Purchase of Development Rights

Purchase of Development Rights, or PDR as it is more commonly known, is Kentucky's first Agricultural Conservation Easement program facilitated by a local government.

Through PDR, the Rural Land Management Board purchases farm owners’ development rights (their right to ever develop the farm commercially), thereby preserving it as farmland forever.

This program is important to Lexington and Fayette County because of the area's booming equine, cattle and tourism industry, which is all fueled by the area farmland's beauty and high-quality soils.

How do I apply to PDR?

The PDR application cycle is held annually, generally in the fall, and we will be announcing those dates soon. In the interim, please read this info sheet to learn more about PDR and email Beth Overman at eoverman@lexingtonky.gov if you are interested in applying. We also recommend reviewing the following legal documents as well as the overview of the USDA-NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program that is utilized for match funding:    

Sample deed of easement template

Sample lease subordination agreement

Sample mortgage subordination agreement

The Agricultural Conservation Easement program


How many farms are in PDR?

There are 285 farms permanently protected by PDR, totaling nearly 31,066 acres, with 1,662 acres under contract.

Map of preserved land

How is PDR governed?

The Rural Land Management Board governs PDR. The members are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Urban County Council.

List of members

The members use Ordinance 4-2000 as their guide.



2023 meeting schedule

All meetings are at 3 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month via Zoom unless otherwise noted.

Jan. 25agenda
Feb. 22 agenda
March 22
April 26
May 24
June 28
July 26 – Canceled
Aug. 23
Sept. 27 – agenda
Oct. 25
Dec. 6

Previous years' minutes (The previous years' minutes are stored on a Google drive, arranged by year.)

How do I add housing or infrastructure to my PDR farm?

The PDR easement requires landowners to obtain the permission of the Rural Land Management Board before adding new housing or expanding existing housing, and before adding paving. If your farm was eased in 2007 or after, it likely includes an impervious surface limit, so adding farm infrastructure such as barns, equipment sheds, etc., also requires approval. We want your farm to flourish and will guide you through this process. The first step is to complete the Housing and Infrastructure Request Form available via the link below and submit it via email to the PDR Director, Beth Overman, at eoverman@lexingtonky.gov. If all required documents are submitted by the deadline shown in the chart below, the request should be considered at the next regularly scheduled board meeting. Ms. Overman will review the submitted application and contact you prior to that meeting.

Request form

2023 Meeting Date – Application Deadline

Jan. 25 Deadline Jan. 11
Feb. 22Deadline Feb. 8
March 22 – Deadline March 8
April 26Deadline April 12
May 24Deadline May 10
June 28Deadline June 14
July 26Deadline July 12
Aug. 23Deadline Aug. 9
Sept. 27 Deadline Sept. 13
Oct. 25Deadline Oct. 11
Dec. 6Deadline Nov. 17

Additional resources