Brown Easement


James City County


.4425 acre

Date Recorded/Protected:


Property Facts:

Back in 1998 Stephen and Janice Brown asked the Conservancy to hold an easement over .4425 acres located adjacent to their home in Ford’s Colony. Their desire was to ensure the land was never developed and left in its natural state in perpetuity.

The property is located in the Powhatan Creek Watershed and has value as a buffer for preservation of a sensitive habitat of a natural pond.

Since the late 1990s, the Conservancy has grown, the benefits to landowners for protecting their land have significantly increased, and the conservation industry as a whole has also changed. In today’s marketplace, it is not likely the Conservancy and the landowner would have worked together. While there is no doubt that the land has conservation value, the costs to the landowners, including fees for legal work, an appraisal, stewardship donation, and other associated expenses with protecting land today, would have made it cost prohibitive to conserve a small .4425 acre lot adjacent to a home in a subdivision.

If this small parcel was the site of a significant historic building or a burial ground for a famous statesman, the consideration and value could be viewed differently in today’s world of conservation and would be a project for another organization such as the Department of Historic Resources versus a land trust like the Williamsburg Land Conservancy.