Open Spaces & Greenways

Open Spaces & Greenways

Town of Montreat Open Space Conservation Program

The Town of Montreat has a distinctive sense of place.  Its natural resources and open space make Montreat a desirable place to live. Its character will continue to be defined by a small‐town, spiritual atmosphere, natural recreational and educational assets, and heritage going back over one hundred years.  Those areas that are vital to Montreat’s character should be targeted for protection and careful stewardship.  The purpose of the Open Space Conservation Plan is to enhance the Town’s ability to protect lands with high natural resource value. More specifically, the Plan aims to:

  • Provide strategies that will realize the long‐term vision for conserving important open spaces and natural resources
  • Establish a ranking system to set priorities when evaluating properties
  • Inform the public on open space and land conservation issues
  • Enhance public awareness about the benefits of and threats to Montreat’s diverse natural resources
  • Establish and guide the use of the Town’s Open Space Conservation Fund

What is Open Space?

  • Any area of Montreat’s landscape that is essentially undeveloped, such as ridges, streams, woodlands, and individual lots
  • May be privately or publicly owned
  • Protected and managed in the public interest

Benefits of Open Space

  • Protection of natural resources
  • Protection of water quality
  • Habitat conservation
  • Environmental beauty
  • Education
  • Community cohesion
  • Recreational and wellness benefits

Open Space Conservation Plan

The Town of Montreat Board of Commissioners guided the development of a comprehensive and community‐based Open Space Conservation Plan focusing on the protection of open space with significant resource values.  The Plan:

  • Depicts the location of open space lands
  • Develops a land conservation tool for setting open space priorities, concentrating on water resources, wildlife habitat, and scenic resources
  • Discusses possible funding sources
  • Develops an action plan with recommendations for activities that may help conserve new properties

Action Plan for Conservation

  • Landowner awareness
  • Support neighborhood initiatives
  • Encourage donations for private conservation effort
  • No tax revenues may be used for land purchases
  • Support the Town of Montreat Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2007 and expand the Town’s planning capabilities

Consider Land Conservation:

Why?

  • Preserve Montreat’s Natural Beauty
  • Guarantee Permanent Land Protection Through Deed Restrictions
  • Reduce Property Tax; Additional Tax Benefit Possible for Land Donation

How?

Donation of Land

Benefit: Donations of land for conservation purposes may be considered “charitable donations” and the donor may be eligible for federal tax benefits, as well as some state tax benefits. A potential donor should seek independent and professional tax advice.

Donations of land may also reduce or remove local tax burdens.

Certain lands of high-resource value may be eligible to receive a partial payment from the Program’s Restricted Land Purchase Fund.

Donations of Money

Benefit:

Donations of money for conservation purposes may be added to the Restricted Land Purchase Fund.  This Fund assists in the partial payment for high-value resource lands. Donations for conservation purposes may be considered “charitable donations” and the donor may be eligible for federal tax benefits, as well as some state tax benefits. A potential donor should seek independent and professional tax advice.

Estate Planning

Remember the Montreat Open Space Conservation Program in your will or trust. Designate the Program’s Restricted Land Purchase Fund for future land purchases.

Memorial Gifts

Upon the death of loved ones, designate Memorial Gifts to the Town’s Open Space Conservation Program – Restricted Land Purchase Fund.

For Additional Information

The challenge facing the Town today is to balance and maintain current and future land use without severing historic links to the past or jeopardizing the quality, integrity, and character of Montreat. With careful planning, the natural resources and open spaces that make Montreat a wonderful place to live will be conserved for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.