Green belt?

So I have had 2 people want to sell me their land and when I review it, the land is a “green belt”. Can anything be done with a green belt and why would and “individual”, not the county, own the greenbelt?

@trustland where are you seeing that it’s a greenbelt property?

I can’t claim to be an expert at this, but sometimes municipalities will put a moratorium on any new building or development, which applies to all properties, regardless of who owns them.

This isn’t exactly the same thing as greenbelt, but it has a similar effect, in that the properties don’t get developed.

Could there be something like that going on?

@retipsterseth not exactly. It is an actual long strip of land behind homes with power lines running in the middle of it. Yet, an individual owns it. This is the second one of these I have come across. I also saw that the taxes are waived since it is a greenbelt. I dont see any reason to buy something like this but was curious about it.

@trustland @trustland Hi there, in the State of Tennessee at least, “Greenbelt” is a designation that the state government allows people who hold 15 or more acres of open land used for agriculture, forestry, or actually no use, to lower their property taxes below what would normally be the land’s market value according to “highest and best use.” The purpose is to reduce tax burden on landowners and farmers, thus reducing the incentive to sell to developers and “urbanize” the land, keeping the Tennessee countryside green. Here’s a summary:
If you buy a property in the Greenbelt and remove it from that status in order to develop, I think you (or the seller, however you negotiate it) have to pay “rollback taxes,” which means someone has to pay the difference between the historical market property tax rate and the Greenbelt rate for all the years that the property was designated Greenbelt.

“Green belt” policy in the United Kingdom is also designed to prevent urban sprawl, but that is a whole different program. There may be others, but these are the only two greenbelt programs with which I am familiar. Hope that helps.

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In Tennessee in the US at least, a private landowner has to apply for a “Greenbelt” designation for his or her property. It isn’t a type of government property that is roped off for development. If someone owns 15 acres or more of agricultural, forested, or open land in TN, they can apply for Greenbelt status which lowers their property taxes by having the land assessed at its current use value (usually agricultural), rather than their “highest and best” use or market value. So yes, I would think all Greenbelt land is privately owned either by an individual or a company.

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@aprokos great info! I learned something new today. :slight_smile: