Suffolk County’s visionary farmland preservation program has just achieved a triumph. The state’s Appellate Division last month rejected a ruling by a state Supreme Court justice in 2016 that hamstrung the program. Conceived by County Executive John Klein, the program, begun in 1974, is based on the brilliant and then novel idea of purchasing development rights. Farmers are paid the difference between the value of their land in agriculture and what they could get for it if they sold it to a developer. In return, the land is kept in agriculture in perpetuity. READ
Suffolk County lawmakers are urging the passage of state legislation that would permit development for agricultural uses on protected farmland.
More than a dozen farmers, most from the East End, spoke at a Tuesday public hearing in Hauppauge in support of a proposed Suffolk County law that would sidestep a New York State Supreme Court ruling that deems development on protected farmland illegal.
Jeff Rottkamp, owner of Fox Hollow Farm in Baiting Hollow, had been preparing to join Suffolk County’s farmland preservation program. But those plans changed in September, when a New York State Supreme Court judge deemed development on protected farmland illegal.
Christmas came early for Suffolk County voters in the form of a New York State Supreme Court decision on preserving farmland. READ
Special permits and so-called hardship exceptions, which allowed farmers to develop preserved farmland, have been deemed illegal, according to a New York State Supreme Court ruling. READ
The head of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society wants Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter to recuse himself from voting on Kent Animal Shelter’s waiver application before the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission, of which the supervisor is a voting member. READ
Waterfront homes in Jamesport along the bay. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch, file.)
On April 2, East Enders will celebrate an important milestone: The Community Preservation Fund will have generated over $1 billion and preserved more than 10,000 acres of open space and farmland. Approved by voters in 1999, the CPF uses a small tax on real estate purchases to preserve land and protect drinking water.
It is arguably the most successful land preservation program in the country. (more…)