VOF trustees adopt interim easement guidelines, expand PTF eligibility

At its September 24 meeting, the VOF board of trustees voted on several policy matters affecting landowners who want to donate open-space easements in 2016.

One such matter was the adoption of interim easement guidelines as VOF considers and accepts public comments for a more thorough update of its guidelines in 2016. The last update of the easement guidelines was in 2010. The guidelines help VOF develop recommendations for the protection of conservation values in potential easements. The interim guidelines will be phased in to affect new easements considered by the VOF board in 2016. As always, each property is unique and specific restrictions are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. VOF is accepting public comments on the interim guidelines through February 1, 2016.

Another policy matter the board voted on pertained to VOF’s Preservation Trust Fund (PTF), which assists landowners with covering some of the costs associated with conveying an open-space easement. The board voted to expand the income eligibility for landowners seeking grants to cover the costs of donating new easements. These costs include the new Baseline Documentation Report fee adopted in June, as well as legal fees, appraisals and, in certain cases, surveys.  Visit our PTF page to learn more about the grant application process.

Finally, the VOF’s trustees approved the following board meeting dates for 2016: March 24, June 30, and September 29. VOF board meetings are open to the public and are where trustees consider new easements, as well as policy, legal, budget, and other matters. Times and locations for board meetings, as well as agendas and background materials, will be posted on our calendar closer to the actual dates.

Jason McGarvey is VOF's communications and outreach manager. He is based in the Richmond office.