[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southold 3-13-1984 by L.L. No. 2-1984. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Agricultural Lands Preservation Law of the Town of Southold."
The Town Board of the Town of Southold finds that the acquisition of development rights in lands located in the Town of Southold and used in bona fide agricultural production will conserve, protect and encourage the improvement of prime agricultural lands, both for the production of food and the preservation of open space, and is in the public interest and a proper public purpose of the Town in accordance with the findings and determinations of the New York State Legislature, as set forth in § 247 of the General Municipal Law.
As used in this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- AGRICULTURAL LANDS
- Lands used in bona fide agricultural production.
- AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
- The production for commercial purposes of crops, livestock and livestock products, but not land or portions thereof used for processing or retail merchandising of such crops, livestock or livestock products. Land used in agricultural production shall also include fences, equipment storage buildings, livestock barns, irrigation systems and any other structures used exclusively for agricultural purposes.
- The transfer of any development right from the Town of Southold to another.
- The Southold Town Land Preservation Committee.[Amended 6-18-1991 by L.L. No. 13-1991]
- DEVELOPMENT RIGHT
- The permanent legal interest or right to prohibit or restrict the use of land for any purpose other than agricultural production.
- Anything constructed or erected in, on or under the ground or attached to anything having a location, on or under the ground, including fences.
Upon authorization by the Town Board, the Supervisor shall solicit offers for the sale to the Town of development rights in such agricultural lands as may be recommended by the Committee.
Upon the receipt of such offer or offers, the Town Board shall cause an appraisal or appraisals to be made of the market value of the development rights being offered.
After receipt of such appraisal or appraisals, the Town Board shall hold a public hearing on the question of the acceptance of such offer or offers.
Within 60 days after such hearing, the Town Board shall adopt a resolution either accepting or rejecting such offer or offers.
Development rights acquired by the Town pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall not thereafter be alienated, except upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the Town Board after a public hearing thereon and upon the approval by the electors of the Town voting on a proposition submitted at a special or biennial Town election. No subsequent amendment of the provisions of this subsection shall alter the limitations imposed upon the alienation of development rights acquired by the Town prior to any such amendment.
The instrument of conveyance transferring the development rights to the Town of Southold shall be executed by the Supervisor on behalf of the Town of Southold and the grantors and shall contain a covenant specifically setting forth the limitations on the alienation of the development rights and the limitations on the use and enjoyment of the estate or interest reserved by the grantor as the same are set forth as of the date of the contract for the sale of said development rights.
Land Preservation Committee.
[Amended 6-18-1991 by L.L. No. 13-1991]
The Committee shall consist of seven members to be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Town Board. The Chairman of the Committee shall be designated by the Town Board.
Duties of the Committee.
The Committee shall perform the following duties:
To recommend to the Town Board agricultural lands in which the development rights should be acquired by the Town.
To review all matters relevant to development rights and the agricultural economy in general.
To serve as a review board for the granting of permits for the construction, reconstruction and additions of and to structures in or on agricultural lands in which the development rights have been acquired by the Town.
To promulgate such rules and regulations as may be deemed necessary to govern the administration, procedures and duties of the Committee, which rules and regulations shall not become effective until approved by the Town Board.
To prepare, amend and maintain appropriate maps delineating agricultural lands, lands in which development rights have been acquired, agricultural lands in which development rights are proposed to be acquired and such other information as may be deemed appropriate.
To perform such other duties and functions as may, from time to time, be directed by the Town Board.
The Committee shall be authorized to incur such expenses in the performance of its duties as shall be appropriated therefor by the Town Board.
Should any provision of this chapter be adjudged invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of any other provision of this chapter.