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Prior Lake Spring Lake Watershed District


A conservation easement is a legally binding agreement between a landowner and a qualified land trust or government entity that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values.

The PLSLWD has issued Declaration of Conservation Easements since 2000. For any parcel created or redeveloped after August 12, 2003, a buffer strip is required around the perimeter of all watercourses or wetlands. This buffer is protected with a recorded conservation easement that provides the District with the authority to enforce permanent protection of the buffer strips. The District is not required to perform maintenance work in the easement.

When an easement is established, the landowner retains ownership of the property and right to use the land, except for certain uses restricted under the easement. The landowner may sell the property or pass it along to their heirs, however, the easement restrictions will still be in place, as they run with the title to the property. PLSLWD retains the right of reasonable access to the easement property for inspection, monitoring, maintenance and enforcement purposes. 

Occasionally, the terms of a conservation easement are violated by the landowner or a third party. When an easement is violated, PLSLWD’s objective is to restore compliance with the terms of the easement and ensure the perpetual protection of the property’s easement values with the greatest degree of cooperation from the landowner and the least expense to both the landowner and PLSLWD.