A Conservation Easement is a tool that landowners can use to protect their own land. If enough people choose to establish conservation easements on their land, then the result will be a large, contiguous chunk of permanently protected forest surrounding the neighborhood. This will prevent potential future development from radically altering the area. When you establish a conservation easement on your property, you donate some of the development rights on the land to a private non-profit organization, such as the Tennesse Parks and Greenways Foundation. You retain full ownership of the land, but you agree to preserve a portion of your land in its natural state. This agreement is legally binding and permanently affixed to the land even as it is transferred to future owners. Please visit our links for more details about conservation easements.

In creating a conservation easement, the landowner may tailor the restrictions to meet her or his particular concerns. Our hope is that residents will use a conservation easement to designate a section of their land as a "Nature Preserve." In our neighborhood, this would typically be the back piece of property that is entirely forested, high up a steep slope, and is seldom used by people.

We are creating a registry of property owners who are interested in signing up to protect their land. The registration form below is a preliminary, non binding statement of desire to create an easement.

Landowner Registration in Html format or as Word Document


FAQs

Is the Registration Form binding?
    No. This is an informal, non-binding form to be used within our community to determine the extent of support within for conservation easements.
If I establish a conservation easement, am I giving up control of my property?
    You retain full ownership of your land when you establish an easement. You are giving up certain rights on certain portions of your land. For example, you would give up the right to build houses on the portion of your property that you would like to designate as a nature preserve.
Am I being forced by my neighbors to do something I don’t want to do with my property?
    No. Establishing an easement is entirely voluntary. Each landowner must decide independently whether or not she/he want to protect her/his property.
What is the difference between an "Easement" and an "Overlay?"
    An Easement is voluntarily written into a deed by the landowner, and is thus a "bottom-up" process. An Overlay comes from Metro Council and dictates what landowners are allowed to do in a "top-down" process.
How do I find the dimensions of my lot?
    You may approximate them visually for now, you may borrow our 300-foot tape measure, or you could go online, using the instructions found at this link
Are there any financial incentives to establishing a conservation Easement?
    Putting your land into conservation easement does result in tax breaks, but the significance of this depends on your specific situation. Landowners who set aside large portions of their land that could otherwise be readily built upon may receive substantial tax reductions. However, for many of the properties in our neighborhood, the easements would not affect the immediate value that our properties are assessed at. This is because zoning currently prevents additional houses from being built on the property anyway, and the portions we would like to protect are generally difficult to build on. In the long term, resale values of the properties might increase if we succeed in establishing a permanent nature preserve adjacent to our properties.
What if I want to preserve the large trees above my lawn but not create a full-fledged nature preserve?
    Conservation Easements can be tailored however you like. We encourage landowners who maintain a lawn under beautiful large trees to establish an easement that protects just the canopy trees.