Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank
A Brief Overview of the Land Bank on Martha’s Vineyard
The 1970’s and ‘80’s saw an explosion of population growth and building on Martha’s Vineyard, and with that growth came many changes. New property owners valued their privacy and the many beautiful Vineyard beaches and trails that were once enjoyed by all, became gated or fenced, with access restricted.
A solution was by no means simple, but in 1986, Island voters created the Land Bank with the intent of preserving land, and what they held to be so unique and special about Martha’s Vineyard. Environmental protection is the ultimate goal of the land bank, and public use is encouraged whenever possible. The money for purchasing and maintaining conservation land is generated from a 2% public surcharge added to most real estate transactions that occur on Martha’s Vineyard.
After almost thirty years, the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission has amassed around 3100 acres which are now conserved. Although this sounds like a lot, it equates to only 5% of the land available on Martha’s Vineyard.
Enjoying the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank
With the exception of hunting season, land bank properties are open daily to the public, from sunrise to sundown, and include diverse walking trails throughout the island. Trails are well marked and include boundary markers to indicate where public land ends. Many trailheads include a map sign, and handheld maps are available to print from their website. (www.mvlandbank.com), or at their office for a small fee. We are glad to share a few we have at MV Buyer Agents or–Buy a home, get one free! The land bank also offers guided walks on their trails throughout the off-season.
The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank now serves a variety of people through their protected properties. Beachcombers, hikers, birders, farmers and hunters can all benefit from use of the land bank’s protected lands and beaches.
The Land Bank fee on Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate Transactions
The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank collects a two per cent surcharge on most arm’s length Martha’s Vineyard real estate transactions paid by the buyer at closing. One exception to this is made for first-time home buyers who are exempt up to $400,000. Any larger transactions will incur the 2% fee on the remainder.
Questions? As your Martha’s Vineyard buyer’s agent, we will be pleased to answer your questions and walk you through the process. Whether you are looking for a seasonal home or a place to live year-round, we look forward to introducing you to all the Vineyard has to offer. Call us today at 508-627-5177.
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