New Jersey

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Downzoning and Rural Land Markets: A Review of Two Recent Studies in Maryland and New Jersey

Downzoning restricts the development of agricultural land by increasing the number of acres required for each housing unit. Downzoning has the potential to protect working landscapes from encroaching development, but there are concerns that this approach could cause serious harm to rural landowners through the reduction in property values. Two recent studies examined the effect of downzoning on agricultural land values in the mid- tlantic region, reached differing conclusions, and have created confusion and uncertainty about the effects of downzoning.

Regionalist Approaches to Farm and Food Systems Policy: A Focus on the Northeast

This paper explores why agriculture and food system policy needs to pay more attention to regions. Regionalism, which urges a move from sector-based to place-based policymaking, has emerged as a powerful principle in public policy. Applied to agriculture and food policy, it acknowledges the regional diversity of the U.S. farm and food system and enables important differences between regions to be articulated and addressed more explicitly in the policy making
process.

Farm Viability in Urbanizing Areas: Case Study on Burlington County, New Jersey

Many important agricultural counties in the United States are urbanizing; and the long-term viability of farming there is in doubt despite considerable public policy efforts to retain the financial, employment, consumer, and other benefits of local farming enterprises. Focusing on 15 metro-area counties in 14 states, the study's purpose was to identify conditions under which farming may remain viable as important agricultural counties transition to become mostly urban and suburban in land use.

Is There Evidence of a Critical Mass in the Mid-Atlantic Agriculture Sector Between 1949 and 1997?

Ongoing farmland loss has led county planners to ask “is there a critical mass of farmland needed?” to retain a viable agricultural sector. This study examines whether counties lost farmland at a faster rate if the number of agricultural acres fell below a critical threshold. Results from six Mid Atlantic states over the period 1949 to 1997 indicate that counties with fewer agricultural acres lost farmland at a faster rate.

Is There a Critical Mass of Agricultural Land Needed to Sustain an Agricultural Economy? Evidence from Six Mid-Atlantic States

The critical mass concept is based on the idea that a certain amount of agricultural activity must be sustained in order for the agricultural economy in an area to remain viable. As production levels decline below a given threshold, costs will rise, and support businesses will close or relocate. If the input and output firms exit the region, the closest input supplier may not only be farther away for a farmer but may also charge higher prices for inputs, veterinarian services, and equipment repairs.

Transfer of Development Rights in U.S. Communities

Private ownership of land in the United States comes with a bundle of rights and responsibilities. The bundle of rights usually includes the right to subdivide and develop the land. However, this right can sometimes be inconsistent with other social objectives, such as provision of wildlife habitat, preservation of farmland or certain ecological resources, protection of historically significant areas and scenic views, and prevention of development on highly erodible slopes or in difficult soils.

The Cost of Community Services in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Residents of Monmouth County, New Jersey value farms, forests, and open space for their scenic, recreational, and environmental benefits. But some may question protecting these important natural resources because they do not recognize the economic value that open land contributes to local communities and the region. The findings of this study prove that farm
and open land are good for the local tax base.

Much Ado About Kelo: Eminent Domain and Farmland Protection

In the case of Kelo v. the City of New London, the Supreme Court ruled that the Connecticut city could acquire land by eminent domain to make way for a private commercial development project that implements the city’s economic development plan. Regardless of how this controversial decision is applied, the case has raised public awareness about, and legislators’ willingness to address, eminent domain. Against this backdrop, there is an opportunity for farmland protection advocates to curb condemnation that could result in, or spur, farmland conversion.

Farmland Protection: The Role of Public Preferences for Rural Amenities

Public amenities provided by a rural agricultural landscape, arising from open space and farm activity, are important to many citizens and policymakers. Widespread development of farmland in some parts of the country has spawned an expanding array of farmland protection programs by county, State and Federal governments, as well as by nonprofit organizations.

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