2019 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 27 - Property and Conveyances
Chapter 8 - Conservation Easement Act
Section 27-8-30. Conservation easements generally; creation, duration and effect; conveyances.
(A) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a conservation easement may be created, conveyed, recorded, assigned, released, modified, terminated, or otherwise altered or affected in the same manner as other easements and must be recorded in the same manner as other easements.
(B) No right or duty in favor of or against a holder and no right in favor of a person having a third-party right of enforcement arises under a conservation easement before its acceptance by the holder and a recordation of the acceptance in the office of the register of deeds for each county where the land burdened by the conservation easement lies.
(C) Except as provided in Section 27-8-40(B), a conservation easement is unlimited in duration unless the instrument creating it provides otherwise.
(D) An interest in real property in existence at the time a conservation easement is created is not impaired by the easement unless the owner of the interest is a party to the conservation easement or consents to it.
(E)(1) A conservation easement may be conveyed to a holder without consideration by any local governmental body, including a county, municipality, and other political subdivision, if the conveyance is authorized by the elected members of the governmental body that owns the property to be burdened by the easement.
(2) For the purposes of this subsection an elected member of a governmental body includes a member serving on the governmental body ex officio, provided that the member has been elected to another office. A governmental body consisting of appointed members may make a conveyance only with the approval of the elected members of the governmental body that appointed the members.
(3) A governmental body proposing to convey an easement shall submit a proposal to the Advisory Board of the Heritage Trust Program, and the advisory board shall conduct a public hearing on the proposal within sixty days of receiving the proposal. The public hearing may be conducted by the advisory board by one or more members of the board or one or more members of the staff of the Heritage Trust Program as designated by the chairperson of the board. The persons conducting the hearing promptly shall submit to each member of the advisory board a written summary of the testimony, public comment, and other information presented at the hearing. Within thirty days after the hearing the advisory board shall approve or disapprove the proposal based on the testimony, public comment, and other information. The approval or disapproval by the advisory board may be indicated at a meeting of the board or by written ballot of the individual members. If the proposal is approved, the governmental body shall conduct a public hearing not less than thirty nor more than sixty days after the approval, at which the easement must be explained and public comment received.
(4) For a governmental body to convey an easement under this subsection, at least two-thirds of the elected members of the governmental body shall approve the conveyance. No member of a governmental body that conveys an easement in accordance with this subsection is personally liable for the actions of the governmental body.
(5) Items (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection do not apply to an easement burdening land that is adjacent to a river or river segment whose designation as a scenic river under the State Scenic Rivers Program has been ratified by the General Assembly under Section 49-29-90.
HISTORY: 1991 Act No. 92, Section 1; 1993 Act No. 32, Section 1.
Code Commissioner's Note
1997 Act No. 34, Section 1, directed the Code Commissioner to change all references to "Register of Mesne Conveyances" to "Register of Deeds" wherever appearing in the 1976 Code of Laws.