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Wrightstown aims to preserve more land


Wrightstown supervisors are getting closer to potentially protecting more land in the township from development.
Chester Pogonowski, chairman of the three-person board of supervisors that locally governs Wrightstown, said that a property appraiser contracted by the municipality has concluded valuing the worth of a conservation easement the township would like to place on a private property.
The owners of the property, who are open to considering the conservation easement, are now evaluating the offer. Should the owners agree to accept the price and thus also the easement on their land, supervisors could formally vote to place the acreage into the easement at a public meeting.
“At that time, we will openly discuss the property along with parcel and plot plan information,” said Pogonowski, noting that supervisors can’t yet publicly reveal the property in question or the owners because negotiations are ongoing and, as such, are legally protected under executive privilege.
A property must be a minimum of 25 acres to be conserved in Wrightstown. Pogonowski said supervisors have been in discussions with the owners of the property in question for about five years. Within the last year, the discussions have intensified.

In Pennsylvania, a voluntary conservation easement is a legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation/natural values – the upshot of which is that significant development is typically prohibited under terms of the deals.
Such easements allow property owners to continue to own and use their land, as well as to sell it or pass it on to heirs.
In Wrightstown, some 1,141 acres – 17% of the township – are protected. Pogonowski said, “334 of those acres are owned outright by Wrightstown Township, while 807 acres are preserved through various conservation easements, which include state, county, township and/or private foundation grants.”
In other news, Wrightstown and the Lingohocken Fire Company are close to finalizing a deal that will memorialize the good working relationship between the township and the volunteer first responder outfit. The agreement will detail the commitments and obligations of the fire company to the township and vice versa. The deal could be formally approved at the Nov. 15 supervisors meeting, Pogonowski said.