INDIANAPOLIS -- More than 30 acres of secluded, wooded area on the city’s northwest side will be protected from any development thanks to a conservation easement signed by the Central Indiana Land Trust and the property owner, Debra Potts.
The property surrounds Lacywood, the famous estate built in the 1930s by the Lacy family. The property includes trees that pre-date the settlement of Indiana.
Cliff Chapman, executive director of the CILT says it’s vital to preserve Indiana’s greenspace for generations to come.
"I think we also need to be protecting this kind of best slice of Indiana while we can. And I think we need to balance the new economic development with our natural areas with preservation," Chapman says. "It's a both. You know, if we do that, then again people 100 years from now -- when Indiana celebrates its 300th anniversary -- folks will be able to look back and say thank you so much."
A conservation easement is a legal agreement that puts specific land-use restrictions on a property. Those restrictions are in accordance with the desires of the property owner. Those restrictions are attached to the title of the property, so they remain in place even if the property is sold to new owners. This means landowners can derive financial benefits from the property – enjoying it themselves, continuing to use it as a working property or even selling it – so long as they use the property in ways consistent with the conditions of the conservation easement.