For nearly a decade, Connecticut and Massachusetts have been engaged in programs to purchase development rights on agricultural land as a means of preserving agricultural productivity, maintaining open space, and offering an alternative to development. The sale of development rights on an agricultural parcel in essence “locks in” the land for agricultural use in perpetuity. The owner of the land obtains capital and the satisfaction of knowing that he or she has preserved farmland for future generations; the state guarantees that land currently in agricultural use will remain so.
Several hundred Massachusetts and Connecticut landowners have sold development rights under these “Purchase of Development Rights” (PDR) programs, but to date, no one has surveyed the participants in order to chronicle their experiences, whether good or bad, and to assess their satisfaction or lack of satisfaction with the PDR program. Such was the purpose of the survey whose results are discussed in this report.