Ottawa County Purchase of Development Rights
Ottawa County’s Purchase of Development Rights Program is a voluntary program that preserves farmland by purchasing or receiving donations of development rights from an actively farmed property. Landowners are compensated for lost development potential, yet still own the land and retain all other rights associated with it. The land must continue to be used for agricultural purposes, or remain in a natural state perpetually regardless of transfer or sale of property.
Benefits of Ottawa County’s Farmland Preservation Program
- Economic Impact: Supports the vibrant agricultural community in Ottawa County
- Food Supply: Promotes a fresh, sustainable, local food supply
- Environmental: Protects natural integrity of farmland as well as conserves prime and unique soils
- Quality of Life: Adds to the scenic views and natural beauty of West Michigan
How it works
- Eligible farmland must be located within Ottawa County in a participating city, village or township that have adopted a resolution in support of the Farmland Preservation Program.
- The landowner is required to donate at least 25% of the Fair Market Value of the parcel(s) to the purchase price of the easement.
- Farmers are paid the balance of the Fair Market Value of the easement purchase from the Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Program funds (which are comprised of private donations) and matching state and federal grants designated for farmland preservation.
- Ottawa County works in conjunction with the Michigan Natural Resources Conservation Service to assist farmers in obtaining a matching grant for the easement on their property. The United States Department of Agriculture matches up to 50% of the funds to purchase a Farmland Preservation Program easement on selected, qualified properties.
- 25% of the monies are raised through private donations and held in an account at the Community Foundation of the Holland Zeeland Area
If you are interested in permanently preserving your farmland, the first step is to complete this brief pre-application form and submit it to email@example.com. A member of our staff will contact you to confirm that your property is eligible, assist you with completing the full application form, and answer any questions you might have about selling the development rights to your farmland. The Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board will then review and prioritize applications based on Scoring Criteria and available funds.
If you have any questions, please contact us:
Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Program
12220 Fillmore Street, Room 260