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 has adopted a resolution in support of the Farmland Preservation Program.
- The Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board will score all applications and select one, in some cases two, properties for preservation each year.
- The landowner is required to donate a minimum of 25% of the Fair Market Value of the developments rights to the property.
- The landowner will be paid the balance of the Fair Market Value of the development rights to the property. These funds come from state and federal grants designated for farmland preservation and the Ottawa County Farmland Preservation Program fund (which is comprised of private donations).
- To estimate what the development rights to your property might be worth, download our calculator here.
If you are interested in permanently preserving your farmland, the first step is to complete this brief pre-application form and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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