County to partner with state farmland preservation program

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New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer announced that the county will save $2.5 million to preserve New Castle County farmland through a partnership with the State of Delaware farmland preservation program.

Meyer announced a $500,000 contribution to preservecounty farmland. This allocation saves $2.5 million announced under the previous administration to purchase development rights on two farms in the Port Penn area.

“We believe that this commitment of $500,000 will preserve significant acres of New Castle County farmland at greatly reduced cost,” Meyer said. “We feel this collaboration is the right approach to a more comprehensive land preservation program that maximizes its impact and value to taxpayers.”

New Castle County, which does not have a formally established farmland preservation program, has previously allocated funds on an ad hoc basis to preserve individual parcels of farmland, according to a release.

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Partnering with the Delaware farmland preservation program,leverages the state’s process for identifying and appraising eligible farmland and ranking parcels most appropriate for preservation. A total of 120,000 acres have been preserved under the state program.
The county will retain decision-making authority to direct which properties are selected off of the state’s list based on county funds that are allocated.

In addition, the New Castle County Land Use Department is developing a landscape analysis tool to guide the county’s selection of properties for preservation.

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