Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, September 13, 1980, Image 15

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Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Penrose Hallowed discusses the
amendment of Act 442 with Lancaster County Agricultural Preserve Board
Chairman Amos Funk; Conservation District Administrator Tom Johnston: and
" 'County Commissioner Jim Huber.
(Continued from Page Al)
tag still needs the okay of the
County Commissioners, he
Jim Thomas, the ap
pointed attorney for the
Preserve Board stated it is
possible now for a
municipality to set up an
agricultural preserve board.
However, he pointed out that
if a ruling by the local board
would be questioned in a
court of law, it might be
possible to not have the state
authority to make such
The amendment to Act 442
would provide this right to
the appointed Preserve
A question from the crowd
prompted Thomas’ ex
planation on how the deed
restriction would work.
He noted that the sale of a
Act 442
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, September 13,1910—A15
tarm is not necessary in
order for it to get into the
deed restriction program.
“The township or
municipality sets up their
agricultural district boun
daries and appoints a
Preservation board. Then,
on a voluntary basis, far
mers can elect to sign up in
the deed restriction
Whether or not a farm is to
remain in farmland depends
on the local zoning or
dinances, he pointed out.
“Act 442 merely pays the
farmer for keepmg his land
m agriculture where
zoning restricts the land use
on the farms without any
Lancaster County’s
Farmers’ Association
President Earl Newcomer
remarked, “If farmers don’t
sell their development
rights, they’re just giving
them away.”
It seemed to be the con
sensus of those present that
something needed to be done
to get ag land preserved.
“We’ve been waltzed
around the idea of preser
ving agricultural land for
years,” said Bernard
Hankin, farmer and
president of the Penn
sylvania Builders
“What we need now. is
enabling legislation stop
nit-picking about the
amendment language and
compromise if necessary.”
Gerald Erb, a Mount Joy
dairy farmer commented
that he was dissatisfied with
the $250 an acre reim
“Farmers should be
reimbursed at the fair
market value,” he said.
“You’re telling me I have to
sell my land at parity like I
do my milk. And all the while
farmers are subsidizing
society by borrowing money
against their land to stay m
To help assuage Erb’s
sentiments, Aaron Stauffer
explained that the
agricultural preservation
plan in Ephrata Township
calls for the land develop
ment rights to be purchased
at the fair market value.
A 1 Myers, of the Penn
sylvania Farmers’
Association in Camp Hill
commented that Act 442
should address all soils, not
just prune farmland. He also
questioned whether farmers
would be getting fair com
pensation at $250 an acre.
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His comments were based on
current PFA policies.
A spokesman for the State
Association of County
Commissioners stated then
group is cautious but sup
portive of Act 442. He said
the Association felt the local
boards would have too much
power, and he wasn’t clear
on the relationship between
the commissioners and the
Chairman Funk then
explained the com
missioners would appoint
the agricultural preser
vation board members in
their respective county’s,
therefore having some
control on who would be
making the preservation
Bill Fory, President of the
Lancaster , County
Developers Association,
stated he would love to see
all the farmland saved.
“But on the other hand,”
he said, “I see low-income
loans being given to get
into the area. That brings
people into the county and
these people need places to
Hankm said he agreed
with Fory’s sentiments and
added that farmers need to
remember the developer and
builder are not the villains in
the preservation effort.
Wien Funk confronted
Secretary Hallowell about
when the needed legislation
would be forthcoming,
Hallowell commented that
neither he nor Governor
Thornburgh can introduce
the legislation.
He pointed out that the
legislature will be coming
back only for a short time
between now and January.
He said he felt it would be
difficult to get it passed
before they recessed.
However, he said he is op
tomistic that it will passed
by July, 1981.