Court of Appeals Rules on Agricultural Easement Interpretation

In the case of Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, et al v. Herschell B. Clagget, Sr., the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled on December 22 that a landowner who is subject to an agricultural land preservation easement under the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) cannot construct a “dwelling house for the use only of that landowner or the landowner’s child” under the terms of the easement and then transfer the immediately dwelling to a third party.

MALPF supported the court’s verdict, arguing that allowing third-party transfers of dwelling homes under the easements would have undermined the entire purpose of the State’s land preservation program.  According to a news release from the Maryland Department of Agriculture:

“This is an important victory for the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF), the farm community and for Maryland taxpayers in ensuring that agricultural land that has been voluntarily protected forever from development remains protected as productive farmland,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. 

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