Towns’ Land Conservation

Lord Cove, Judy Preston

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Interested in Land Conservation?

Owners of scenic or prominent land within the Zone can protect their properties for future generations, and possibly gain a financial benefit from doing so.

Your town can explain how to do so. Options include donations of land, now or upon a donor’s passing; land protection agreements, deed restrictions, and sales.

Municipal Land Conservation

Each of the eight towns in the Zone have commissions committed to open space or land preservation. 

A municipal commission, depending on its town government, may recommend open space acquisitions; manage open space lands for safe public access, protect open space natural resources and wildlife, advise land use boards, and offer public education.

Connecticut law requires for each town to adopt a plan of conservation and development at least once every ten years. While the plans may be prepared by planning & zoning agencies, conservation or open space commissions contribute to the plans’ goals and content. Commissions may also create and adopt open space plans.

Riverside with mossy rocks and an island in the distance

Kathleen DeMeo

State and Regional Government Conservation Efforts

The State of Connecticut’s Green Plan guides efforts by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and land conservation partners towards a goal of conserving 21% of Connecticut’s land base as open space by 2023.

RiverCOG published a 2021-2031 Regional Plan of Conservation and Development to inform land use decisions made by municipal commissions and to encourage land use coordination across municipal boundaries.

three team members erecting perch

Looking for additional options for conserving land?

Land trusts can offer assistance explaining the various benefits and vehicles for your land.

East Haddam, CT

An Exception for a Landmark Building

The Goodspeed Opera House has prominently stood along the Connecticut River since the 1870’s. Now a noted theater, Goodspeed Musicals has sent 19 productions to Broadway and won two Tony awards. In recognition of the historic building and the surrounding village’s scenic quality, the CT River Gateway Commission and the East Haddam Planning & Zoning Commission collaboratively collaboratively developed unique zoning standards that included an exception for the landmark theater’s height.