Matt Holt: Efforts are underway to update Hunterdon County’s Farmland Preservation plan
Updated: Dec 13, 2021
As liaison for the Planning and Land Use Department which includes the county’s farmland preservation program, I can report that efforts are underway to update the county’s Farmland Preservation plan, which was last accomplished in 2008.
Periodic updates are a required element of the state’s Planning Incentive Grant or PIG Rules.
The county has benefited from $209 million in grants from the State Agriculture Development Committee (SADC) since 1985. The SADC usually provides a 50% cost share for the purchase of farmland easements.
The updated farmland preservation plan will keep us in good stead with the state and keep that preservation money flowing.
The County Agriculture Development Board and staff will be reviewing proposals from plan development consultants and should have a recommendation for the Commissioner Board for the next meeting.
Once a draft plan is completed in the coming year, there will be stakeholder meetings and public hearings to review it.
The preservation plan update is vitally important.
Gaining financial support from the SADC and other sources has long been a key component in the success of the county’s farmland preservation program.
It has helped in our efforts to preserve over 35,000 acres of farmland and we look forward to maintaining that valuable relationship.