Ottawa County Purchase of Development Rights Program
Ottawa County’s Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) 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.
Hehl Farm - First Farm Preserved by PDR Program
The Hehl Farm, owned by Matt and Amy Hehl, is a 34.9 acre hog and cattle farm in Polkton Township. In addition to being the first farm permanently preserved by the Ottawa County PDR Program, the farm is also a certified centennial farm.
Benefits of Ottawa County’s PDR 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 PDR 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 PDR 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 PDR 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
Application ProcessAn Ottawa County PDR Application must be completed and submitted, along with all necessary attachments to the Ottawa County Planning and Performance Improvement Department.
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 PDR Program
12220 Fillmore Street, Room 260