Here are three strategies we can use to maintain the rural character of
Some towns maintain open space by acquiring land directly. Land acquisition requires funds. Hurley residents send two conflicting messages: Do
everything possible to maintain open space and don’t do anything
that will increase taxes.
Before the town takes any steps to acquire land or create funding for land acquisition to preserve open space and parkland, the Town Board should solicit citizen sentiment through a town-wide referendum.
We do not support the use of eminent domain for this purpose. Landowner participation should be strictly voluntary.
terms of actual sources of local funding, several mechanisms used
elsewhere in New York State should be considered. The least complicated
method is to set aside budgetary funds on an annual basis. Another
option might be to develop a revenue bond to extend costs over a period
Some communities have discovered that an investment in farmland and open space conservation would cost less in the long term than the cost of providing residential services in those same areas. Ultimately, the most successful funding program may include a variety of funding sources, including grants.
laws are intended to strengthen the position of farmers legally when
faced with private nuisance suits and to protect farmers from unreasonable controls on farming operations. New York State’s Agricultural Districts Law Section 308 addresses the right-to-farm. Since the protections under the State right-to-farm law only apply to those farms within an agricultural district, it is recommended that the Town adopt a local right-to-farm law.
Local right-to-farm laws provide farmers with a sense that the community understands the value of farming and supports farming practices over the long-term. Furthermore, local right-to-farm laws can be crafted to include helpful provisions that are not available under the state’s right-to-farm provision.
For example, the Town could establish a program to work with local realtors to ensure that potential home buyers are provided with early notification that the home they are purchasing is in an agricultural area; or the local right-to-farm law could create a mechanism for the mediation of disputes as an alternative to the courts.