Farmland Preservation Program (formerly PA 116) – Farmland Development Rights Agreements – A temporary restriction on the land between the State and a landowner, voluntarily entered into by a landowner, preserving their land for agriculture in exchange for certain tax benefits and exemptions for various special assessments.
Landowners Steps to Enrolling in the Farmland Preservation Program (PA 116)
1. Fill out an application
2. File your application with the local governing body ( i.e., city or village, the township if the township has adopted its own zoning ordinance, or the county for those townships which have not adopted a zoning ordinance)
3. The local governing body has 45 days within which to approve or reject the application. Within this 45 days, the governing body must seek the comments of:
- the county or regional planning commission
- the soil conservation district
- a city if the land is within 3 miles of the city
- a village if the land is within one mile of the village.
These agencies are allowed 30 days from the day of notification to forward their comments to the clerk of the local governing body.
4. If approved, the application is forwarded to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Farmland and Open Space Preservation Office. If the application is rejected, or if no action is taken by the local governing body, the applicant may appeal directly to the MDARD.
Application Instructions for Local Governing Bodies
Conservation Easement Donations – A permanent restriction on the land between the State and a landowner, voluntarily entered into by a landowner, preserving their land for either open space or agriculture.
Designated Open Space Easement – A temporary restriction on specially designated lands between the State and a landowner, voluntarily entered into by a landowner, preserving their land as open space in exchange for certain tax benefits and exemptions for various special assessments.
For additional information concerning the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Farmland and Open Space Preservation Programs please contact the Farmland Preservation Office at (517) 284-5663 or visit the website for additional contact information.