Seal of Caroll County, Maryland

Agricultural Land Preservation Program

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Agricultural Land Preservation Program

The Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Program is now processing applications submitted for FY17 cycle. Please refer to the information below to learn if your property might qualify for future application cycles. You may print an application form (click on the link below), complete and mail it to the address given on the form at any time and your application will be held for the next available cycle. Call 410 386-2214 if you have questions. - Deborah Bowers, Program Manager

If you are interested in protecting your property and would consider payment for a permanent agricultural conservation easement that will preserve your land for agricultural use, you may download and print an application from this site or call our office for further information. Also, review our Preservation Programs Brochure for information on programs available.

Generally, the following qualifications are in effect:

  1. Properties must be at least 60 acres, or if less than 60 acres, they must be more than 30 acres and: a.) adjacent to a preserved farm; b.) have a minimum of 4 lot rights; and c.) may not retain any lot right. Properties of fewer than 30 acres will not be accepted into the Ag Land Preservation program. Other program options may be available for small properties.
  2. Properties must have at least 50% USDA Class I, II, or III soil capability and/or Woodland Groups I and II.
  3. All properties must have development rights and subdivision potential.
  4. The easement must be approved by the Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board and the Board of County Commissioners.

Two payment options will be available:

  1. Lump sum payment. Offer may be up to 70% of fair market value and is paid in full at settlement. Offers will be derived using a points-based formula based on traditional appraisals and area comparable values.
  2. Installment Purchase Agreement (IPA): Payment through a 20 year contract that will pay approximately 5% tax-free interest on the offer amount yearly, with full offer amount paid at the end of the period. IPA offers are capped at 40% of fair market value but boosted with the tax-free interest. The cost of bonds may affect the interest rate offered, but the program strives to offer 5%.

Note: If insufficient funding limits the number of offers made, properties will be prioritized through a ranking system. IPA options, which conserve funds in the current fiscal year, may receive priority.

Call 410-386-2214 for more information.

Deborah Bowers, Program Manager