The Carroll County Agricultural Land Preservation Program has a robust website with a lot of information available.  If you are interested in the Program, we encourage you to explore the website to learn about the program and to discover answers to your questions.  If you can’t find what you are looking for, please feel free to contact the Agricultural Land Preservation (Ag Pres) Program staff by calling 410-386-2214 or emailing us at carrollagpres@carrollcountymd.gov

"Is my property eligible for Ag Preservation?"

Eligibility for one of the County’s Ag Land Preservation programs depends on several factors.  A property may be eligible, but acceptance to one of the programs may still be dependent on available funding.  Applications are ranked to prioritize available funding.  Therefore, an eligible property may not always proceed right away.

  • Location of the Property: Properties within the Priority Preservation Area (northwest area of county) and/or Rural Legacy Area are ranked higher, but all eligible properties outside a Designated Growth Area will be considered.
  • Soils on the Property: The property must have at least 50% Class I, II, and III soils for most programs.
  • Size of the Property: Properties must be at least 50 or 60 acres to be eligible for most programs unless they are adjacent to another preserved property. 
  • Potential for Development: The property should have some amount of development potential to be retired.  When funding is available or extenuating circumstances exist, properties that are considered Remaining Portions under the County Code Chapter 155 may be eligible. 

Property owners considering participation in one of the agricultural land preservation programs are encouraged to call the office to discuss their eligibility.  Please provide the address when inquiring.

"How long does it take to settle an easement for Ag Preservation?"

Time to settlement can vary greatly depending on a number of circumstances.  Typically, depending on the program and availability of funds, preservation easements may take 2 years or more to settle.  Some variables include, but are not limited to:

  • Number of applications received
  • Available funds
  • Title work
  • Bank subordinations
  • Possible survey requirements
"Will I need to get a survey of my property as part of the application process?"

A property line check is performed on all properties by a licensed surveyor to ensure the easement is accurately described.  If the check is determined to be unsatisfactory, a survey will be required.

"Once I have applied to participate in a program, how do I check the status of the processing of my easement?"

You may call the Ag Preservation office at 410-386-2214 for any and all questions pertaining to your easement or general questions about Ag Preservation.

"What does the easement require me to do?"

The owners of eased properties need to adhere to several requirements, which are spelled out in the easement agreement.  

  • All agricultural preservation easements restrict the land to agricultural uses and greatly limit residential and commercial uses.
  • Preserved properties must have an up-to-date Soil Conservation Plan, a Nutrient Management Plan, and, in some cases, a Total Resource Management Plan. The property owner works with the Soil Conservation District to develop and implement these plans.
  • Some properties are required to develop a Forest Stewardship Plan and/or create and maintain stream buffers.

The easement grants the County the right to periodically inspect to ensure the requirements of the easement are being met. 

"I have an IPA (Installment Purchase Agreement). Who do I call for information related to interest payments and the maturity of my IPA?"

The Carroll County Comptroller’s Office handles the IPAs after settlement. The Comptroller’s Office can be reached at 410-386-2085.