BEDMINSTER — More land is being added to the preserved farmland in the township.
Agreements of sale for two conservation easements totaling 139.79 acres on two properties were approved by the Bedminster Township Board of Supervisors at the board's Sept. 11 meeting.
Conservation easements essentially are a sale of development rights. The owner of the property continues to own it and can continue to use it for agricultural purposes, but the land cannot be developed.
Township, county and state funding is being used to purchase the conservation easements.
One of the properties is 62.43 acres owned by Randy Labs on Edge Hill Road. The other is 77.36 acres on Kellers Church Road owned by Randy Labs, Richard Labs Jr. and Patti Lea Keeler.
The Kellers Church Road tract can be seen from behind the building in which the township meeting was held, Township Manager Rich Schilling said.
"It's a gorgeous property," he said.
The township will be paying $2,000 per acre and the state and county a combined $12,000 per acre for the easement on the Edge Hill Road tract, bringing the total price to $874,020, the township officials said. The township will pay $3,000 per acre and the state and county a combined $12,000 per acre for the Kellers Church Road easement, bringing the price to $1,160,400.
Funding for the township's portion comes from its open space taxes, part of which is in the property tax and part of which is in the earned income tax, John Rice, the township's solicitor, said.
The county previously approved the conservation easements, he said, but the state has not yet formally approved it.
In other matters at the meeting:
• A lot line adjustment was approved between two Applebutter Road properties.
"This is a simple lot line change," said Sharon Dotts, of Gilmore & Associates, the engineers for the plan. She told the board that one of the property owners "wanted to get a little breathing room on the side of his house."
About .74 acres is being added to the one lot from the other lot, she said.
• The previous day's morning work session included discussion of the proposed agritourism ordinance, Schilling said. An earlier version of the proposal to allow agritourism accessory uses on farms was tabled in June. The September work session included taking out things that are not agriculture-related, such as outside concerts, car shows, art shows and weddings, Schilling said.
"We're focusing on agriculture," he said.
A new draft of the proposed ordinance has not yet been completed and there will be more discussion before the board votes on it, he said.