Connecticut has become determined to preserve as much as possible of its small remaining amount of farmland, but it has been increasingly difficult to design programs to implement farmland preservation policies. The most successful program has been the differential assessment of farmland, adopted by the legislature in 1963 and now utilized by most farmers. A State program to purchase the development rights of farmland was instituted in 1978. The high cost to the taxpayers of an adequate program is the major long-term problem. Initially, however, administrative difficulty in selecting farms and completing the purchase hampered the program. By February 1986 the development rights of only 36 farms had been purchased. Spatially, these purchases were widely scattered among Connecticut’s 169 towns. If Connecticut’s capacity to produce food is to be maintained, the State’s program to purchase development rights must be supplemented by other programs, particularly among the towns which traditionally enjoy much autonomy in land use planning. Purchase of development rights programs have been proposed in some towns and rejected because of high cost. Exclusive agricultural zoning and cluster zoning are controversial among planners. Agricultural districts, successful elsewhere, have been considered but rejected as inappropriate. A suggested strategy involves the formation of `farm neighborhoods’ within towns. Active fanner participation and thorough evaluation of the long-term potential of the farmland are prerequisites. Then every farmland preservation technique available to the State and town must be utilized.
Problems in Implementing Farmland Preservation Policies in Connecticut
Journal of Rural Studies
Bristol, UK: Journal of Rural Studies
January 01, 1986
Conservation Policies and Programs, Land Use Planning, Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements, Real Property Tax Relief