2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Section 4:1B-8 - Implementation of program

Universal Citation: NJ Rev Stat § 4:1B-8 (2017)

4:1B-8. Implementation of program

The program shall be implemented by the departments in the following manner:

a. An intensive informational and educational effort will be undertaken to provide residents, landowners and elected officials within the program area with the basic objectives and details of the program. Such effort shall be conducted at public meetings held within, or in the vicinity of, the program area as well as through the mails.

b. Voluntary offers to sell the development easements to prime agricultural lands will be solicited from such landowners in the program area. Such landowners will be asked to offer to sell such development easements to the State at a price which, in the opinion of the landowner, represents a fair value of the development potential of such lands for nonagricultural purposes as determined in accordance with the provisions of this act. A final date for the submission of such offers shall be fixed by the departments in the regulations promulgated pursuant to section 14 of this act.

c. Such offers will be reviewed and evaluated by the departments, with the advice of the steering committee as provided in section 9 of this act, in order to determine the suitability of the prime agricultural lands represented thereby for inclusion in the program. Decisions regarding such suitability shall be based upon the satisfaction of the following criteria:

(1) The degree to which such offers reflect price levels which appear to be within the financial resources of the program;

(2) Suitability as to soil classification or other criteria for prime agricultural lands as provided by this act;

(3) The degree to which such offers would facilitate the formulation of an agricultural preserve as defined in section 4 of this act.

The departments shall reject any offer for the sale of development easements to prime agricultural lands which are unsuitable according to the above criteria.

d. Two separate independent appraisals shall be conducted for each remaining parcel of prime agricultural lands so offered and deemed suitable. Such appraisals shall determine the current overall fair market value of such parcels for all purposes, including nonagricultural and development purposes, as well as the current fair market value of such parcels for agricultural purposes. The difference between current overall fair market value and current agricultural fair market value shall represent an appraisal of the value of development easements to such parcels.

Such appraisals shall be conducted by independent, professional appraisers selected by the departments from among members of recognized organizations of real estate appraisers.

e. After receiving the results of such appraisals, the departments shall compare the appraised value and the offered value of development easements to such parcels. Following such comparison, and after consultation with the steering committee, the departments shall determine (1) whether the acquisition of all or a portion of such development easements would be within the financial resources of the program and (2) whether such acquisition would provide for the formulation of the agricultural preserve as provided by this act. Decisions concerning the acquisition of specific development easements shall be made within 6 months of the final date fixed for the submission of offers for such easements.

f. Following a determination of the satisfaction of such criteria and the submission to the committee of a report containing a positive recommendation concerning such acquisition, the Department of Environmental Protection is hereby empowered to purchase such development easements on behalf of the State.

L.1976, c. 50, s. 8, eff. July 22, 1976.

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