Hunt Valley property becomes 500th parcel protected by trust

Western Run land puts total at 67,175 acres

January 06, 2000|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

A 44-acre patch of woods and brush along Western Run in Hunt Valley has become the 500th property preserved from development by the Maryland Environmental Trust.

"It's a wonderful example of all of the types of land in Baltimore County I like," said the owner, Andrew Krause, noting the rolling hills, wetlands and 2,000 feet of shoreline along Western Run.

Krause, a Hunt Valley business executive, donated the development rights -- which constitutes giving an easement -- last week as part of an agreement that will allow him to build a house on the land.

The donation brings the amount of land protected by the environmental trust to 67,175 acres. Gov. Parris N. Glendening called the 500th conservation easement "a historic milestone" that "builds on Maryland's Smart Growth initiative and further strengthens our communities."

The trust does not pay for development rights. Instead, property owners retain title to their property and receive income, property and estate tax write-offs.

Last year, the trust accepted donations of development rights on 39 properties covering more than 4,700 acres, including 3,111 on the Eastern Shore.

The development rights donated last year are worth about $17.5 million. In the Baltimore area, the environmental trust accepted easements on 77 acres in Anne Arundel County, 13 easements on 898 acres in Baltimore County, and one easement on 10 acres in Carroll County.

"We got some terrific easements this year," said John Bernstein, trust director. "As we look to the new century, we continue our efforts to protect Maryland's natural and cultural resources."

Founded in 1967, Maryland Environmental Trust is one of the oldest and largest land trusts in the country.

Although the trust receives easements on agricultural properties, its mission is different from that of the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation program, which pays farmers for the development rights on their land.

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