Preserve Your Land
The Fallbrook Land Conservancy can provide residents, landowners and planners with important and valuable options that can preserve both our rural way of life and property values as we prepare for future growth. For more information on how you can protect your own property and possible gain tax benefits, please see below or contact us at 760.728.0889 or .
How the FLC Protects Land
The Fallbrook Land Conservancy's status as a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization enables us to use several methods for preserving land.
Land donated to the FLC by individuals and families have provided hundreds of acres of property now permanently protected. Donate land to the FLC or consider including FLC in your estate planning as a tax-deductible way to help permanently protect land.
Conservation easements enable land owners to protect a portion of their land with conservation value without giving up title to the land, or going through a costly lot-split process. FLC has 5 conservation easements totaling over 660 acres.
Acquiring land through grant application is a highly competitive process, but through a combination of hard work, community support and good luck, we have acquired three preserves using funds from the California Transportation Commission’s Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program (EEMP).
In 1993, the FLC was the first land trust in California to receive such a grant. We used the funds to expand the Los Jilgueros Preserve by acquiring a three-acre parcel at the southern end and to purchase, after lengthy negotiations, an exceptional 27-acre riparian area along South Mission Road. During this process the owners reduced their price by several hundred thousand dollars, and benefitted from the tax advantages of selling to a tax-exempt organization. The land became the Bonsall Preserve. Also acquired through grants were the Heller's Bend Preserve and the Stewart Crest portion of Monserate Mountain.
As the name suggests, the development of a parcel is limited to an area large enough to provide some financial reward – usually enough to cover costs – while most of the land becomes protected open space.
For example, in 2000, FLC expanded the Rock Mountain Preserve by using limited development. When the 38-acre parcel on the north side of Rock Mountain was listed for sale, FLC secured a low-interest loan from the Eddy Foundation, and purchased the land. Subsequently, we used the boundary adjustment process to consolidate 78 acres of high habitat value land, leaving two 8-acre parcels with some disturbed land to be sold later. The proceeds from these sales were used to repay the loan, create an endowment for the perpetual maintenance of the Rock Mountain Preserve, and add to our acquisitions fund.
We can help protect land by working with developers and government agencies when developers are required to mitigate (set aside or acquire land for permanent protection) to offset the environmental impact of their development. Mitigation occurs in one of two ways: Developers set aside land with valuable habitat as permanently protected open space to be managed by an organization such as FLC, or they may purchase credits in a large block of conserved land called a mitigation bank.
An example of on-site mitigation is the 24-acre Arthur Appleton Conservation Area, which is owned and managed by FLC. This riparian habitat possesses magnificent oaks and sycamores and was acquired in 2006 through an agreement between Malabar Ranch LLC, the County of San Diego, and the FLC.
The creation of a mitigation bank is an innovative way for landowners to realize a profit from a large tract of land with high habitat value without developing it. When developers purchase mitigation credits in lieu of setting aside land on their projects, the proceeds from the credit sales provide a return on the investment of the owners who created the bank, and fund an endowment for maintenance of the habitat.
Upon sale of the first credit, the land that constitutes the bank is usually deeded to a land trust such as the FLC, which agrees to manage the bank in perpetuity with funds from the maintenance endowment. FLC’s Monserate Mountain Preserve was created when a 307-acre mitigation bank was established by an agreement with the Heights of Pala Mesa Owners in 2000. Once again, FLC was at the leading edge, as this was the first mitigation bank to be established in the unincorporated area of northern San Diego County.
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