Purchase of Development Rights

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What is a Purchase of Development Rights Program?

A Purchase of Development Rights program, or PDR program, is a voluntary program that compensates owners of agricultural property for their willingness to accept a permanent deed restriction (through a conservation easement) on their land. The conservation easement limits future development allowed on the property in order to preserve the agricultural value and open space value of the land. The value of the development rights is the difference between the value of the land based on its development potential and the value of the land after easement. 

    Market Value of the Property Before

    — (Remaining Agriculture Value)

    = Value of the development rights

Once an easement is in place, the landowner may still sell or bequeath their land on the open market as farmland. The property remains in private ownership and the City of Ann Arbor conducts an annual monitoring visit to ensure the terms of the easement are being upheld. 

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