§ 34-39-5. Release of restriction.
(a) Subject to the express terms of a conservation or preservation restriction: a restriction held by the state may be released in the same manner as land held by the state may be sold under chapter 7 of title 37; a restriction held by cities and towns may be released in the same manner as land held by cities and towns may be sold under § 45-2-5; and a restriction held by any other governmental body may be released in accordance with applicable statutes, regulations, and procedures.
(b) A charitable corporation, association, or other entity holding a restriction may release that restriction in accordance with the express terms of a restriction, applicable bylaws, or charter provisions of the holding entity, and applicable statutes and regulations.
(c) A conservation or preservation restriction may not be terminated or amended in such a manner as to materially detract from the conservation or preservation values intended for protection without the prior approval of the court in an action in which the attorney general has been made a party. Termination may be approved only when it is found by the court that the conservation or preservation restriction does not serve the public interest or publicly beneficial conservation or preservation purpose, taking into account, among other things, the purposes expressed by the parties in the restriction. An amendment that materially detracts from a specific conservation or preservation value intended for protection may be approved only when it is found by the court that the proposed amendment: is between a separate distinct conservation or preservation restriction holder and the fee landowner; creates a net gain in the overall conservation or preservation purpose for which it was intended; and is consistent with the conservation or preservation purposes expressed by the parties in the restriction and the public conservation or preservation interest. No such approval may be sought except with the consent of the holder. If the value of the landowner's estate is increased by reason of the amendment or termination of a conservation or preservation restriction, that increase shall be paid over to the holder, or to such non-profit or governmental entity as the court may designate, to be used for the protection of conservation lands or historic resources consistent, as nearly possible, with the stated publicly beneficial conservation or preservation purposes of the restriction.
(P.L. 1976, ch. 231, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 116, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 120, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 78, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 80, § 1.)