Trust for Architectural Easements Barred from Certain Easement Activities

Washington, DC, July 13, 2011: The US District Court for District Of Columbia has enjoined Trust for Architectural Easements from various activities regarding historic preservation easements in a civil suit brought by the Justice Department on behalf of the IRS.

A DOJ press release summarizes the injunction as follows:

“The injunction order bars the defendants from promoting the [...]

Westchester Land Trust v Town of Lewisboro and Wolf Conservation Center

NY Supreme Court, Westchester County, Index no. 23534/10, July 13, 2011: Summary judgment order by trial court that conservation easement from Town to land trust prohibits the creation of fenced enclosures or “habitat” for the keeping of wolves.

The conservation easement was granted by the Town as a condition to receiving a grant from Westchester Land Trust [...]

Northampton Township v Parsons

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, 2057 C.D. 2010 July 12, 2011: Restriction to “recreational use” in Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (Declaration) does not allow structure or use for basketball court.  Unreported opinion.

Land acquired by a Township in part with county funds was subject to the Declaration stating the land would be used only “for wildlife [...]

Historic Green Springs, Inc. v Louisa County Water Authority

U.S. District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division, No. 3:09-CV-00079, June 30, 2011: Memorandum opinion finds the land trust holder of a conservation easement has standing to sue under the federal Clean Water Act because the alleged injury to the property rights of the land trust “provide an irrefutable basis for standing,” and at the pleading stage [...]

City of Columbus v Bahgat

Ohio Court of Appeals, 10th Appellate Dist, 2011 Ohio 3315, June 30, 2011: Requirement that replacement windows in historic district “match the original windows, like-for-like” would not confuse a person of ordinary intelligence and therefore is not unconstitutionally vague, does not constitute an unconstitutional exercise of the City’s police powers.

Defendant Bahgat replaced divided light wood frame [...]

DiDonato v Commissioner of Internal Revenue

US Tax Court, 2011 TC Memo 153, June 29, 2011: Tax deduction for conservation easement donated to county denied because owner-county conditional settlement agreement calling for donation was not an “acknowledgment” of the donated property as required by Internal Revenue Code section 170(f)(8).

The taxpayer settled a dispute with the county government by entering into a settlement [...]