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Greenlands

SECUREMENT

About
Definitions
Who’s Involved

A Greenlands Securement Program has been created to assist conservation authorities and other conservation organizations in Peel Region in implementing greenlands securement strategies and to support the policies of the Peel Region Official Plan that aim to protect, preserve and enhance the Regional Greenlands System. 

Regional Council established Greenlands Securement funding to support the efforts of Credit Valley Conservation, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and other Conservation organizations in Peel Region.

Definitions

Greenlands securement is the protection of key natural heritage features, functions and values using a range of tools.  These tools include, but are not limited to, planning policy; stewardship; monitoring; and acquisition of land through bequests, easements, donations or purchase. 

Planning policy, stewardship and monitoring should be pursued as the first steps in all securement opportunities, after which acquisition may be considered.  But to protect significant natural heritage lands in perpetuity through public ownership, the most effective tools involve acquiring an interest in title of lands through fee-simple purchases, conservation easements or land donations. 

Natural Heritage Features and Areas include wetlands; fish habitat; valleylands; woodlands; habitat of endangered species and threatened species; and areas of natural and scientific interest.  These are significant because of their environmental and social values as a legacy of the natural landscapes of an area.

Within Peel Region, natural heritage features and areas are protected, preserved and enhnaced through planning policies in the Peel Region Official Plan and the Official Plans of the City of Brampton, Town of Caledon, and City of Mississauga

The Core Areas of the Region of Peel Greenlands System contain natural heritage features, forms, areas and their functions, which provide favourable conditions for healthy ecosystems and abundant biodiversity.  The Region and its partners value these areas for their importance in maintaining the health of Peel's Greenlands System. The Core Areas of the Greenlands System include:

  • Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSWs);
  • Core woodlands meeting criteria in the Regional Official Plan (e.g. >16 ha in Rural System and > 4 ha in Urban System);
  • Environmentally Sensitive or Significant Areas (ESAs);
  • Provincial Life Science Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSIs);
  • Habitats of Endangered Species and Threatened Species;
  • Escarpment Natural Areas of the Niagara Escarpment Plan; and
  • Significant Valley and Stream Corridors shown on Schedule “A” of the Peel Region Official Plan. 
S t e w a r d s h i p    P r o j e c t s
Project Details
Lease
  • Can be a short term, long term, lease-to-own, lease-for-life, or leaseback agreement. 
  • May be used if the landowner is unwilling to sell, if the purchase price is too high, or as an interim measure while funds are raised to purchase the property.
Management Agreement
  • Wide variety ranging from informal to more formal and legally binding license agreements. 
  • A conservation agency or organization (e.g. CVC, TRCA or a land trust) may provide technical and financial assistance while the landowner agrees to follow certain restrictions for use of the land. 
  • Can be in the form of fishery, wetland and forestry agreements.

L a n d    A c q u i s i t i o n    P r o j e c t s   -   E a s e m e n t   o r   D o n a t i o n
Project Details
Private Dedication
  • Private landowner dedicates land in perpetuity to a conservation agency or organization for conservation purposes. 
  • Could result in tax benefits.
Restrictive Covenant
  • Places restrictions on the use of the property. 
  • Can be donated or purchased. 
  • If lands are donated then there may be a possibility for tax benefits for the landowner.
Conservation Easement
  • Landowner retains ownership of the property and allows restrictions to be imposed against the lands.
  • Is registered against the property to be binding on all subsequent owners to establish long-term protection. 
  • Can be purchased or donated.
  • May result in tax credits to the landowner.
Testamentary (Will)
  • A bequest of land to a conservation agency or organization written up in a legal will. 
  • May result in favourable tax treatment to the Testator and/or the Estate.
Donation
  • Gift of land to a conservation agency or organization. 
  • May receive tax benefits for the market value of “ecologically sensitive land” (Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program, Ecogifts Program, Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program) or other available programs.

L a n d   A c q u i s i t i o n   P r o j e c t s   -   P u r c h a s e
Project Details
Right-of-First-Refusal
  • Landowner expresses the desire to sell land at some point in the future.
  • Landowner must offer to sell the property to the conservation agency or organization at the same price as the offer by a third party prior to sale of the lands to that third party. 
  • Chance to match an offer on the property before proceeding with a sale.
Option to Purchase
  • Landowner agrees to sell the property at a future date to a conservation agency or organization in consideration of a payment in the present to secure buyer’s ability to purchase at a future date for a price to be determined at that future date.
Life Estate
  • Landowner donates or sells land, but retains entitlement to use the land within restrictions of the life-estate agreement. 
  • Estimate is made on the value of the use of the land and subtracted from fair market value of the property at the time of purchase. Net amount is purchase price for the property. 
  • May result in favourable tax treatment for the landowner.
Land Trading
  • Lands that no longer fulfill current objectives and priorities are traded or exchanged for more desirable lands.
Split Receipting
  • Property is sold to a conservation agency or organization at reduced price with remainder of fair market value of the property resulting in a charitable gift to the conservation agency or organization.
Purchase/Sale Back
  • Purchase of entire property on open market to protect the ecological function located on a portion of land. 
  • Sections may be severed and remaining lands may be sold. 
Fee-simple Estate
  • Outright purchase of a property and transfer of legal title to a conservation agency or organization.


Who’s Involved

trees reflecting on pond

The Greenlands Securement Subcommittee (GSSC) – a subcommittee of Peel Regional Council - was created to:

  • Support Greenlands Securement initiatives in Peel Region through Peel Region Official Plan policies, stewardship, monitoring and acquisition;
  • Provide fiscal oversight to the Region of Peel Greenlands Securement Program by providing a consistent review of funding applications submitted by the Conservation Authorities in Peel Region; and
  • Advise Regional Council and recommend an annual budget for the Program.

The GSSC, chaired by Councillor Richard Paterak and vice-chaired by Councillor Richard Whitehead , will help Regional Council implement a Regional Greenlands Securement Program that is accountable to the citizens of Peel and enhance the efforts of the Region to protect, preserve and enhance the natural environment in Peel through the through the Strategic Plan.

The Greenlands Securement Program is also led by the Region of Peel Planning department, in partnership with Credit Valley Conservation, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), City of Brampton, Town of Caledon, City of Mississauga (and the following Regional Departments: Corporate Services, Housing and Property, Finance and Public Works). 

The Region is open to building additional partnerships with other conservation agencies or organizations and community groups to strengthen the Region’s greenlands securement efforts. The creation of the Region of Peel Greenlands Securement Program demonstrates the leadership of Regional Council to leave a natural heritage legacy for Peel residents.




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Revised: Wednesday July 17 2013

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