Q&A: Development Rights

As you may have seen in the news recently, Tilden Lane Farm welcomed some visitors to the Farm. Bruce and Jeanne were pleased to join officials from the Town of Huntington and Suffolk County for a press conference to announce the sale of the development rights for Tilden Lane Farm.

A Banner reading "Town of Huntington Suffolk County and Tilden Lane Farm Partner to Preserve Farm Land". To the left is a photograph of TLF's sign.

We’ve heard quite a few questions about what this all means and how it affects the future of the farm, and we hope to answer those questions for you now!

  1. What does it mean to sell development rights?
    Selling development rights restricts the future use of a property, so that the land can only be used for agricultural purposes. The Farmland Development Rights program for Suffolk County is the first such program of its kind in the United States, and its goal is to help preserve farmland and ensure that these vital and historical properties are able to maintain themselves and their historical agricultural character.
  2. Who purchased the development rights for TLF?
    The Town of Huntington and Suffolk County came together in a 50/50 partnership. With this purchase, Tilden Lane Farm becomes part of nearly 20,000 acres of preserved open farmland throughout Suffolk County, 300 acres of which are located within the Town of Huntington.
  3. Does this mean the farm is public property?
    The farm is not public property. The farm continues to be owned and run by the Tilden family. We are a working farm and are constantly planting and tending to our crops as well as caring for our beehives; all of this work means that the farm is only open to the public during Christmas tree season.
  4. What does the development rights sale mean for TLF?
    This sale means TLF will be able to continue farming as the family has done for generations, and allows us to keep planting trees, instead of planting houses. The sale of the development rights is our promise to the community that Tilden Lane Farm will continue to be a farm.