Conservation Easements as Charitable Property: Fiduciary Duties and the Limits of Charitable Self-Regulation

Melanie B. Leslie


Suppose that Landowner purchased a twenty-acre parcel that is subject to a perpetual conservation easement that limits development to one residential structure. Donor’s objectives in granting the easement were to preserve open space, swampland, and a lake located on the parcel. Greenacres, a nonprofit charitable corporation with 501(c)(3) status, owns the right to enforce the easement. Donor claimed a charitable income tax deduction for the easement.

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