2016 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 4 - Agriculture And Domestic Animals
Section 4:1C-31 - Development Easement Purchases.

NJ Rev Stat § 4:1C-31 (2016) What's This?

4:1C-31 Development easement purchases.

24. a. Any landowner applying to the board to sell a development easement pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-24) shall offer to sell the development easement at a price which, in the opinion of the landowner, represents a fair value of the development potential of the land for nonagricultural purposes, as determined in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1983, c.32.

b.Any offer shall be reviewed and evaluated by the board and the committee in order to determine the suitability of the land for development easement purchase. Decisions regarding suitability shall be based on the following criteria:

(1)Priority consideration shall be given, in any one county, to offers with higher numerical values obtained by applying the following formula:

nonagricultural - agricultural - landowner's
developmental value value asking price
---------------------------------------------------------------
nonagricultural - agricultural
development value value

(2)The degree to which the purchase would encourage the survivability of the municipally approved program in productive agriculture; and

(3)The degree of imminence of change of the land from productive agriculture to nonagricultural use.

The board and the committee shall reject any offer for the sale of development easements which is unsuitable according to the above criteria and which has not been approved by the board and the municipality.

c.Two independent appraisals paid for by the board shall be conducted for each parcel of land so offered and deemed suitable. The appraisals shall be conducted by independent, professional appraisers selected by the board and the committee from among members of recognized organizations of real estate appraisers. The appraisals shall determine the current overall value of the parcel for nonagricultural purposes, as well as the current market value of the parcel for agricultural purposes. The difference between the two values shall represent an appraisal of the value of the development easement. If Burlington County or a municipality therein has established a development transfer bank pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1989, c.86 (C.40:55D-113 et seq.) or if any county or any municipality in any county has established a development transfer bank pursuant to section 22 of P.L.2004, c.2 (C.40:55D-158) or the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council has established a development transfer bank pursuant to section 13 of P.L.2004, c.120 (C.13:20-13), the municipal average of the value of the development potential of property in a sending zone established by the bank may be the value used by the board in determining the value of the development easement. If a development easement is purchased using moneys appropriated from the fund, the State shall provide no more than 80%, except 100% under emergency conditions specified by the committee pursuant to rules or regulations, of the cost of the appraisals conducted pursuant to this section.

d.Upon receiving the results of the appraisals, or in Burlington county or a municipality therein or elsewhere where a municipal average has been established under subsection c. of this section, upon receiving an application from the landowners, the board and the committee shall compare the appraised value, or the municipal average, as the case may be, and the landowner's offer and, pursuant to the suitability criteria established in subsection b. of this section:

(1)Approve the application to sell the development easement and rank the application in accordance with the criteria established in subsection b. of this section; or

(2)Disapprove the application, stating the reasons therefor.

e.Upon approval by the committee and the board, the secretary is authorized to provide the board, within the limits of funds appropriated therefor, an amount equal to no more than 80%, except 100% under emergency conditions specified by the committee pursuant to rules or regulations, of the purchase price of the development easement, as determined pursuant to the provisions of this section. The board shall provide its required share and accept the landowner's offer to sell the development easement. The acceptance shall cite the specific terms, contingencies and conditions of the purchase.

f.The landowner shall accept or reject the offer within 30 days of receipt thereof. Any offer not accepted within that time shall be deemed rejected.

g.Any landowner whose application to sell a development easement has been rejected for any reason other than insufficient funds may not reapply to sell a development easement on the same land within two years of the original application.

h.No development easement shall be purchased at a price greater than the appraised value determined pursuant to subsection c. of this section or the municipal average, as the case may be.

i.The appraisals conducted pursuant to this section or the fair market value of land restricted to agricultural use shall not be used to increase the assessment and taxation of agricultural land pursuant to the "Farmland Assessment Act of 1964," P.L.1964, c.48 (C.54:4-23.1 et seq.).

j. (1) In determining the suitability of land for development easement purchase, the board and the committee may also include as additional factors for consideration the presence of a historic building or structure on the land and the willingness of the landowner to preserve that building or structure, but only if the committee first adopts, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations implementing this subsection. The committee may, by rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," assign any such weight it deems appropriate to be given to these factors.

(2)The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection may also be applied in determining the suitability of land for fee simple purchase for farmland preservation purposes as authorized by P.L.1983, c.31 (C.4:1C-1 et seq.), P.L.1983, c.32 (C.4:1C-11 et seq.), and P.L.1999, c.152 (C.13:8C-1 et seq.).

(3) (a) For the purposes of paragraph (1) of this subsection: "historic building or structure" means the same as that term is defined pursuant to subsection c. of section 2 of P.L.2001, c.405 (C.13:8C-40.2).

(b)For the purposes of paragraph (2) of this subsection, "historic building or structure" means the same as that term is defined pursuant to subsection c. of section 1 of P.L.2001, c.405 (C.13:8C-40.1).

L.1983,c.32,s.24; amended 1988, c.4, s.3; 1989, c.86, s.15; 2001, c.405, s.3; 2004, c.2, s.28; 2004, c.120, s.44.


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