What is a preservation easement?
A preservation easement is a legal agreement between a grantor and a grantee that provides permanent protection from unsympathetic new construction, alterations and demolition.
How does it work?
Essentially an easement is the grant of an interest in a property or a portion of an owner’s property rights. In the easement agreement, an owner commits to preserving the property in its historic appearance, getting written permission from CPA to make alterations and refraining from demolition. An easement runs with the land and is binding on all future owners.
Why consider donating an easement for a property in a locally designated historic district with design controls? Historic designations can always be revoked; districts can be delisted. Easements, on the other hand, offer permanent protection.
What is covered?
Easements cover an entire building and its historic exterior features. They also can protect historic outbuildings on the property, such as carriage houses or garages. In addition, easements can cover interior features at the owner’s request. All covered features or properties are listed in the easement document.
Protecting open space.
The IRS requires historic buildings and open space to be covered by separate easements, even if they are located on the same property. If your property includes acreage that you wish to protect, such as hillsides, farmland, wetlands or wooded areas, the conservation easement on this land must be donated to an entity whose mission it is to protect open space, such as the Land Conservancy of Hamilton County or the Hillside Trust.
Interested in donating a preservation easement? Contact CPA Executive Director, Beth Johnson, at email@example.com or 513-721-4506 for more information.
Information on preservation easements from the National Park Service
Information on conservation easements prepared for the Cincinnati Bar Association, some of which is applicable to preservation easements