What is a Purchase of Development Rights Program?
A Purchase of Development Rights program, or PDR program, is a voluntary program. This program pays owners of agricultural property in return for placing a permanent deed restriction on their land. This is done using a conservation easement. The conservation easement limits future development allowed on the property. This limit preserves 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
The owner may still sell or bequeath their land on the open market as farmland. The property remains in private ownership. The City of Ann Arbor conducts a yearly visit to ensure the terms of the easement are being upheld.