Warren, formerly a part of Kent, was settled about 1737.
The parish of East Greenwich was organized in 1750. In
1786, a town was incorporated and named for a Massachusetts
man, Gen. Joseph Warren, the Revolutionary hero, who lost
his life at Bunker Hill. The town consists of a high plateau,
bordered on the south by Lake Waramaug.
Litchfield on R. 25, the traveler may enter Warren by
R. 341, or take the more scenic Route 45, along the eastern
shore of Waramaug and across the hills to Cornwall Bridge.
On R. 45, about a mile above the Lake, a dirt road leads
northwest to Above All State Park, 1456 feet elevation,
with a fine view to the west. About 12 mile south of the
highway junction, we cross an attractive hemlock ravine.
The tiny village of Warren has an interesting Congregational
Church, with pilastered pediment, a good tower, and fine
interior woodwork. It was built in 1818, during the pastorate
of Rev. Peter Starr, who served for 57 years. The church
sent 16 young men into the ministry, including Charles
G. Finney (1792-1875) the famous evangelist, associated
with the early history of Oberlin College; and Julian
M. Sturtevant (1805-1886) a member of the Illinois Band
that went out from Yale, and founder of Illinois College.
About 1 1/2 miles north of the village, a road turns west,
1/2 mile to a brick school house, built around 1793, one
of the oldest in New England in continuous use.
blue-marked Mattatuck Trail
runs from Prospect Mt. along abandoned roads to Flat Rock,
where connection is made with the Appalachian Trail coming
east from Kent Falls along the northern boundary of the
town. (Flat Rock may be reached at some seasons by car,
on road to east just beyond Cornwall line.) The signboard
reads: "New Haven, 62 miles; Mt. Katahdin, Maine,
619 miles; Mt. Oglethorpe, Georgia, 1439 miles."
The Warren Land Trust
is an advocacy group dedicated to the preservation of
the rural character of Warren. Its mission is to preserve
farmland, open space, natural and endangered resources
such as wetlands, forests and wildlife habitats, to encourage
outright gifting of land for permanent protection and
the use of conservation easements to preserve open space.
The Warren Land Trust Inc. is a non-profit corporation
founded by Warren residents in 1989 to preserve the rural
character of our town. We are managed by a Board of Directors,
which is elected each year at our annual membership meeting
To date, we have 515 acres under our
We are a qualified conversation organization
under Section 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code, so
gifts to us are tax deductible to our donors. Please see
Preservation Strategies & Tax Benefits for a summary
of possible tax benefits.
The Warren Land Trust currently holds the following properties:
Douglass Preserve - off Hardscrabble
Road 17.02 acres
Brush properties (4) – Tanner Hill Road 12.572 acres
Sunset Pond – Cunningham Road 17.091 acres
Cashion Preserve – Route 45 7.362 acres
Eel Pond Preserve – Kent Road 25 acres
Skidmore Preserve – Milton Road 63.0 acres
Dorothy Maier Preserve – Sackett Hill Road 32.429
Graham Brush Preserve – off Wintergreen Lane 40.00
Coords Preserve – off Angevine Road 31.755 acres
Perry Preserve – Old Forge Hollow Road, Litchfield
Preservation Strategies and Tax Benefits
All Gifts Tax-Deductible. The Warren Land Trust Inc. is
a non-profit corporation and duly qualified 501(c)(3)
organization. Therefore, all gifts to the Land Trust are
tax-deductible to full extent permitted by law.
Assistance to Donors. We work closely
with our donors to help facilitate their gifts to the
Land Trust, and we frequently cover all transaction costs,
including the survey, title search, appraisal and legal
New Tax Law. The Pension Protection Act,
signed by President Bush on August 17, 2006, greatly increased
the tax benefits of making a gift to a land trust. Now,
you may take a tax deduction for the fair market value
of your gift that is equal to 50 percent of your adjusted
gross income each year, and you may “roll over”
any un-used portion of this deduction for 15 years after
the year in which you made your gift. This new tax law
stays in effect for 2006 and 2007. On January 1, 2008,
the law reverts back to the previous language permitting
your tax deduction to be up to 30 percent of your income
and a five-year “roll over” period.*
GIVING LAND TO THE WARREN LAND TRUST:
Deed. If you wish to give land to the
Land Trust, a deed from you to the Land Trust can be prepared
by our attorney or your attorney. The deed can include
restrictions concerning the future use of the property,
if you so desire, and is recorded with the Warren Town
Clerk. No conveyance taxes are due for any donation to
a land trust. You should bear in mind that the configuration
of the land being donated could affect the value of the
land. For example, a parcel that meets local subdivision
requirements would have a higher fair market value than
a parcel with insufficient access for a subdivision.
Appraisal. A written appraisal by a qualified
real estate appraiser is always required in order to receive
a tax deduction for land donated to a land trust. The
fair market value of the property, as determined by the
appraisal, is the value of your charitable donation to
the Warren Land Trust.
Example of Tax Benefits:
John and Mary have adjusted gross income of $200,000 in
2006 and each year after that.
In 2006, they donate land with an appraised value of $500,000
to the Warren Land Trust.
In 2006, they elect to take the maximum tax deduction
of $100,000 (50% of adjusted gross income)
In years 2007 – 2021, they “roll over”
the remainder of this $400,000 tax deduction until it
is used up.
GIVING A CONSERVATION RESTRICTION TO
WARREN LAND TRUST:
Conservation Restriction. If you prefer
to retain ownership of your property and, at the same
time, ensure that it will never be developed, you may
prefer to grant the Land Trust a Conservation Restriction
(sometimes called a Conservation Easement). The Conservation
Restriction is recorded on the Warren Land Records and
prohibits future development of your property, except
as permitted in the Conservation Restriction. The Land
Trust is happy to provide a sample Conservation Restriction
for your review. This document can be customized to reflect
the special conditions of your property and exactly how
it should be used in the future.
Appraisal. A written appraisal is also
required in order to receive a tax deduction for the donation
of a Conservation Restriction to the Land Trust. However,
an appraisal for a Conservation Restriction is more complicated
in that the appraiser must place two values on the land:
(1) its value without the restriction and (2) its value
with the restriction. The difference between these two
values is the value of your charitable donation to the
Warren Land Trust.
Example of Tax Benefits:
John and Mary’s 50 acres are worth $200,000 undeveloped.
These same 50 acres are worth $700,000 as a developed
parcel (perhaps as subdivision lots)
The value of their charitable donation (and potential
tax deduction) is $500,000.
*CAVEAT: This is not intended as a comprehensive summary
of all tax issues or all ways of donating land (or conservation
restrictions) to the Warren Land Trust. Please see your
attorney and accountant for additional information.