Open Space Trust Committee (OSTC)

Mission Statement

The mission of the Township’s Open Space Trust Committee is to investigate available properties in Livingston and make recommendations to the Township Council on the advisability of having the Trust purchase those properties for Open Space preservation or for conservation, recreation, or permanent preservation.

How Does the Process Work?

The Township may acquire land – or the use of land for Open Space – in any of several ways: purchase for cash at appraisal value, donation, or leased use.

First, the property owner must demonstrate an interest in selling for Open Space. Then, the Township may exhibit an interest in purchasing the land. Once both sides have expressed their interest, the Township hires an independent appraiser – at its own expense – to determine the fair market value of the land. This, then, becomes the basis for continued discussion for a potential sale; the Committee follows a purchase procedure that is fair to the seller.

The sale or donation does not have to involve the entire property. If larger tracts are involved, the land may be subdivided and only a portion involved in the transaction with the Township.

Why Sell or Donate Land to the Township?

There are a number of potential benefits to anyone who sells or donates land to the Township for Open Space. Benefits may include estate, capital gains, income, or property tax relief, depending on the manner in which the Township receives the land.

For example, donations could produce a charitable contribution deduction, in addition to eliminating taxes on any appreciation in value from the original acquisition price of the donor. Donating land through a will should exempt the land from being included in the taxable estate of the decedent. Sale by the owner to the Township could produce lower, more favorable income tax costs if the property has appreciated in value while owned by the seller and held for a sufficient length of time from acquisition.

The seller or donor should discuss these with a tax advisor to determine what benefits are available and the extent of those benefits.

A land owner can receive cash or a charitable deduction for property at current appraisal value or income from the sale of development rights while maintaining ownership. It is often possible to maintain the owner’s name on the site.

A Lasting Contribution

Those who donate or sell land to the Township also have the opportunity to make a lasting contribution to their community, preserving green spaces for current and future Livingston residents to enjoy.

Should you have any questions or an interest in discussing your property, contact Open Space Committee Chairperson Art Altman at art.altman@gmail.com.

Open Space Land Preservation Transaction Options (PDF)

 


2017 Meeting Dates

All meetings are held at the Livingston Senior/Community Center, 204 Hillside Avenue.

Open-Door Meetings: 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Powers and Duties of OSTC:

The OSTC shall initially prepare a report recommending the acquisition of specified lands in fee, the acquisition of specified easements and/or the acquisition of development rights to specified lands. The report shall prioritize the acquisitions recommended. The Township Council, after reviewing the report, shall determine which properties, easements or development rights should be pursued. After selection of the lands, easements or development rights, the Township may acquire by gift, purchase or by eminent domain proceedings the identified lands, easements or development rights within the financial constraints established by the Township Council.

Links

Trails & Greenways

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Referendum/Municipal Question to Establish OSTC, 2002

Ordinance Establishing OSTC, 2003


Committee Members:

Art Altman – Chairperson
Alan Glazer – Vice Chairperson
Al Anthony
Vineeta Khanna
Russell Jones
Walter LeVine
Christopher Bickel
Sam Ratner