[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Queen Anne's County 8-5-2008 by Ord. No. 08-16. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Land use and development — See Ch. 18.
For the purpose of this Chapter 14:5, the following definitions describe the meanings of the terms used herein.
- CRITICAL FARM
- A contiguous parcel of land of at least 200 acres devoted
to active agricultural activity which meets one or more of the following
criteria:[Added 1-26-2010 by Ord. No. 09-26]
- A. The preservation of the farm will provide for a larger contiguous area of preserved lands.
- B. The farm is either subject to significant, imminent development pressure, adjacent to an incorporated jurisdiction or within an identified municipal green belt.
- C. The conversion of the farm to nonagriculture use is pending or anticipated and such nonagricultural use is determined to have a potentially deleterious effect on surrounding or adjacent properties.
- The Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation provided for under Subtitle 5 of Title 2 of the Agricultural Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
- The Queen Anne's County Purchase of Development Rights Program established hereunder.
There is a Queen Anne's County Purchase of Development Rights Program ("the Program") to acquire, by gift, purchase, devise, bequest or grant, on behalf of Queen Anne's County, easements in gross or other rights to restrict the use of agricultural land and woodland as may be designated to maintain the character of the land as agricultural land or woodland.
Editor’s Note: Resolution No. 08-13, adopted 8-5-2008, authorized the Queen Anne’s County Department of Economic Development, Agriculture and Tourism to establish the Queen Anne’s County Agricultural Preservation Foundation to facilitate the education of the public on the importance of conservation efforts and the preservation of open space and to receive gifts and donations to support the purchase of development rights.
The Program shall be administered by the Queen Anne's County Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board and the Queen Anne's County Department of Economic Development, Agriculture and Tourism.
Except as hereinafter modified, the Program shall follow the rules, regulations, procedures and parameters of the Foundation for the purchase of agricultural land preservation easements and the rules, regulations and procedures adopted under or pursuant to Subtitle 5 of Title 2 of the Agricultural Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Following Round One and Round Two offers under the Foundation's easement acquisition program, there shall be a Round 3 under the Queen Anne's County Program. The County shall use any funds available to the program to make offers down the list of applicants generated under Round Two (and ranked according to the standard Round Two process) until all available County funds are committed.
[Added 1-26-2010 by Ord. No. 09-26]
As an alternative to the purchase of rights under § 14:5-5 or in combination therewith, the County may use funds available to the program to purchase development rights from a critical farm. The valuation of such development rights shall generally follow the rules, regulations and procedures i) of the Foundation, and ii) adopted under Subtitle 5 of Title 2 of the Agricultural Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also renumbered former §§ 14:5-6 and 14:5-7 as §§ 14:5-7 and 14:5-8, respectively.
Under § 2-513(b)(2) of the Agricultural Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the original owner of property subject to an easement may, under certain circumstances, apply for release of lots for the purpose of constructing a dwelling house for the use only of that landowner or the child of the landowner. Under the Queen Anne's County program, and subject to the other provisions, exceptions, requirements and restrictions of said § 2-513, the right to release of lots shall extend to the original landowner, a child of the landowner and to a grandchild of the landowner. Any reference in § 2-513 to "the child" or to "children's lots" or similar phrase shall be interpreted under the County Program as "child or grandchild" or "children's or grandchildren's lots."
All easements purchased hereunder shall be in perpetuity and shall be held by the County Commissioners of Queen Anne's County.