15.15.01.19

.19 Acceptance of Easements by Donation, Gift, Bequest, or Grant.

A. The Foundation may accept easements or other rights to restrict the use of agricultural land and woodland in accord with the criteria and procedures of this regulation.

B. Criteria.

(1) Agricultural land and woodland parcels on which easements are accepted shall be:

(a) Primarily used for the production of food or fiber;

(b) Of such size, configuration, and natural capability to assure continued economically viable agricultural production or be located contiguous to other similarly productive land; and

(c) Land within the boundaries of a 10-year water and sewerage service district only if the land is outstanding in productivity and is of significant size.

(2) The acceptance of an easement by donation, gift, bequest, or grant may not be contingent upon inclusion of the land in an agricultural preservation district.

C. Procedures for Acceptance of Easement Donations. The Foundation shall forward any donation offers to the applicable local governing body for review and comment. The Foundation shall determine easement acceptability in accord with the criteria as provided in §B of this regulation and findings from a field visit to the property. Further acceptance is contingent upon a satisfactory legal review.

D. Deed Form.

(1) Donated easements may be in perpetuity or for a specified term. Special provisions, unique to the land or to the wishes of the donor, may be incorporated in the easement form for consideration by the Foundation.

(2) Restrictions.

(a) However, the restrictions in this subsection are generally applicable to the encumbered land in any deed for an easement by donation.

(b) Any agricultural use of the land is permitted. However, industrial or commercial use is not permitted with the exception of uses related to the primary processing of agricultural and/or woodland products and the direct sale of locally produced agricultural and woodland products to the public.

(c) Subdivision for residential and commercial purposes is not permitted. However, upon written application to and approval by the Foundation, conveyance of a lot for the owner and for each of his children for the purpose of construction of one dwelling intended for his or their use may be permitted.

(d) The property may be subdivided only with the written approval of the Foundation.

(e) Signs, billboards, or outdoor advertising structure may not be displayed on the property, except that one sign, not exceeding 4 feet by 4 feet, may be displayed to state the name of the property and the name and address of the occupant, to advertise an activity permitted above, and to advertise the property for sale or rental.

(f) No dump of ashes, sawdust, bark, trash, rubbish, or any other material, except that which is for regular agricultural use, may be permitted on the property.

(g) Agricultural lands shall be managed in accordance with sound agricultural and soil and water conservation practices, in a manner which will not be of significant detriment to agricultural production capability on the land.

(h) Woodlands shall be managed in accordance with sound forestry practices, and trees may be selectively or clear cut from time to time in a manner that will not alter the character of the land or diminish its productive capability.

(i) The grantee and its representatives, after appropriate notice to the grantors and any person residing on the property, may enter the property from time to time for the purpose of inspection and enforcement of the terms of the easement granted herein. However, the grantee may not have the right to inspect the interior of any dwelling on the subject property.

(j) In case of doubt concerning the appropriateness or permissibility of agricultural or related uses of encumbered property, the property owner may submit a written request for consideration and approval of the use to the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.