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Frequently Asked Questions

How does a farm become eligible for preservation?
Land in an eight-year farmland preservation program or qualifying for farmland tax assessment under the Farmland assessment Act of 1964 and in an agricultural development is eligible.

What is an Agricultural Development Area?
An agricultural development area (ADA) is an area where the CADB has determined agriculture is the preferred use of the land and is preferred use of the land and is certified by the SADC.  Counties must focus their preservation efforts within the borders of ADAs.

Why should landowners consider preserving their farms?
Past experience has shown that farm owners are motivated to preserve their farms for a variety of reasons, including securing capital to expand their existing agricultural operation, eliminating or reducing debt load and estate and retirement planning.

What is a development easement?
A development easement is an interest in farmland which represents the owner's right to develop for non-agricultural purposes.  When this interest is sold, the landowner voluntarily agrees to place restrictions on the farmland, retaining it for agricultural use and prohibiting non-agricultural development.  The restrictions are recorded as a deed of easement and run with the land forever.

Do preserved farms receive any special benefits and protections from governmental actions?
Participants in preservation programs enjoy limited protection from:

  • governmental exercise of eminent domain for the acquisition of land on which a development easement has been purchased or donated;
  • governmental disbursement of grants or loans for the construction of dwellings, commercial facilities, transportation facilities, or water and sewer facilities to serve non-farm structures;
  • public and private nuisance actions; and
  • emergency restrictions on the use of water and energy supplies.

In addition, participating landowners are eligible for cost-sharing grants for soul and water conservation projects.

Can a participant in the farmland preservation program sell the property?
Yes.  The deed restrictions run with the land, regardless of the owner of record.  Future owners of preserved farms would also be required to abide by the deed restrictions.

Does the public have a right to access preserved farms?
The public has no right to access or use deed-restricted farms without the owner's consent.

Who should a landowner interested in participating in the program contact?
Interested landowners should contact their CADB office for more specific information or the SADC at (856) 984-2504.

For more Information, please contact:
Matthew Pisarski
Principal Planner
(856) 453-2175
Fax: (856) 453-9138

For 8-Year Program, please contact:
De'Ann James
Project Assistant, Farmland Preservation Programs
(856) 453-2211
Fax: (856) 453-9138

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