Stafford Preparing to Facilitate Next Round of Purchase of Development Rights Program

Stafford County is seeking interested landowners of 20 acres or more in the A-1 or A-2 designated areas to participate in the Purchase of Development Rights Program (PDR). The PDR program offers an alternative to rural land owners for selling their properties, thereby preserving the rural and open spaces in the County. An information session will be held on August 17, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Chambers of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554. Also, notices will be mailed to eligible land owners with more information.

This program compensates property owners for restricting development on their land through the recordation of a conservation easement. The property owner retains ownership of the land, may continue to reside on the property, and retain such uses as farming or timbering. The appraised value of the proposed easement determines the property owner's compensation.

To date, the County has preserved 1,035 acres of farm and forest lands on properties county-wide through the PDR program. A total of 273 development rights have been extinguished. PDR is Stafford's Healthy Growth initiative tool to preserve open spaces while concentrating development in areas with existing infrastructure.

Through a combination of preservation practices, 12,438 acres will never be developed with residential lots in Stafford County, and 4,228 development rights are retired. The 12,438 acres include conservation easements, such as the Rappahannock River easement; properties in the Purchase of Development Rights Program; state lands, such as Crow's Nest and Widewater State Park; existing Stafford parkland; and Transfer of Development Right Program properties. For more information, please visit