Montpelier, VT Conservation Fund

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Montpelier, VT, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File: http://www.montpelier-vt.org/mcc/fund.cfm

Description:

Purpose of the Montpelier Conservation Fund:
The Montpelier Conservation Fund is a dedicated reserve fund established for the purpose of conserving lands and waters within the City for agricultural, forest, wildlife, recreational or natural area use, under the control and direction of the City Council.

When and How the Fund will be Used:
The Fund will be used when other funds and means are not available or sufficient for a given conservation project. When the Fund is used, our goal is to leverage other public and/or private funds. The Conservation Fund is administered by a committee of the Montpelier Conservation Commission.

Uses of the Fund may include but are not limited to: purchase of (or assistance in the purchase) rights of first refusal, options to purchase, long term leases, conservation easements (development rights), land through a bargain sales, and land in fee. The fund may not be used in any way for development of the land.

Eligibility:
Any Montpelier landowner or official landowner representative is eligible to submit an application. The Montpelier Conservation Commission reserves the right to recommend to City Council that an eligible proposal may be tabled until such time as the proposal can be evaluated in relation to one or more anticipated proposals.

Guidelines:
A primary requirement for the expenditure of moneys from the Fund is that such expenditure must yield a clear benefit to the City and must result from a voluntary agreement between the City or a land trust and the owner.

A number of criteria will be considered when determining whether the Fund should be used on a particular parcel of land or body of water. Since each application for use of the Fund is different, the guidelines listed below are general and are meant to bring up broad issues that would be applicable to any proposed use of the Fund.

Benefits: Use of the Fund must result in at least one of the following benefits to the City:

  • Provision of opportunities for public access and/or public outdoor recreation for the people of Montpelier.
  • Preservation of agricultural enterprises, which allows land to remain in conservation.
  • Protection of the City’s mosaic of built up and scenic, open space character.
  • Preservation of natural habitats for plants and animals, including wildlife corridors.
  • Effect in aiding to create a more walk-able environment throughout Montpelier through the creation of trails, greenways or other alternative transportation modes.

Criteria: Each proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Relative importance of the proposal for agriculture, forest, wildlife, scenic, recreational or natural area.
  2. Use and priority according to available evaluation systems, e.g. Montpelier Open Space Study. Copies of the Open Space Plan may be obtained by contacting the City Manager’s office
  3. Effect of proposal on adjacent land and other land in the area.
  4. Opportunities presented by the proposal to offer or preserve significant recreational or scenic benefits to Montpelier citizens, the loss of which would detract from the quality of life in Montpelier.
  5. Preservation of important natural areas in the community.
  6. Imminent threat of conversion to other uses.
  7. Project's ability to pay for itself; including possibility of private participation in conservation effort, incentive for leveraged funds, donations of easements, or bargain sales.

Administration & Application:
Ultimate responsibility for the disposition of moneys from the Fund rests with the Montpelier City Council. The Montpelier Conservation Commission will use its Conservation Fund Committee to evaluate requests and makes written recommendations to the City Council.

Proposals for use of the Fund shall be submitted on the enclosed application form to the Conservation Fund Committee of the Montpelier Conservation Commission.

Please submit hard copy proposals. The application form may be duplicated or reproduced on a computer. You may be asked to host a site visit to the property.

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