OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune) dedicating $1.35 million toward farmland preservation purposes in the Garden State was signed into law this Tuesday.
The bill (S4279), which aims to preserve open spaces, farmland, and historic sites under the “Preserve New Jersey Farmland Preservation Fund,” would fund up to three grants that qualifying nonprofits could use to freeze development on dedicated farmland or otherwise preserve it for future generations.
The funding in this bill will be provided from constitutionally dedicated corporation business tax revenues. The grants provided through this funding would provide for (1) up to 50 percent of the cost of acquisition of development easements on farmland for farmland preservation purposes, or (2) up to 50 percent of the cost of acquisition of fee simple titles to farmland for resale or lease with agricultural deed restrictions approved by the State Agricultural Development Committee.
“Preserving our farmland is an important part of keeping New Jersey green and prosperous,” said Houghtaling. “By preserving open spaces for agricultural use, we limit urban sprawl, keep our water and soil clean, and provide for an abundance of locally grown produce, bolstering our state’s third-largest industry and maintaining the time-honored traditions that earned our reputation as the Garden State.”