Community land trust for preserving non-housing land
From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 11:48:45 -0500
One very excellent use of the CLT model is to use it as the framework
for preserving undeveloped land in its natural or undeveloped state.
There are lots of examples of this around, indeed it is one of the prime
uses of the CLT form.  You can do a housing condo project and then
create a CLT to preserve the remaining undeveloped greenbelt if that is
your goal.

Sharingwoods greenbelt will eventually become a CLT and so our housing
will be surrounded by a CLT.  In our area, one advantage of having
undeveloped land in a CLT is that both County and State taxes are
lowered, and there are some special land owner management training
programs available to CLT's.

In the preservation trust agreements you can write almost any kind of
use agreement you want to include gardens, logging, trails, human use,
etc. In our area there is even a land trust management organization
which provides some sort of umbrella organization for smaller land
trusts. The kicker in our locality is, the land must remain undeveloped
for a period of ten years or more. If CLT land is developed for housing
during that ten years, you pay a substantial fee which is considerably
more than the tax rebate you get.  

In a preservation trust agreement the ownership group can retain control
and management of the property, or give control and management to an
agency or other non-profit group.  I am exploring the idea of creating a
501-C-3 organization to steward the greenbelt at Sharingwood, with the
idea of  holding some sort of educational conferences using the
greenbelt as a focus. In this case, if I read the WA state tax code
right, our greenbelt would be exempt from paying any real estate taxes
at all. Your local laws will vary, but if your group is planning to
steward land you might look into this.

Rob Sandelin
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