What is Farmland Preservation?
and how it could be important to all the residents of Moore Township
Farmland in Moore Township is a rapidly disappearing natural resource. Many farm owners in Moore Township have entered into the Farmland Preservation program in order to preserve their properties for future generations. It ensures a way of life for the farm family in addition to offering many benefits for the entire Moore Township community.
In the past, Moore Township farms have been preserved through the Northampton County Farmland Preservation program. With the funds accumulated from Moore Township's .25% Earned Income Tax, the township has started preserving farms in addition to those preserved by the County. It has taken from January of 2005 until September of 2010 to complete all the requirements necessary to begin a farmland preservation partnership with Northampton County.
In December 2005, Moore Township created its Farmland Preservation Board. In the following years, the work that the board has done has made it possible for Moore Township to now partner with the Northampton County Farmland Preservation program and preserve more farmland than ever before.
In 2011, the Farmland Preservation Board and the Environmental Advisory Committee began ranking the first farms in Moore Township under its new program. Using its Earned Income Tax funds in partnership with Northampton County, the developmental rights for four farms have been procured, totaling 97.14 acres.
Farmland preservation is the voluntary selling of agricultural conservation easements. By doing this, it prevents development of land and assures that the land will only be used for agricultural purposes. Selling a conservation easement can permanently protect a family's farmland from being lost to future non-agricultural development.
What Farmland Preservation is not is the purchase of the land by the state, county or township. It is only the purchase of the "development rights", which keeps the land from being developed. The farm can be sold at any time after preservation, but only as a preserved farm, and cannot be developed or improved for any purpose other than agricultural production.
Farmland Preservation can take various forms. Most property owners enter into the program to preserve their farms for future generations. Once again it is important to note that the purchase is of the conservation easements. The property owner retains full ownership of the land. The property owner can also choose to exclude certain areas of their property from the easement. The money they receive from the Farmland Preservation program will help them maintain and improve their farms and keep them a viable business operation. Preserved open space and farmland help keep services that would otherwise be required by residential development to a minimum, thus keeping the township taxes to a minimum. It insures our local food supply, now and in the future, and supports and promotes farm-related jobs.
From its beginning until now the newly named "Land Preservation Board" along with the Northampton County Farmland program has preserved 16 farms in Moore Township.
The Land Preservation Board would like to thank the Moore Township Community, and especially the farm families that have taken part in our Farmland Preservation Program.
Land Preservation Board
Robert Romano, Chairman
William Poser, Vice Chairman
Lois Kerbacher, Secretary
Larry Bender, Member
John Nierer, Member
David Shaffer, Member
If you are currently a land owner in Moore Township, and would like to learn more about the many benefits of preserving your land, please do not hesitate to call 610-759-9449 to request an Open Space application form, or click on ther link above to download the form.
The Moore Township Land Preservation Board meets on the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Moore Township Municipal Building. Local residents are always welcome to attend to have any land preservation questions answered.