Welcome to the Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Program
The Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Board is a component of the Greenbrier County government and is overseen locally by residents appointed by the Greenbrier County Commission.
The Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Board has created a program whereby landowners can voluntarily donate or be compensated for the placement of a conservation easement on their property to best ensure that the land stays available for agriculture use. All, or a portion, of a landowner’s property may be offered into the program.
A conservation easement is a legal agreement a property owner makes to restrict the type and amount of development that may take place on the property. The easement is recorded with the deed so that all future owners will be bound by the restrictions—the easement is perpetual. The landowner is compensated for the value of these “development rights” that have been permanently given up based on the landowner’s offer to the Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Board.
The land continues to be owned by the original landowner. That landowner may live on the land, sell it or leave it to heirs.
Willing landowners must apply to the Farmland Protection Board to be considered. Separate applications exist for easement purchases and donations. The applications may be downloaded from this website or obtained by calling (304) 497-4300
All applicants for a purchased conservation easement are ranked according to the ranking criteria points in the Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Program. The ranking criteria system awards a predetermined amount of points for various property features, including, but not limited to: size of the parcel; development pressure; prime and unique farmland; asking price; and source water protection. The ranking criteria is outlined in the program document. Properties are then funded with available funds in priority order as established by the ranking criteria.
The Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Program is funded through a real estate transfer tax of $2.20 per $1,000 on all property transfers in Greenbrier County. This transfer tax, by law, must be used exclusively to fund farmland preservation: purchases of easements and associated appraisal, survey, legal and administrative costs. Matching funds from Federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Programs or other sources are also sought to supplement these local funds.