Public Hearing: Rural Legacy Easement

Public Hearing: Rural Legacy Easement

Eric Seifarth and Holly Thibault, Land Preservation Planners brought this issue to Public Hearing during the Board of County Commissioner's Meeting on Tuesday, August 28, 2007, with a request that the Board of County Commissioners approves the Constance Thomas Rural Legacy Program funding request in the amount of $852,461.20. Washington County participates in the Rural Legacy Program through which the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides 100% of the funding to purchase land preservation easements on properties with significant agricultural, environmental and historic features.
For Fiscal Year 2007 Washington County was awarded $1.8 million and the Constance Thomas funding request for $852,461.20 is part of that award and will; purchase easements on that 204 acre farm near Antietam Battlefield. Planning staff determined that there are 13 potential building rights by zoning potential, however, the Boonsboro schools are currently over capacity. DNR has identified the Thomas farm as being a favorable property under the Green Infrastructure. wooded/stream buffering, protections.
The $852,461.20 is broken down as $813,360.00 easement value, $24,400.80 administrative coverage, $12,200.40 for a mandatory compliance fund and $2,500 for settlement/title costs, all to be paid from the FY '07 $1.8 million DNR grant to the County. No one appeared to comment in favor of, or in opposition to the easement. The measure was approved by unanimous vote.