Key Information – Summary
The agricultural land preservation program was developed to preserve quality active farmland throughout Pennsylvania. The program basically pays (Subject to cap) the landowner the difference between the development value and the agricultural value of the farm. The farm is then protected for perpetuity.
A. HOW IS THE STATE PROGRAM FUNDED?
- a. Initially the program was funded by a 100 million dollar bond issue, which was approved by a ballot question in November 1987.
- b. Today the program has a dedicated funding source: Starting as of July 1, 1993 a two-cent tax on each back of cigarettes sold in Pennsylvania was instituted. At least 20 million dollars annually has been received from this source.
- c. The Governor beginning last year has also added additional funds to the program as part of his Growing Greener Initiative.
- d. Delaware County annually receives a base allocation from the State’s Department of Agriculture. These funds are available for a two year period. The allocation is calculated from a formula based upon real estate transfer tax.
B. STATE MINIMUM CRITERIA FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE PROGRAM
- Be a part of an Agricultural Security Area (That is 500 acres or more in size)
- 50 % of land must be in Agricultural Production
- 50 % of the Soils must be in NRCS Soil Categories I-IV
- The Farmland tract shall encompass a.) at least 50 acres, or b.) at least 10 acres producing a crop unique to the area, c.) at least 10 acres contiguous to a property which has a perpetual easement.
C. AGRICULTURAL SECURITY AREAS
- a. Currently Edgmont and Concord Townships are the only Municipalities in Delaware County that have formed an Agricultural Security Areas. The area in Edgmont involves over 800 acres and over 20 different landowners. Concord Township’s area has 11 landowners enrolled including over 676 acres. Chester Heights Borough has created an area, but I have not received official information on this area.
- b. Of the two known areas only six farms exceed the newly revised 50 acre minimum size criteria, and two of these six have already sold their development rights.
D. FARMS CURRENTLY ENROLLED
- a. Arasapha Farms – 78+/- Acres
- b. Sleighton School – 120 Acres
For More Information Contact:
Delaware County Conservation District
Rose Tree Park- Hunt Club, 1521 N. Providence Rd.