Please join us on Sunday, November 21st from 2 pm to 6 pm to celebrate the perpetual protection of Sunset Ranch, and one of the first private conservation easements in Hawaii.  This event is an Open House!  There will be pupus, entertainment and tours around the property.  It will be a very special day.  We hope to see you there!

 I also wanted to share a few critical points of mention with regard to the benefits that come along with private conservation easements.

1.  The objective of land conservation is achieved at a fraction of the cost.  How so?  The purchasers of the conservation easement (or development rights) are not paying fair market value for the property because they are not taking ownership.  Instead, the purchasers are buying the development rights of the land.  The value of the development rights is determined by valuing the property WITH the development rights and WITHOUT the development rights.  The delta, or the difference between these two values, is what is determined as the value of the developments rights.  So when you understand the difference in values being considered (WITH developments versus WITHOUT development rights), you can quickly understand how these federally based conservation programs allow for state and local agencies to achieve their goals of land conservation at a fraction of the cost;

2.  Property maintenance and liability remains the responsibility of the land owner.  Since the purchasers involved with the transaction are buying the developments rights and not the property, all financial and legal responsibility remains with the land owner.  This is an especially critical point for agencies that cannot afford to carry the added financial burden that would otherwise come along with ownership.  Of course the absence of any liability exposure associated with the property is also a huge benefit to agencies that are committing funds to these projects; and

3.  The property remains a revenue source for the City & County.  Again, the land owner continues to hold title to the underlying land and therefore continues to be reponsible for property taxes assessed by the City & County.  Alternatively, under a public conservation easement, oftentimes the State or City & County takes ownership of the land and the property tax revenue source is completely lost.  This is a significant amount of revenue!  When you consider this pont along with the two previous points, the value of private conservation easements becomes quite clear.

Our mission at Sunset Ranch is to establish the property as a platform to help advance land conservation and self-sustainability in Hawaii.  In order to effectively do this, we need to start by helping educate the community on the programs that exist and are available to landowners.  With regard to land conservation, when you consider the amount of land that is currently for sale by Dole and others on the North Shore or Oahu, it is very clear that the time is now to help advance the cause.



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