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Farmland

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NEWS
October 20, 1987
Voters should answer "yes" to the Nov. 3 ballot question that would help enable the state to spend $100 million to preserve farmland. Such a vote is the first, crucial step toward a program to slow the loss of Pennsylvania's farmland, which is disappearing at the alarming rate of 90,000 acres a year. The losses are especially high in areas like the region around Philadelphia where suburban expansion has meant chopping up farms into acre pieces and converting the land from crops to subdivisions or shopping centers.
NEWS
November 1, 1989 | By Alan Sipress, Inquirer Staff Writer
Amid the elections for control of the governor's office, the Legislature and the freeholder board, Camden County residents also will have a chance to vote next Tuesday on a program to preserve farmland. Voters will be asked whether the county should spend up to $3 million to pay farmers so that they will not sell their land for development. Specifically, the county would buy a development easement on the properties, meaning that farmers would continue to own the land but would give up the right to sell it for the development now sweeping the county's southern end. "The voters of Camden County have an opportunity to indicate their position on preserving dwindling farmland," said Freeholder Director Robert E. Andrews, who proposed to the freeholder board that the question be placed on the November ballot.
NEWS
September 17, 1986 | By Virginia Bohn, Special to The Inquirer
A farmland preservation program is one step closer to reality in Lumberton Township. The township's five-member committee unanimously voted Monday night to introduce a bond ordinance appropriating $750,000 to provide for the acquisition of developmental rights to farmland in the 8,500-acre, mostly rural community. A public hearing and final vote is scheduled for Oct. 6. Mayor Donald I. Bryan said the Burlington County Board of Freeholders had earmarked $750,000 for the program, and the township hopes to receive an additional $1.5 million in matching funds from the state to fully fund the $3 million project.
NEWS
August 30, 1989 | By Karen Weintraub, Special to The Inquirer
The Burlington County Board of Freeholders has applied for a $200,000 grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to help set up a $25 million program to preserve farmland. The grant application was submitted in April, and the freeholders approved the application earlier this month. A response is expected early next year. Negotiations are under way between the county and Springfield, Mansfield and Chesterfield Townships to protect 30,000 acres of farmland in the municipalities.
NEWS
October 14, 1990 | By Laurie Halse Anderson, Special to The Inquirer
Fred Seipt's dream of building a recreational center on his farm in Towamencin took a giant step forward last week as the township's Planning Commission recommended his proposal to the Board of Supervisors. Seipt owns Freddy Hill Farms on Sumneytown Pike. He proposes to build two miniature golf courses, a batting cage and a driving range on his 135-acre farm. The Planning Commission voted, 4-3, Wednesday to recommend preliminary plan approval of his land development application to the Board of Supervisors.
NEWS
July 22, 1990 | By Barbara Evans Sorid, Special to The Inquirer
William and Dorothy McDaniel's sprawling farm is nestled off Juliustown Road in pristine Springfield Township. And the McDaniels have made sure that a large chunk of that farm will always remain that way - open and green. As a participant in the New Jersey Farm Preservation Program, the McDaniels, now in their mid-60s, sold the development rights this year for 234 acres of their 300-acre property to the state. The couple get to keep the land, but with the stipulation that it forever remain an open space to be used for farming or light recreation, such as hiking and biking.
NEWS
December 9, 1990 | By Stella M. Eisele, Special to The Inquirer
The Valley Forge Sewer Authority has received eight proposals to locate, test and obtain state permits for farmers willing to use sludge from the sewage treatment facility as fertilizer. Nearly 1,200 acres of farmland will be needed to dispose of about 12,000 tons of sludge generated annually by the facility, said Joseph Bateman 3d, general manager of the sewage treatment facility in Schuylkill Township. Most of the clay-like substance is now hauled away by AD+SOIL Inc. of Kennett Square, which contracts with the authority to plow the sludge into some of the 2,500 acres of Chester County farmland for which the company holds state sludge disposal permits.
NEWS
October 29, 1989 | By Louis R. Carlozo, Special to The Inquirer
If you want to see what's happening to farmland in Camden County, drive down Sicklerville Road in Winslow Township, Freeholder Director Robert E. Andrews says. Sicklerville Road runs east from the Black Horse Pike to near State Route 73, a stretch spanning more than 10 miles of what was once exclusively an agricultural area. Substantial development has taken place along that route, mostly within the last five years. "Some of that development is good, but we don't want to see that road turn into another Route 70," Andrews said.
NEWS
April 18, 2003 | By Sheila Dyan FOR THE INQUIRER
On former farmland, the four-year-old, 47-acre Chestnut Pointe rental complex overlooks the original farmhouse, woods, and open fields, a pastoral setting appreciated by some of its residents. "We chose this community because it's actually country living, but close to the stores and everything we need," Susan Tyson said. She and her husband, Fred, both retired and in their mid-60s, moved to Chestnut Pointe about three years ago. "We like the setting, with the woods and farmland.
NEWS
April 17, 1989 | By Russell E. Eshleman Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
In the same meticulous fashion in which he once gripped a baseball, former Phillie Gene Garber maneuvered his strong fingers around the spiderlike tentacles of a milking machine and attached them to a 1,300-pound Holstein. Task accomplished, Bossy giving milk, he charged toward a feed bin and to the stalls of the other black-and-white cows in the barn, reminiscent of the deliberate stalk he once used when coming in from the Veterans Stadium bullpen to face Willie Stargell or Johnny Bench.
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NEWS
May 2, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
DOUGLASS TWP. A controversial Montgomery County mulch operation has agreed to relocate from a parcel of preserved farmland in Douglass Township, under a court settlement with the municipality and residents. The township and residents sued Mountain Mulch last year, accusing the Sassamansville Road company of violating zoning laws by operating a large commercial business on preserved farmland. The settlement, signed April 24 in Montgomery County Court, calls for the company to relocate and for the township to take no further legal action.
NEWS
November 4, 2013 | By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Farmer Louis Farrell loved the quiet of country living in northwest Montgomery County, in the rolling hills hard by the Berks County border. Then, according to Farrell and some of his neighbors, Mountain Mulch Co. bought some of the nearby preserved farmland on Sassamansville Road and turned his paradise into a "landfill" and "eyesore. " It's true that more than a dozen piles of wood chips were stacked almost 20 feet high one day last week at Mountain Mulch. And on many days, the neighbors say, the buzzing of a Vermeer tub grinder shredding wood pallets into a fine grade of mulch can be heard, and tractor-trailers rumble through the area between breakfast and dinnertime.
NEWS
October 21, 2013 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
To get a sense of what farmland preservation looks like in New Jersey, stroll Hartford Road in Moorestown. Just north of the vast Lockheed Martin missile defense complex sits 58 acres of dairy barns, grain silos, farmhouses, pasture, and soybean fields. And in the field across the way, another crop is sprouting: townhouses. There, bulldozers are clearing land and steamrollers are paving roads for a 122-unit subdivision, the Mews at Laurel Creek, with prices starting at $469,000.
NEWS
June 4, 2013
By Michele S. Byers Many things are perfect together. Wine and chocolate ... movies and popcorn . . . shorts and flip-flops . . . New Jersey and you. But some are not - like solar power plants and farmland. You might think they'd make a perfect pair, since flat, open farm landscapes have easy access to the sun's renewable energy. But New Jersey's farmland is precious. This state we're in has some of the best soils in the world and a climate that fosters fresh, local food.
NEWS
May 5, 2013 | By Tom Johnson, NJ SPOTLIGHT
The Christie administration appears resolved to steer large solar farms away from the state's disappearing agricultural land. This week, the Board of Public Utilities approved just three of 57 applications to build grid-supply projects on farmland. Grid-supply systems feed electricity directly from local solar arrays into the regional power infrastructure. The state's solar market is in turmoil, with the price of solar credits dropping dramatically the last two years. Falling prices are blamed mostly on overbuilding of solar systems, stemming from state and federal incentives to developers.
NEWS
April 17, 2013 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Patterson Farm, founded in colonial times, has a rich history: The soil is among the most fertile in Bucks County, and patches of pumpkins, fields of corn, and heaps of fresh vegetables have grown there. For decades, Thomas and Alice Patterson owned the 234 acres in Lower Makefield Township and lived in the stone-covered Janney house, one of the property's two homes. The other - the Satterthwaite house, a large home made out of wood painted white - was built in 1760, according to Kaaren Steil, chair of the Lower Makefield Historical Commission.
NEWS
June 26, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
On Trenton's legislative calendar, amid vying tax cut plans, is a smart bill that would curtail a decades-old property tax scam.   It requires landowners to make at least $1,000 a year from their farmland to get a whopping 98 percent property tax break. The theory is that real farmland produces real income, and raising the threshold from $500 a year to $1,000 a year would weed out what cosponsor Sen. Jen Beck (R., Monmouth) calls "fake farmers. " The bill would return 47,377 acres of farmland to the tax rolls, generating about $2 million.
NEWS
December 6, 2011
Has New Jersey made it too easy for homeowners to qualify for a property-tax break meant for farmland?
NEWS
October 4, 2011 | By Bill Reed, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a "significant" ruling, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld a rural Bucks County township's plan to preserve farmland and clarified zoning parameters for towns across the state, lawyers said Monday. The 7-0 ruling, issued last week, ends a nine-year battle between Bedminster Township and the Piper Group over a plan to build about 350 single-family houses on 400 acres of farmland. The ruling's broader effect is to provide a blueprint for "how restrictive agricultural preservation zoning can be" and how towns can fix such laws that are ruled too restrictive, John Rice, the lawyer representing Bedminster, said Monday.
NEWS
July 18, 2011 | By Mark Scolforo, Associated Press
HARRISBURG - Affordable farmland and proximity to traditional population centers are driving a boomlet in Amish colonies in New York state, according to a new study. The Amish, many from Ohio or Pennsylvania, have established 10 settlements in New York since the start of 2010, growth that doubles that in any other state. Total population there has grown nearly a third in two years, to 13,000. The first Amish districts in New York were established in the Conewango Valley in 1949, but migration there amounted to a trickle until about a decade ago. As recently as 1991, just 3,900 Amish were in the state.
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