Boards & Commissions


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  • Q:How does a farm become eligible for preservation?
  • A:Land qualifying for farmland tax assessment under the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964 and is located within the Bernards Township PIG Project Area, is eligible.
  • Q:Why should landowners consider preserving their farms?
  • A: 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.
  • Q:What is a development easement?
  • A: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.
  • Q:Do preserved farms receive any special benefits and protections from governmental actions?
  • A: 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 soil and water conservation projects.
  • Q:Can a participant in the farmland preservation program sell the property?
  • A: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.
  • Q:Does the public have a right to access preserved farms?
  • A: The public has no right to access or use deed-restricted farms without the owner's consent.
  • Q:Who should a landowner interested in participating in the program contact?
  • A:Interested landowners should contact the Bernards Township Agricultural Advisory Committee’s Secretary, Suzanne Hooper, at 908-204-3076