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200 Baltimore Street
La Plata, MD 20646



Monday-Friday   8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.


Agricultural and Land Preservation

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Land Preservation Programs

Charles County has a goal to preserve 50% of the land area, or  approximately 147,000 acres, in open space. The County’s goals for agricultural land preservation and natural resource conservation are described in the 2017 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan.  

Protected Lands MapProtected Lands Map

Program Options 

Several options are available for property owners to permanently preserve their land in open space for future generations. Most programs offer tax reductions or payments for preservation and are often specific to the intended use of the property as agricultural land or forest land. Under these programs, the land typically remains in the current ownership with a preservation agreement recorded in Maryland Land Records. However, there are some cases where the land is purchased by, or donated to, an entity for preservation.

Rural Legacy Program
Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Program
State of Maryland Programs

Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act Tier Area Designations

Senate Bill 236, passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 2012, was enacted to limit the impacts of large subdivisions, served by individual septic systems, on farm and forest land, streams, rivers and Chesapeake and Coastal Bays. 

There are four growth tiers of land use categories that identify where major and minor residential subdivisions may be located and what type of sewerage system may serve them.

Septic Tier Maps Septic Tier Map Generalized

Tier I areas are served by public sewerage systems and mapped as locally designated growth areas or a municipal corporation that is served by public sewerage systems.