Farmland Preservation Plan
In 1998, the Richland County Commissioners Office requested $10,000 of state funding to draft a farmland preservation plan. The Richland County Regional Planning Commission provided the required funding match. The effort began in early 1999 with the establishment of the Richland County Farmland Preservation Task Force, a research group whose membership included county officials and interested citizens alike. The resulting document, Farmland Preservation Plan for Richland County, provided both a summary of farm conditions within the county and recommendations for ongoing support.
An agricultural easement is a permanent, legally binding restriction, which forever limits the use of the subject land to predominantly agricultural activity. Protecting a farm through a donated agricultural easement allows the landowner to retain ownership and exclusive use of the land. The landowner still pays taxes, can continue to farm the land with any agricultural activity permitted by Ohio law, and can sell the land or pass it along as a gift or through the landowner’s estate. Even through those transfers, the easement’s restriction remains on the land to prevent the new owner from developing or otherwise converting the land to a nonagricultural use.
Richland County Regional Planning can assist homeowners interested in donating an agricultural easement through the Landowners Ohio Agricultural Easement Donation Program. RCRPC provides annual monitoring reports to the Ohio Department of Agriculture as the designated monitoring agent for the county. The purpose of monitoring is to verify that the grantor/landowner is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the easement and to maintain a cordial on-going relationship with the landowner. For more information or to apply, contact us.