County looks to preserve 40-acre Anderson farms off Roanoke Avenue

A Suffolk County legislative committee is recommending that the county buy the development rights to 39 acres of farmland off Roanoke and Reeves avenues in Riverhead.

The environment, parks and agriculture committee of the Suffolk County Legislature voted 8-0 Monday to recommend the purchase of the development rights to farms belonging separately to Richard Anderson and Thomas Anderson of Riverhead, using money from the county’s quarter-percent Drinking Water Protection Program.

The proposed price is $2.16 million, officials said.

Purchasing the development rights of farmland means that the property can only be developed for agricultural purposes. The farmland in question comprises of two separate but contiguous parcels of 18.26 acres and 21.06 acres at the northwest corner of Roanoke and Reeves avenues. The farmland has been planted with vegetables and fruit and farmed for more than 40 years, according to Suffolk County planning and environment director Sarah Lansdale.

“This is an accepted offer,” she said. “This is the last stage. They have already accepted the offer.”

The purchase must be approved by the full Legislature before it can become official.