To answer these directly as they apply to the community I work for:Originally posted by Streck
Yes, we have an extensive list of properties identified by an Open Space Task Force, a "wish list" if you will, for properties to target for open space protection.
Yes, we do have to compete with other prospective buyers. Rarely does the Town outright purchase land. Typically we buy development rights or condervation easements.
And finally, of course a municipality (or other government agency) must pay fair market value in eminent domain situations. We cannot use open space as the purpose of the eminent domain taking. It can end up that way, though, and is taking place in my community, that the wetland mitigation package for a major state highway project will take some 800 +/- acres in my Town, by eminent domain, and preserve it as open space.