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(A) Adoption of Program. An incentive for participation in the MALPF Program may be offered by the county when warranted by the acquisition price of easements and the amount of available state and county funding appropriated for land preservation. After receiving the recommendation of the Advisory Board and concluding that adequate amounts exist within the budget for the agricultural land preservation program, the County Commissioners may determine if an amount should be spent for an incentive program or for any component of it. Pursuant to the authority contained in Md. Code, Agriculture Article, § 2-512, the following local program for the preservation of agricultural land has been adopted to be used when funding is allocated by the County Commissioners.
(B) Appraisal of development rights value.
(1) For any landowner who makes application to form an Agricultural Land Preservation District, the county shall obtain on behalf of the landowner an appraisal of the value of the development rights owned by the landowner. A landowner in an existing district who agrees to the rerecordation of the district agreement, thus establishing a new five-year term from the date of rerecordation, is also eligible to receive an appraisal. A landowner who has sold an easement or who has a pending application to sell an easement is not eligible to receive an appraisal.
(2) The appraiser shall be selected by the county and the cost of the appraisal shall be borne by the county. The form of the appraisal shall follow specifications established for appraisals by MALPF. Two copies of the appraisal shall be given to the landowner. The landowner may submit the appraisal to MALPF in connection with an offer to sell development rights to MALPF.
(C) Incentive payments for district establishment and for easement sale.
(1) Upon the establishment of an Agricultural Land Preservation District, the county shall pay to the landowner 5% of the value of the development rights as determined by the appraisal authorized in division (B)(1) above. The payment shall be made following the establishment of the district and the recordation of the district agreement in the Land Records of Carroll County. A landowner already in a district who agrees to the rerecordation of the district agreement, thus ensuring a full five-year term from the date of rerecordation, is also eligible to receive the payment. Upon the recordation of an agricultural easement sold to MALPF, the county shall pay to the landowner 5% of the value of the development rights as determined by the appraisal authorized in division (B)(1) above. A landowner who has sold an easement or who has a pending application to sell an easement as of the effective date of this subchapter is not eligible to receive an incentive payment for district establishment or easement sale. The incentive payment for district establishment may be made only once with respect to a particular property.
(2) Incentive payments shall be made only in the total aggregate amount authorized by the County Commissioners. The priority of payment shall be determined by the order in which the application to establish a district or rerecord a district is made. The incentive program shall be administered by the Program Manager. Incentive payments shall be made upon the approval of the Program Manager and the Director of Management and Budget, or its successor agency. Where land does not have an “A” zoning classification, the incentive payment shall be the average per-acre incentive payment paid for the land zoned “A” during the previous fiscal year, as determined by the Program Manager.
(3) The County Commissioners may request the approval of MALPF to spend uncommitted and unexpended matching funds for the incentive program.
(2004 Code, § 73-4) (Ord. 02-18, passed 11-21-2002)