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Southold Town buys Orient farmland rights

The Southold Town Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to buy the development rights to 33 acres of farmland in Orient — a key piece of land surrounded by other farms already preserved from development.

The farms, which drain into Hallocks Bay, have been used by local farmers for generations.

“This is one of the last [unprotected] parcels,” said Councilman Albert Krupski Jr. “It’s a nice block of Orient farmland.”

The land is on the south side of Main Road (Route 25), about 300 feet east of the intersection with Old Main Road.

The town will pay $86,000 per buildable acre for the development rights to two trusts from the Terry family, a longtime farming family in the community, who owns the title. No payments will be made for wetlands or other areas which cannot be developed, about two acres of the 35.3-acre total.

Town Supervisor Scott Russell said the town might be eligible for a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for half the acquisition cost.

The farm is on the town’s community preservation project plan, designed to protect the scenic value and preserve saltwater marshes and wetlands.

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