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The Livingston Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 236
Brighton, MI 48116-0236
(810) 229-3290
info@livingstonland
conservancy.org
 

Local Government Information

 Below are some commonly asked questions related to local government.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the advantages to local governments to have the Conservancy involved in land preservation?
A: If we hold a conservation easement on property, it keeps it protected in perpetuity; it can continue to have property tax value (although generally at a lower rate); and is still privately owned. The Conservancy's job is to steward the land and make sure the conditions of the easement are being fulfilled. We are totally accountable to the community.

Q: If the Conservancy owns land, won't it be requested to have the land removed from the tax rolls?

A: Frequently yes, and for fair reasons. Land that is owned by the Conservancy is being held for the public trust. We need to provide a benefit to the community for the land being preserved. Some of these benefits could include: a trail system; educational/scientific opportunities for school children/college students; protection of water quality like a groundwater recharge areas; rural character and open space esthetics; wildlife habitat; protection of sensitive ecosystems that are at risk of being developed. Land that is held by the Conservancy does not require any (or minimal) government services and does not drain the tax system by impacting the need for infrastructure. The local government has the benefit for its citizens of the land being preserved without any of the liability for its care. No tax dollars are being spent but yet the community is the direct beneficiary.

Q: Would the Conservancy be a willing partner in holding common/open space in developments in response to the new open space ordinance requirement in the State of Michigan?

A: The Conservancy is very willing to hold open space for developments but we do have strict criteria in which to assess the appropriateness of the development design. For example, if the open space is cut up too much by the road system or housing units, it makes it too difficult for us to properly steward the property. We would much prefer to be involved in the beginning stages of a development to help shape the design and best location for the open space area. This would better assure the long-term health of the ecosystem.

Q: Are there other benefits the Conservancy can provide to local governments?

A: We are glad to review proposed parkland property and help write supporting material for the municipality to apply to the Michigan State Recreational Trust Fund. We were instrumental in writing the grant for Deerfield Township to purchase the land for Deerfield Hills (about 425 acres) as well as a letter of support for a later grant application. We have also written support letters for Putnam Township and the Village of Pinckney and reviewed land for a proposed park. We are always glad to partner with local units of government to help preserve property.