Peconic Land Trust offers 135 acres for sale for its future farming programme

The Peconic Land Trust’s offering of four parcels for sale on Oregon Road in Cutchogue as part of its future farmers preservation program has met with success.

The offering — one of the largest in the Trust’s storied history — encompasses more than 135 acres of rich farmland in four parcels that span from Depot Lane on the east, to Alvahs Lane on the west and Oregon Road on the north. One section of the easternmost parcel runs in a narrow strip south to Route 48.

Earlier this month the Trust sent out a Request for Proposals to prospective buyers who want to farm that land. A total of 13 responses came in from the RFP, which were as of April 24, all from what the Trust characterized as experienced farmers with promising proposals for the future of the land.

A corporation – Mattituck Farm Holdings LLC. – currently owns the property and the Trust is acting as the contract vendee — essentially the middleman between prospective buyers and the holding company — according to the Trust.

Among the rules set in the RFP: applicants should be qualified farmers.

“This is part of our Farms for the Future Initiative,” said Daniel Heston, the Trust’s director of agricultural programmes. “The point of this RFP is to make sure the land goes to real farmers. That’s the reason for this. With this program we can protect our farming future here.

“We had 13 responses for the four parcels,” Mr. Heston added. We are thrilled that there is so much interest out there. They are all excellent applications.”

Since the Trust’s founding in 1983, the non-profit group has helped conserve more than 14,000 acres of farmland and open space. While overall conservation is one of the Trust’s main goals, keeping the region’s rich farmland in production is central to its mission.

“The Peconic Land Trust is pleased to be offering the farmland for sale,” the group’s president, John Halsey, said in an email to The Suffolk Times. “As we continue to see ongoing pressure from development, our goal is to keep farmland in the hands of those who will productively use it as intended.”

Oregon Road runs east-west, parallel to Long Island Sound, from Mattituck to Bridge Lane in Cutchogue. Its beauty stems from its wide-open vista, fertile soil, and rich farming history. For generations it was home to second and third generation Irish and Polish families, who cultivated potatoes, cauliflower and strawberries.

If the North Fork has a farming soul — and a stretch of road can somehow encompass a past, present and future — it is Oregon Road. Advocates who believe that open space and farmland is what makes the North Fork unique also know preservation is the only way forward.

The four parcels and the prices the Trust listed in the RFP as minimum offers are:

  • 5780 Oregon Road, Cutchogue. 54.63 acres consisting of 52.53 preserved acres of protected agricultural land and a 2.1-acre development area. Minimum offer: $2.1 million.
  • 8500 Alvahs Lane, Cutchogue. 26.07 acres consisting of 23.81 acres of protected agricultural land and a 2.26-acre development area. Minimum offer: $1.2 million.
  • 19285 and 19155 County Road 48, Cutchogue. 12.82 acres of protected agricultural land. Minimum offer: $400,000.
  • 7800 Oregon Road, Cutchogue. 41.78 acres of protected agricultural land. Minimum offer: $1 million.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell, a vocal supporter of preservation throughout his tenure in Town Hall, hailed the move by the Trust.

“It’s another example of how important the Peconic Land Trust has been to the preservation of our farms and open space,” he said. Their rate of success is measured by so many of the vistas we enjoy throughout the community. Also, their deep commitment to the preservation of the industry of agriculture will have impacts that last generations.”

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo