The Agricultural Land Preservation Program preserves farmland utilizing the purchase of an agricultural conservation easement. An agricultural conservation easement is a legal restriction that limits the use of the property to agricultural purposes. The landowner is financially compensated for the sale of an agricultural conservation easement. The value for the agricultural conservation easement is determined by an independent, licensed appraiser. The ALPB makes an offer based on the appraisal. Landowners retain all other rights and privileges of the private land ownership. The agricultural conservation easement runs with the land and legally binds future owners to the easement provisions.
Selling an agricultural conservation easement can ensure that a family’s farmland will be protected from development and used for agricultural purposes only. Landowners receive financial compensation for granting an agricultural conservation easement and still retain ownership of their land. Landowners can be more confident that their farms will be passed down to the next generation by using the agricultural conservation easement as an estate planning tool.
There are many reasons to preserve farmland, it encourages the continuation of Pennsylvania’s extensive agriculture industry and local supplies of fresh food. It protects natural and historical resources such as productive soils, surface water, groundwater, air quality, wildlife habitats, scenic beauty, quality of life, and Chester County’s history. It also keeps property taxes constant. Farmland use has been shown to provide more in tax revenues to municipalities and school districts than they consume in municipal and school services; therefore, the preservation of farmland can keep property taxes down for all landowners in a community.
Program Requirements + Applications
Agricultural Security Areas
Program Regulations and Application
Deed of Agricultural Conservation Easement
Change of Ownership Forms
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Commonwealth Program Subdivision Application
- Challenge Grant Program Subdivision Application
- Commonwealth Subdivision Regulations 2020
- County Subdivision Regulations