Conservation Easement Review Board

Application Deadline - October 1, 2016 in order to meet the 2017 tax cycle


  • Next meeting is Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm at Town Hall
  • Meetings are open to the public.
  • Agendas and notes are posted here.
  • Please check the web site for any scheduling changes.

Agendas & Minutes

The most current agenda is available prior to the meeting. Minutes are available following approval.


Name Term Expires
Joseph Martens (Chair)
December 31, 2021
Joseph Castiglione
December 31, 2018
Maureen Cunningham December 31, 2019
Stuart Lyman
December 31, 2020
John Sherman December 31, 2017


The Conservation Easement Review Board will operate the Conservation Easement Agreement program for the Town of Bethlehem, which consists of the review of conservation easement agreement applications.

The Conservation Easement Agreement program is intended to conserve open space lands, help maintain the character of the Town, and provide financial incentives and assistance to those landowners willing to forego development and maintain open space. Property owners who commit to conserving land as open space for a minimum of 15 years can receive an exemption on their property assessment resulting in a reduction in property taxes, under such conditions as specified within Section 491 of the Real Property Tax Law, the Bethlehem Town Code, and as are further specified in a conservation easement agreement with the Town. While conserving developable lands is the central purpose of the program, constrained lands, and other lands that may be held out of development because of agricultural use or otherwise being preserved are also highly valued as open space, and for their contribution of habitat for wildlife or active or passive enjoyment by the public at large. If a landowner is willing to forgo development, the Conservation Easement Review Board is to liberally apply the statutory definition of open space and the following guiding principles.

View our Bethlehem Conservation Easement Agreement Exemption Information Booklet and Conservation Easement Exemption fact sheet.

Applications for a Conservation Easement Agreement are available at the Town Hall Assessor’s Office and Planning Department.

The exemption form, Conservation Easement Agreement Exemption RP-491-a (Bethlehem), is on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Office of Real Property Tax Services web site.

The Conservation Easement currently applies to all Town and Fire District taxes and to Bethlehem Central School taxes. However, Albany County is considering opting in and the other school districts within the Town have the option to join in the program.