One of the most appealing aspects of Killingly is its uninterrupted forestlands, rolling farmlands, and intact historical character. Private landowners are largely to thank for this luxury. Generations of families have maintained their properties as the picturesque and undeveloped landscapes we get to enjoy daily. Perhaps you and your family have considered planning for the legacy of your land and its fate when it transfers to a new owner. If you are interested in ensuring that your property remains undeveloped, an option to consider is a conservation easement.
Governments, land trusts and other organizations accept easements. An easement is granted to protect an area of land from development while retaining private ownership. The organization accepting the easement will acquire the development rights of the property, via purchase or donation from the landowner. By granting an easement in perpetuity, the property owner may be assured that the valuable natural resources of his or her property (be it a forest or working farm) will be protected indefinitely, no matter who the future owners are. Easements restrict development to the degree that is necessary to protect the resources of a particular property. Sometimes easements prohibit all construction or any activities that would alter the land’s present condition. However, an agricultural easement on a working farm, for example, may restrict subdivision and development while allowing for structures and activities necessary for and compatible with the agricultural operation. Property owners and easement holders can negotiate the specific terms of the agreement to suit their needs. The organization or agency holding the easement is responsible for enforcing the restrictions that the easement document spells out.
Are you interested in preserving your agricultural property in perpetuity with a conservation easement? Contact the Town of Killingly Planning and Development Office at 860-779-5311. For more information on conservation easements, see the linked resources provided by non-profit organizations: American Farmland Trust - https://farmland.org/ and Land For Good - http://landforgood.org/ .