The Lexington-Fayette Urban County government is closing in on another milestone in its effort to protect rural farmland. Lexington council members got an update on the purchase of development rights program last week.
From January to August of this year, 700 more acres of farmland got Purchase of Development Rights or PDR designation. PDR Program Manager Beth Overman told council committee members another 1000 acres are under contract and those owners have already received the matching federal and local funding.
Maintaining the urban service boundary is often cited as a rural preservation measure. But, Overman says that boundary doesn’t play heavily into purchase of development rights decisions. “I don’t think that would affect it as much because we often don’t see our applicants that are right on the border applying to PDR,” said Overman.
The overall goal for preserving rural property is 50,000 acres. At the current rate of preservation, Overman says the goal could be reached in two decades. “That could change if there were an influx of farm applications or more financial resources or anything like that, but right now, at the rate were going at about 700 or 800 per year, it will be about 20 more years,” explained Overman.
The sign up deadline for the next round of PDR awards is October 29th