Chapter Land Info & Right of First Refusal

Chapter. 61, Chapter. 61A & Chapter. 61B

Town's Right of First Refusal

Landowners entering one of the Chapter 61 programs agree to maintain the use of the land in a way consistent with their chosen program. Land sold or converted for a use not compatible with the enrolled chapter program within one fiscal year of being taxed under these programs must provide their municipality with a notice to sell or convert. A town may exercise their right of first refusal to buy the land or may transfer the right of first refusal to an eligible conservation organization.

The right of first refusal applies:

  • When a landowner intends to sell the land for a use other than their chosen use, the town has the option to meet a bona fide purchase and sales agreement.
  • When a landowner intends to change use of the land, but not to sell to a new owner, the town has the option to purchase the land at full and fair market value determined by an impartial appraisal.
  • If a landowner withdraws from the program and changes the use within 12 months, the town may exercise its right of first refusal.

The town does not have the right of first refusal when:

The change of use is for the construction of a residence for an immediate family member.

A landowner chooses to withdraw from a program, but keeps the land in its chosen use for a period of five years.

A landowner chooses to switch to a different program