Must an easement require some type of public access?
Yes. Property owners who grant a preservation easement to M-NCPPC may be required to open their property to the public on a limited basis. The easement grants public access to the property for a period not to exceed 2 days per year. M-NCPPC, at its sole discretion, may (or may not) choose to exercise this right.

Furthermore, in order to claim the Federal income tax deduction, the property must be accessible to the public on a limited basis. The degree of access is tailored according to the historic resource under protection. For example, a sensitive archeological site or one with religious significance protected by an easement may be accessible to the public for as little as a few hours per year. Other means of providing access may include ensuring visual access from a public roadway for a historic building subject to an exterior easement, or allowing the public to tour the inside of a historic house subject to an interior easement two days per year.

Often, the easement-holding organization can assist the owner in finding a balance between protecting the owner’s privacy and providing a public benefit. The degree and nature of access may vary, depending upon a range of factors including the historical significance of the property; the features that are subject of the easement; the remoteness or accessibility of the site; the possibility of physical hazards to the public when visiting the site; the extent to which visitation would pose an “unreasonable intrusion” on privacy; the degree to which visitation would impair preservation objectives; and the availability of alternative means to view the property apart from physical access.

For more information, please call Historic Preservation at 301-952-3520.

Show All Answers

1. What is a preservation easement?
2. Who is required to grant an easement to the M-NCPPC?
3. What are M-NCPPC’s responsibilities?
4. How long does an easement last?
5. Why grant a preservation easement ?
6. What are the benefits to the general public in the award of historic property grants to individual owners?
7. How does an easement work?
8. What changes are allowed to my historic property?
9. Does the preservation easement take precedence over the county preservation ordinance?
10. Are we talking about the entire house and property?
11. Will the easement cover interior features as well as the exterior of the property?
12. How is the easement applicable if I use the grant award to purchase a historic property?
13. What is the financial value of the easement and how is it determined?
14. What document does a pro perty owner file to obtain the federal tax benefit?
15. What are my out-of-pocket costs in donating an easement?
16. What are the legal and real estate implications?
17. Are easements a well-proven idea?
18. What are the benefits of granting an easement?
19. Do typical non-cash charitable contributions rules apply to the donation of a preservation easement?
20. Must an easement require some type of public access?
21. What are the basic tax code requirements for an easement?