Interpreting Conservation Easements and When New Structures are Allowed

Image of tractor in field by Chesapeake Bay Program

The article is not a substitute for legal advice. 

            The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland recently reversed the Circuit Court for Howard County’s granting of summary judgment involving how to interpret a conservation easement.  At issue in the decision is whether the easement allowed for additional residences to be built on the preserved farmland beyond the existing four residences when the easement was granted.  The easement permitted additional structures supporting continued agricultural use of the land to be built.  The new owners argued that the new house was an “additional structure” and should be allowed.  The decision is in Roxbury View, LLC v. McCauley.

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