The benefit of a land trust is the tax savings and the eligibility for grants.
[i]~I recently saw a news report on working waterfronts being preserved through involvement with land trusts.
I'm curious what other's think of this idea.
Is it a good idea to involve other organizations like this to preserve "a way of life"?
Should the fisherment take it upon themselves to purchase the land without the aid from outside groups?
My first reaction when I heard the report was "Wouldn't it make more sense for a group of fishermen to band together and purchase the dock themselves? Especially if so many were to be affected by the sale of such property."
In the article cited below (dated Feb 2004), the 700K purchase price was said to be "beyond the means" of the two lobstermen. Are they the only two who use the waterfront and were concerned about losing it's use?
Just curious. I know nothing about this other than what I've read and heard... [/i]Working Waterfronts: The Land Trust Solution
by ROB SNYDER
"Jeff Donnell and Mark Sewall, two lobstermen whose families have been fishing from York Harbor for generations, recently purchased a dock near historic Sewall's Bridge on the York River. Much can be learned from this experience that could benefit other communities struggling with preserving access to the sea.The purchase of York Working Waterfront is widely regarded as having produced a breakthrough method for preserving fishermen's access to the sea. In fact, this case actually added to the collective length of Maine's working waterfront, transferring land from residential to water-dependent use. The fishermen were ecstatic at the property closing party; they will not have to worry about access again. York River Land Trust bought the development rights, CEI helped the fishermen fund the venture, the lawyers negotiated the terms of the deal, and the community rallied its support. The components: a local land trust, charismatic individuals, an urgent community, an intrigued seller, and support from the state. ...The price, over $700,000, was beyond the means of the fishermen. For the following months "every time a Porsche drove out on the dock we would get on the phone to one another in hopes that the property would not sell," recalls Donnelly. Luckily the seller was intrigued with the proposition and gave the fishermen time to gather their resources. A year back, one of the last fishing piers in York was sold and then converted to a residence complete with potted trees and a white picket fence. This was not the working waterfront envisioned by the York community, and residents began to organize. The York River Land Trust was able to engage the project because it felt that the dock was part of the historic and scenic beauty of the York River, and as part of the viewshed, it fell within the land trust's mission to attempt to protect the piece of land from unwanted development. It bought the development rights to the property..."