Preservation easements and the McBirney Mansion

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This week in Urban Tulsa Weekly, I've written about the historic preservation issues surrounding the proposed 85-room boutique hotel to be built on the grounds of the McBirney Mansion on Riverside Drive. The entire facility is under a special scenic, open space, and facade easement, a kind of conservation easement held by the City of Tulsa and the Oklahoma Historical Society. (Here is a PDF with the text of the easement.) The column explains what a preservation easement is, what restrictions this easement specifically places on the property, and who would be involved in any decision to change the terms of the easement.

Conservation easements can be used to protect a place's historical character, ecological qualities, or archeological artifacts. When a conservation easement is used specifically for historic preservation, it is usually called a preservation easement.

Donation of a preservation easement on a recognized historical property can qualify the donor for a tax benefit. You can read more about preservation easements on the websites of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service (which oversees certification of historic properties for the National Register of Historic Places.)

The state law governing easements generally is 60 O.S. 49. Among other things, you can own an easement entitling you to a seat in church.

In 1999, the Oklahoma legislature adopted the Uniform Conservation Easement Act, which is codified as 60 O. S. 49.1 through 49.8.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 11, 2007 11:21 PM.

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