  Established to preserve agricultural and historic resources, open space, parks and future transportation corridors, this zoning ordinance tool allows residential density to be increased within certain Service Districts through the special exception process, in exchange for placing conservation easements on the resources to be saved.

Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) Conservation Easement Program  Promotes the preservation of open space through easements which protect a variety of resources, including watersheds, lands adjacent to public parks and game preserves, as well as cultural and historic landscapes.

Land Trust of Virginia  Uses permanent conservation easements to help landowners voluntarily limit development while keeping the land open for forestry, farming, and recreation. In most cases, the property remains in private ownership.

Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC)  Works with landowners to develop conservation easements that establish permanent limits on future development while protecting the conservation values of the land. Each easement is unique, with terms negotiated between the landowner and the council.  Except for those relinquished rights recorded in the easement document, the landowner retains ownership, use and control of the land. Fauquier County information.

The Nature Conservancy  Works with landowners to develop permanent conservation easements to protect the habitats needed to ensure the continuity of Earth's biodiversity.

Marsh Resources, Incorporated  Works with landowners to negotiate and hold easements on properties having existing or potential wetland sites.  The easements are held in perpetuity for use as mitigation sites for wetland impacts or sold as mitigation credits.

Date Last Modified: 11/10/2015


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