Restriction: A Flexible Land Planning Tool
The most commonly-used tool for land protection in Carlisle is the
Conservation Restriction or “CR.” Since Jim and Wendy
Davis of East Street granted Carlisle CR #1 to the Town in 1973,
nearly 40 separate CRs have been recorded with several more in the
The CR is a voluntary legal agreement entered into between a landowner
and a qualified conservation organization, such as CCF, or a government
entity, such as the Town of Carlisle. In order to protect the land's
natural resource values, each CR permanently limits a property's
uses, while maintaining private ownership and control of the land.
The CR "runs with the land" -- it is approved by both
the Town and the State, recorded at the Registry of Deeds, and is
binding on present and future owners of the property.
The CR owes its popularity to its flexibility as both a land-planning
and financial tool. The donating landowner works with the organization
or government entity that will hold the CR to define the restrictions
that will protect the land (such as no building, excavation, or
clear-cutting of trees) and to specify conservation or agriculture-friendly
uses that will be permitted (such as trails and certain recreational
activities, or managed forestry). Public access is encouraged, but
not required. Each CR reflects the special needs and vision of each
landowner, as well as the unique features of the land.
CR also provides financial flexibility. In granting a CR, the landowner
may permanently reduce the economic value of the land, which is
considered a charitable donation eligible for deduction from income
taxes. The reduced land value may also help reduce gift or estate
taxes. For some, this can make the difference between having the
land sold to pay estate taxes and being able to leave the property
of late November, it appears that Carlisle will be adding one new
CR for 2002. Rev. Janet Lovejoy of West Street is moving forward
with a second, 35-acre CR, directly adjacent to a 22-acre CR she
donated two years ago. CCF is working with several Carlisle residents
who are at various stages in the process. Stay tuned for more good
news in 2003 as these gifts are finalized.
assists landowners by providing information, access to professional
resources, and acting as grantee for CRs. For further information,
please contact Wayne Davis.