What Colchester will look like 100 years from now is being decided today by landowners like you. What you do with your open land makes all the difference in preserving the town's rural character and protecting its natural resources, area watersheds and local wildlife.
There are a number of ways to preserve the natural beauty of your land during your lifetime and for future generations while potentially reaping a tax benefit. The Colchester Land Trust works in partnership with you, the landowner, and many other organizations (such as The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut Farmland Trust, the Town of Colchester, and State of Connecticut) to help find conservation options best suited for your conservation goals. Some options available for land preservation are:
The Land Trust can work with you to create a legal agreement restricting the uses of your land to protect its conservation values. Such an agreement can cover all, or just a portion, of your land, and is tailored to meet the conservation and other goals you may have for your property. Generally, an easement would limit or prohibit subdivision of a property, commercial and industrial activity, and activities that might disturb wildlife habitat. At the same time, you retain legal ownership of your property and can continue to use it in ways that meet your needs. You can even sell your property or pass it on to heirs. And donation of an easement may qualify you for tax benefits.
Sale of land to CLT or Other Conservation Organization
By selling your land to a conservation organization (or a group of organizations), you can potentially realize the same net proceeds as you would by selling to a developer. A 'bargain sale' of land, when you sell your land for less than its fair market value, not only makes preservation affordable for the CLT, but can provide you with cash, a reduction in capital gains tax, and entitle you to a charitable income tax deduction. If your property is an important natural resource, please let us have the opportunity to discuss options with you before listing your land for sale.
Donation of Land
No contribution has as much impact as the gift of open land. If preserving natural resources is your most important goal, donating your land to an organization whose primary objective aligns with yours makes perfect sense. Through a gift or bargain sale, we can help you make sure that the land you love is permanently protected as open space. The Colchester Land Trust will steward the land in perpetuity, protecting its natural beauty and the conservation values you cherish. Depending on your goals and vision for the future of the property, the Land Trust may agree to add trails, keep fields open or simply allow nature to take its course without human intervention.
Preserving your land through an easement, sale or outright donation is a process that requires serious dialogue between you and your legal counsel and financial advisor. If you are interested in exploring options for protecting your land please contact Lisa Hageman, Chair of our Landowner Contact Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are considering the preservation of your land, you might find the following links helpful in answering some of the questions you may have: