Overlay Easements with Farming Covenants
Overlay Easements with Affordable and Affirmative Farming Covenants are relatively new tools for the land conservation community that provide additional restrictions on already protected farmland.
Accomplished in conjunction with landowners, these restrictions are useful in reducing the value of farmland that is intended to remain in agricultural production. This can benefit both current and future landowners in the sale and resale of farmland as well as for estate tax purposes.
Restrictions can include prohibitions on specific types of agricultural products (e.g., equestrian, horticulture); tying future sales to appreciation and Consumer Price Index (CPI); restrictions on the number of years land can lay fallow; and requiring resale to be to "qualified" farmers.
In recent years, the Trust has applied variations of the covenants with three landowners in Sagaponack (Town of Southampton). Links below are to press releases that outline each of the projects:
Danilevsky/Kraszewski: Water Mill
In July 2014, the Peconic Land Trust purchased 33 acres of farmland in Water Mill from the estate of Charlotte Danilevsky, with the Town of Southampton purchasing the development rights -- including for the first time enhanced restrictions similiar to those outlined above that will insure the farmland remains in food production farming.
In January 2015, the Trust announced the sale of 19 of the farmland acres to Hank Kraszewski, III, a third generation farmer. Click here for more on this innovative farmland project.