Members of the county's Greenspace Advisory Board say they are leading a new push to let developers know about the benefits of donating land to the county.
"A builder or developer can donate land into the Georgia (Community) Greenspace Program and get a tax credit for doing so," said Barry Smith, the division director for the county's Community and Leisure Services Department.
He said a developer donating land to the county will get a tax credit for 40 percent of the land's value.
As part of the state green space program's mandate, 20 percent of land must be protected, Smith said. That's about 30,000 acres in Columbia County.
So far, Smith said, the county has protected only 10 percent of its land as green space.
John Crowell, with Homesites Limited, has donated to the county 18 of 25 acres of land that was used to develop a residential neighborhood off Furys Ferry Road, next to Jones Mill subdivision.
"We have used all the property that we were going to use," said Crowell, the vice president for Crowell Co. and Crowell Partners, which is a general partner with Homesites Ltd.
"It's a win-win situation for both of us. It gets them close to meeting their goal for green-space acreage, and it gives us a tax break," he said.
Deanne Hall, a green space advisory board member, said she wants residents and developers to know the main idea behind the green space program is to "preserve the quality of life."
"We need to continue to have green space in the county, so that we are not just surrounding ourselves with concrete, brick, etc., but also with plants, trees, creeks, streams and lakes," Hall said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.