WHEREAS, as of December 12, 2012, there have been 2,137 farms covering 200,850 acres permanently preserved through the Farmland Preservation Program, including 89 farms covering 11,884 acres in the Pinelands; and
WHEREAS, the permanent preservation of farmland within the Pinelands Area is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Pinelands Protection Act, the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP), the Agriculture Retention and Development Act (ARDA), and the Garden State Preservation Trust Act (GSPT Act).
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the delegates to the 98th State Agricultural Convention, assembled in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on February 6-7, 2013, support the State Agriculture Development Committee’s (SADC) ongoing efforts to promote the enrollment of Pinelands farms into the State Farmland Preservation Program through all of the SADC’s programs.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the SADC to continue allowing both appraisal valuations and formula valuations for each application submitted in order to make an offer to the landowner based on the higher of the two values.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the SADC to take necessary actions to ensure that farms preserved through the sale of Pinelands Development Credits (PDCs) be afforded the same eligibility for soil and water cost-share funds as those preserved through the Farmland Preservation Program.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge an interpretation of the intent of the Pinelands Protection Act – to allow all Pinelands Commission members to fully participate in deliberations and voting on any amendments to the CMP, while respecting conflict of interest concerns related to specific issues that would impact individual landowners.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage that any amendments to the Pinelands CMP or PDC program that have an effect on agricultural interests, such as those being proposed regarding housing density in towns and regional growth areas and new mandatory PDC allocations for residential development. Be done only in a manner that does not diminish or dilute the demand for, or market value of, PDCs.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we encourage the active participation of the agricultural community in the development of an amendment to the Pinelands CMP or PDC program that have an effect on agricultural interests, through consultation with the Pinelands Agricultural Advisory Committee or other such body representing the landowners of the Pinelands Area.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Governor to immediately nominate a member to the Pinelands Commission to represent economic activities, such as agriculture, consistent with Article 5.b of the Pinelands Protection Act.