The Farmland Preservation Board meets as needed at Bridgewater Township Hall located at 10990 Clinton Road, Manchester, MI 48158.
Members of the Farmland Preservation Board
Dave Faust (term ends 12/31/17)
Grant Howard (term ends 12/31/18
Remy Long (term ends 12/31/18)
Dan McQueer (term ends 12/31/18)
Marcie Scaturo (term ends 12/31/17)
Many farms in the township are enrolled in the Michigan P.A. 116 program. This is a temporary means of preserving farmland, since the farm owners enter into a contract with the state for a limited number of years, agreeing not to develop their land, in exchange for tax benefits.
Three farms totaling 224 acres in Bridgewater Township have been permanently preserved by conservation easement. A deed restriction has been placed on them, permanently restricting development.
1) A 67-acre parcel of farmland off Hoelzer Road was preserved through the purchase of development rights (PDR) on the property. The owners worked with the Washtenaw Land Trust to receive a federal purchase of development rights grant. The Land Trust raised private contributions and the owners contributed in-kind match. In exchange for the payment they received, the owners signed a conservation easement that permanently restricted development.
2) A 40-acre farm on Michigan Avenue is permanently preserved through the donation of a conservation easement. The owners made a donation to the Washtenaw Land Trust of the easement, and as a result they qualified to receive some income tax benefits for the contribution.
3) A 30-acre conservation easement has been placed on a 117-acre parcel of land off Braun Road, owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation for purposes of wetland mitigation. Part of the land continues to be farmed.
Washtenaw Countyís Natural Areas Preservation Program has purchased 143 acres in Bridgewater Township, some of which is farmland.
Bridgewater Township Ordinance Number 38 provides for the purchase of development rights on township property, through voluntary application by landowners.
Bridgewater Townshipís Farmland Preservation Board invited applications from property owners in September 2006. Fourteen applications were received. Following the scoring system in the Ordinance, the Preservation Board selected three of the properties to include in an application for a state purchase of development rights grant. Due to limited funds, the township application was not funded.
In September 2007, the Bridgewater Township Board approved an agreement with Washtenaw County pertaining to the purchase of development rights (PDR) program. For future state PDR grant rounds, the Township Farmland Preservation Board will select farmland applications and submit these to the County PDR program. The County will then apply to the state PDR grant program (Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund) for selected farmland applications from Member Townships of the Washtenaw County PDR Program. By participating through the County program, Township applicants will rank higher in the state scoring system.
For further information on the Township PDR program, contact members of the township Farmland Preservation Board. To see if your property is eligible for the Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund (MAPF), please refer to the Bridgewater Township PDR Eligible Areas Map and to the MAPF Eligibility Requirements.
For information on the Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund (state PDR grant program) and the Washtenaw County PDR Program (http://farmland.ewashtenaw.org), contact County Principal Planner Terry R. Brinkman at 734-222-6882 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.