October 24, 2003
County Executive Sets in Motion Next Step to Preserve Linden Farms
Dutchess County Executive William R.
Steinhaus has sent a public hearing notice to the Dutchess County Legislature
in final preparation for the purchase of development rights on Linden
Farms in Red Hook. This 234-acre parcel is located in the “Red Hook
Breadbasket,” where approximately 5,500 acres of prime farmland is situated.
This area has been designated resource of statewide importance in the State’s
open space plan.
“Success is all about partnerships,” said Steinhaus. “This particular
purchase is possible because of our historic Dutchess County farmland
preservation initiative and the stewardship of Scenic Hudson. They have
purchased the development rights on several Red Hook farms and continue to
inspire the conservation activity of local landowners, in Red Hook,” he
The County’s share of the purchase is estimated at $487,957. This expenditure
will bring the County’s commitment of funds to a total of $1,976,673 for
eight approved Open Space and Farmland Protection Program acquisitions that
protect a total of 1,205 acres of Dutchess resources. County Executive
Steinhaus initiated the county’s Open Space and Farmland Protection
Matching Grant Fund, the first of its kind in the Hudson Valley, in 1999.
“No one entity can afford to purchase the best remaining farmland in the
Hudson Valley,” said Ned Sullivan, Executive Director of Scenic Hudson, “but
in this case, County Executive Steinhaus’s Open Space and Farmland Protection
Program made a very important purchase possible.”
Scenic Hudson had already insured that a critical mass was achieved by
purchasing the development rights on seven farms, for a total of 1,100 acres
prior to the Linden Farms deal.
“County participation in this purchase, along with Scenic Hudson, helped to
inspire the Town to approve the bond,” added Red Hook Town Supervisor Jack
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Red Hook voters have overwhelmingly voted
to support continued purchase of agricultural development rights by approving
a bond of $3,500,000. The bond will be used to match private, State,
conservancy and County funds for further important development-rights
purchases. When development rights are purchased, the ownership stays with
the private landowner, who continues to pay taxes. Once the property is sold,
the development restrictions remain on the land. The recently approved bond
money will not be used on the Linden Farms purchase of development rights,
but it will be made available for future purchases.
“Nothing has been more encouraging to me in my public office responsibilities
than what I have seen in Red Hook,” noted Mr. Steinhaus. “The residents of
Red Hook are making a good business decision for their Town as they insure
its productivity and beauty into the future. Red Hook is an inspiration and
it is a model for many other towns in Dutchess County.”
Linden Farms was created as a partnership between Frank Migliorelli
and Sal Leone in the late 1960s when they purchased a dairy farm and
modernized its operations. The partners now lease the highly-productive lands
that abut Linden Avenue and Pitcher Lane to Ken Migliorelli, Owner/Operator
of Migliorelli Farms and nephew of Frank Migliorelli. Currently these lands
are producing high value crops, including ten acres of tomatoes at 4,000
plantings to the acre. Today Migliorelli Farms is an intensive farming
operation devoted to the production of fruits and vegetables, which serve
three Greenmarkets in New York City, farmers’ markets in Kingston and
Rhinebeck, and a newly-opened fresh market stand at the corner of River Road
and Route 199 in Rhinebeck.
“With various funding entities working together, we can anticipate a total of
2,500-3,000 acres being permanently protected in Red Hook within the next few
years, said County Planning and Development Commissioner, Roger Akeley. “Red
Hook’s reputation as a very special place to live is being enhanced by its
bold and imaginative steps to protect its rural environment.”
The Dutchess County Legislature will hold a hearing on the resolution
advanced by Mr. Steinhaus on November 12, 2003.
For information, contact William R. Steinhaus, Dutchess County Executive at
845/486-2000, Noela Hooper, Dutchess County Department of Planning and
Development at 845/486-3600 or Seth McKee of Scenic Hudson at 845/473-4440.
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