As a step toward preserving a ring of green around New Windsor, the county commissioners signed an option yesterday to buy easements on 634 acres. The land is the first in Carroll preserved through the state's year-old Rural Legacy program.
At the end of this month, county officials will learn whether the state will grant them more money to buy more rights toward the goal of 1,000 preserved acres around New Windsor and up the Little Pipe Creek watershed, said William Powel, who oversees the county's preservation efforts.
"I am more optimistic we will get money in 2000, because we have some large properties that have indicated an interest," Powel said.
Those landowners had not committed in January, when Powel had to submit a proposal to the state for the 1999 grants that will be announced this month.
"I feel that we probably will not get money this year, because we didn't get far enough in our documentation of the interest last year," Powel said.
Easements on the seven properties are being bought with $1.5 million in state money granted in June 1998 and $1 million in county money.
The seven parcels are farmland. The Rural Legacy program is broader than a state program that preserves agricultural land, though. Rural Legacy purchases are designed to preserve characteristics of small towns and their surrounding countryside.
Some of the properties adjoin farms protected by the state Agricultural Land Preservation Program, making the block of green more solid.
"They very much fill in the gaps," Powel said.
"But, being a voluntary program, there are still some gaps to be filled."
The easements bought yesterday are on:
51.01 acres owned by Willard Lee Hawkins Jr., at 1932 Bowersox Road in New Windsor, for $122,525.
65.85 acres owned by Richard S. Snader and Trudy J. Snader, at 2001 New Windsor Road in New Windsor, for $162,125.
36.5 acres owned by Martha C. Green, at 919 Winters Church Road in New Windsor, for $73,255.
128.03 acres owned by Matthew M. Hoff and Debra L. Hoff, at 2020 Old New Windsor Road in New Windsor, for $315,075.
142.85 acres owned by H. Joseph Lippy and Jane M. Lippy, at 200 Lees Mill Road in New Windsor, for $238,925.
105.14 acres owned by Joseph D. Kavanagh and Jeannettie Kavanagh, at 900 Green Valley Road in New Windsor, for $257,850.
105.12 acres owned by Ralph L. Robertson and Deborah S. Robertson, at 1643 Wakefield Valley Road in New Windsor, for $247,560.
The $29 million Rural Legacy program, in its second year, is part of Gov. Parris N. Glendening's Smart Growth initiative.
The program was designed to protect land that might not qualify for other preservation programs. Landowners in selected areas may sell their development rights to a land trust or local government.
In Carroll, Rural Legacy funds are available only to landowners who have development rights.
The restriction prevents people who own "remainders" -- land left after permitted residential lots have been developed -- from participating.
Though homes cannot be built on remainders, churches or other nonresidential structures could be permitted.
Pub Date: 9/14/99