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 [...]

Rocky Mountain Christian Church v Boulder County Cert Denied

The US Supreme Court denied certiorari January 10 in the case of Rocky Mountain Christian Church v Boulder County (reported here on May 25, 2010), a case decided by the United States Court Of Appeals  Tenth Circuit, No. 09-1188, May 17, 2010, involving claims under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). [...]

California Farmland Conservancy Program Act Signed

California, Sept. 30, 2010: “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed … SB1142, by Sen. Pat Wiggins, D-Santa Rosa, which aims to expand the sources of grant money that the state can use to preserve farmland through easements. The bill allows the state to buy farmland-conservation easements that also require some environmental aim, like preservation of wildlife habitat. [...]

Final Revised ADA Regulations Signed

On July 23, 2010, US Attorney General Eric Holder signed final regulations revising the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations (28 C.F.R. Parts 35 and 36) which affect alterations to “places of recreation,” museums and all other places of public accommodation. In general, these final rules take effect 6 months after they are published in the [...]

Massachusetts Historic Rehab Tax Credit Extended to 2017

The FY 2011 Massachusetts state budget amends the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, previously set to expire in 2011, to sunset 12/31/2017. According to the Massachusetts Historical Commission website, “Under the program a certified rehabilitation project on an income-producing property is eligible to receive up to 20% of the cost of certified rehabilitation expenditures in state [...]

Virginia Legislative Update

A web page titled, Conservation Easements Legislative Update 2010, By R. Lee Stephens, Jr. and Robert J. Allen, posted May 24, 2010, by the Virginia law firm Spotts Fain summarizes bills signed into law following the most recent Virginia General Assembly session. Obviously, I can’t comment on [...]

Federal Chesapeake Bay Strategies Issued

Six federal agencies led by the EPA issued the final strategy document, Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed [EPA‐903‐R‐10‐003] on May 12, 2010, following up an executive order mandating a federal strategy to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Among the outcomes sought by the strategy is “Protect an additional 2 million acres of [...]

USDA: $175M in Funding for Wetlands Reserve Program

USDA announced May 14, 2010, that $175 million in funding is available for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wetlands Reserve Program. USDA says that funding will add 75,000 additional acres to the approximately 2.2 million acres currently enrolled in the program. The funding will go to wetland conservation projects in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, [...]

Ruling Spares Neutra Gettysburg Cyclorama For Now

Recent Past Preservation Network et al v John Latschar … Superintendent Of Gettysburg National Military Park et al
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
Case Number: 1:06-CV-02077-TFH, March 31, 2010

The Recent Past Preservation Network reports, “On March 31, 2010, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Recent Past Preservation Network in the lawsuit involving [...]

Minnesota Enacts Historic Preservation Tax Credit

Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, among other sources, reports, “State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit signed into law… [April 1, 2010] by Governor Tim Pawlenty through Jobs Stimulus Bill”. Click here to [...]

Nine Mile Canyon Coalition, et al v. US Dept. of The Interior and BLM

United States District Court, District of Utah, Central Division, Civil Nos. 2:08 CV586 DB
Settlement filed 03/30/10

This matter just settled. For news reports on the settlement of this litigation that challenged “a 2005 law that allows BLM to approve certain oil and gas projects without preparing new environmental analyses that would normally be required by the National [...]

IRS Notice: No Change in 170(h) Qualified Conservation Contribution Deduction Record-Keeping Requirements

FR Doc 2010-4473, Federal Register: March 4, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 42)

The IRS issued a routine notice and request for comments: “Internal Revenue Code section 170(h) describes situations in which a taxpayer is entitled to a deduction for a charitable contribution for conservation purposes of a partial interest in real property. This regulation requires a taxpayer [...]

NM governor signs bill for conservation easements

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed The Natural Heritage Conservation Act, SB 186. The Associated Press reported March 9, 2010, “[the] new law will allow the state to acquire conservation easements from farmers, ranchers and other landowners to ensure that the property is not developed.” The Act also establishes a fund that can attract federal [...]

Wyoming Settlement Averts Termination of Conservation Easement

The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in a February 25, 2010, post headed, “Wyoming Attorney General Prevents the Wrongful Termination of a Perpetual Conservation Easement,” reported, “After over six years of litigation, a case involving a Wyoming county’s attempted termination of a perpetual conservation easement has settled, with the conservation easement remaining in full force [...]

Colorado clamping down on tax credits for land conservation

by Janet Urquhart, The Aspen Times Saturday, February 13, 2010

“ASPEN — Colorado is poised to clamp down on how much tax revenue it is willing to forego to facilitate the conservation of land, and the move is getting close scrutiny from both the Aspen Valley Land Trust and the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails [...]