The Southampton Town Board on Tuesday approved spending $12 million for the development rights of a Sagaponack farm in an effort to preserve agricultural land.
Using the Community Preservation Fund, town officials spent nearly $1 million per acre for the development rights of 13 acres of the Sagaponack Main Street property, which will continue to be owned by Toppingfarm LLC, officials said.
Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said town officials were concerned the land, which is “highly visible” in the community, would be developed in the future.
“It sounds very expensive, but you have to understand, Sagaponack — if you Google the ZIP code — it’s typically one of the highest-valued ZIP codes in the country,” he said.
The farm is used to grow potatoes and distill vodka, said Sagaponack Village Deputy Mayor Lee Foster, whose son leases the land.
“It’s my son. It’s my farm. It’s the future,” Foster said.
The Community Preservation Fund is generated from a 2 percent tax on real estate transfers and used to preserve open space and improve water quality in the towns of Southampton, East Hampton, Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island.— RACHELLE BLIDNER