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Cecil County Surpasses 50,000 Acres of Permanently Protected Lands

Post Date:05/09/2018 10:44 AM


May 9, 2018ProtectedLandsMap042618

ELKTON, MD. -- Cecil County Government is pleased to announce that over 50,000 acres of land have been permanently protected from development with the most recent Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) easement settlement on a 416.529-acre farm owned by Losten’s Dairy, LP. With this acquisition, over 15,000 acres of prime Cecil County agricultural lands are now protected by MALPF easements. In Fiscal Year 2018, 834 acres were protected by all easement programs bringing the total now protected with easement and fee simple acquisitions to 1,699 acres.

Preserving agricultural lands has been a goal of Cecil County since its first Master Development Plan was adopted in August 1962. That plan stated agricultural land will not increase and that much of the land is in danger of being removed from farming due to increasing pressure for development. The County’s 1974 Comprehensive Plan stated that “a method of compensation to the landowners must be found if a real guarantee of future agriculture is to be maintained.”

The 1990 Comprehensive Plan built upon the 1974 plan by creating the Rural Conservation and Resource Protection land use districts. In 2000, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a policy of preserving 55,000 acres by the year 2025. The Cecil County Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program was created in 2005, and a Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program was incorporated into the Cecil County Zoning Ordinance in 2007.  With the adoption of the 2010 Comprehensive Plan, the County continued to support the goal of preserving agricultural and environmentally significant lands within a 20-year period.

Reaching this threshold has been a collaborative effort between Cecil County, and other programs such as Rural Legacy, Forest Legacy, Program Open Space, federally protected land, Common Open Spaces, and County & State Parks. In addition, the hard work of other organizations such as the Cecil Land Trust, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, the Maryland Environmental Trust and numerous private easement holders has been critical.

"Land preservation efforts like these are key in ensuring that rural areas remain in the county and for the agricultural entities to continue to be viable and economically productive," stated County Executive Alan McCarthy.

For more information regarding Cecil County Land Preservation Programs, please contact Stephen J. O'Connor, AICP in the Department of Land Use & Development Services at 410-996-5220 or by email at









Media contact:
Jennifer Lyall
Public Information Officer

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