From time to time, the Guilford Land Conservation Trust, Inc. (“GLCT”) is asked to accept property in connection with plans of development. We have found from experience that it is necessary to establish certain standard policies in such cases, although we are willing to consider exceptions when circumstances warrant them.
Before Completing Initial Plan of Development
The GLCT should be contacted early in the process of designing the plan of development for input on the portion of the property that the GLCT would be interested in protecting and to be sure that the GLCT would be willing to accept the property. The following general considerations enter into the decision of the FLCT concerning whether to accept property:
1. The GLCT generally will not accept property unless the property has significant conservation value.
2. The GLCT generally will not accept a very small parcel unless it abuts other GLCT land or has unusual conservation features.
3. The GLCT generally will not accept property with significant potential liability risks such as environmental risks or known hazards.
4. The property to be conveyed to the GLCT should afford reasonable access to the GLCT (i.e., the only access should not be across wetlands, steep slopes, ledges, etc.).
Before Submitting Plan of Development to P&Z
The plan of development to be submitted to P&Z should first be submitted to the GLCT. If the GLCT is willing to accept the property, it will send a letter to P&Z indicating its willingness. Such letter expressing willingness to accept will relate only to the specific plan of development submitted to the GLCT. If changes are subsequently made to the plan of development affecting the property to be conveyed to the GLCT, the GLCT’s consent to such changes needs to be obtained.
Before Issuance of Building Permits by P&Z
The GLCT will request that no building permits be issued in connection with the development until a deed to the property has been delivered to the GLCT and the GLCT has sent a letter to P&Z indicating that it has received such deed and is willing to accept it. The GLCT typically will not accept a transfer of property unless the following conditions have been met:
1. Permanent markers must be placed at all significant turning points and every 500 feet of straight stretches marking the property lines of the property to be conveyed to the GLCT.
2. The property to be conveyed to the GLCT must be kept in its natural state until the transfer to the GLCT. This includes removal of any evidence of road grading and building activities prior to the transfer to the GLCT.
3. All test pits on the property to be conveyed to the GLCT must be filled.
4. The property must be conveyed to the GLCT free and clear of all liens, easements, and other encumbrances and all taxes must be paid to the date of the transfer to the GLCT.
5. The GLCT must find the terms of the deed conveying the property to the FLCT acceptable.
6. The GLCT must approve of any changes in the final plan of development affecting the property to be conveyed to the GLCT when compared to the plan that was presented to the GLCT when it expressed its willingness to accept the property.
7. There must be no impediments over rights of way affording access to the property by pedestrians and emergency vehicles, unless the GLCT approves such impediments.
8. At the time of the transfer of the property to the GLCT, the transferor must represent and warrant to the GLCT that it has no knowledge of any environmental risks or other hazards (e.g., wells, cellar holes, etc.) with respect to the property.