What is a preservation easement?
A preservation easement is a voluntary transfer by the property owner, as donor, of some of the rights inherent in property ownership to a qualified steward of such rights (called the donee). The preservation easement is set forth in a legal agreement between the property owner (the donor) and M-NCPPC (the qualified holder, the donee) to preserve and protect the significant historical, cultural, architectural, or archeological attributes of the property.

The “easement,” as it is legally termed, contains binding and enforceable covenants that run with the land and associated structures. These covenants obligate the owner, and his or her successors, to refrain from actions that are incompatible with the preservation of the historic resource and/or compromise its historic integrity. To understand the easement concept, think of property ownership as investing the owner with a number of generally recognized rights. The landowner may sell or give away all of the rights, or a limited set of them. These rights may include, for example, the right to alter a building, to demolish it, or to construct a new one. In return for the historic property grant, the property owner gives away certain rights while retaining others. The basic premise of the preservation easement agreement stipulates that the owner will be required to seek approval from M-NCPPC on any change to the property designated in the agreement.

For more information, please call Historic Preservation at 301-952-3520.

Show All Answers

1. What is a preservation easement?
2. Who is required to grant an easement to the M-NCPPC?
3. What are M-NCPPC’s responsibilities?
4. How long does an easement last?
5. Why grant a preservation easement ?
6. What are the benefits to the general public in the award of historic property grants to individual owners?
7. How does an easement work?
8. What changes are allowed to my historic property?
9. Does the preservation easement take precedence over the county preservation ordinance?
10. Are we talking about the entire house and property?
11. Will the easement cover interior features as well as the exterior of the property?
12. How is the easement applicable if I use the grant award to purchase a historic property?
13. What is the financial value of the easement and how is it determined?
14. What document does a pro perty owner file to obtain the federal tax benefit?
15. What are my out-of-pocket costs in donating an easement?
16. What are the legal and real estate implications?
17. Are easements a well-proven idea?
18. What are the benefits of granting an easement?
19. Do typical non-cash charitable contributions rules apply to the donation of a preservation easement?
20. Must an easement require some type of public access?
21. What are the basic tax code requirements for an easement?