15.15.01.22

.22 Local Matching Programs of Agricultural Land Preservation.

A. The Foundation may approve a local matching program of agricultural land preservation, provided that:

(1) The county agrees to make payments up to a specified and Foundation-approved aggregate amount to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Fund to equal at least 40 percent of the value of an easement acquired by the Foundation as a result of a matching allotted purchase made during the ensuing fiscal year;

(2) The county shows evidence that the local matching program for the acquisition of easements for the purposes of agricultural land preservation will not result in preservation of land which does not meet the qualifying criteria as established in these regulations; and

(3) The county request for approval of a local matching program is submitted to the Foundation, together with any necessary agreements, not later than 90 days before the beginning of the fiscal year for which approval is being sought.

B. Approval of a local matching program by the Foundation is valid only during the fiscal year following the fiscal year of the request for approval by the county.

C. Local matching programs shall be approved upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the Board members at-large, and upon approval of the Secretary and the State Treasurer.

D. Local matching programs submitted to the Foundation for consideration shall include:

(1) An inventory of productive agricultural land in the county based upon the qualifying criteria of these regulations;

(2) County agricultural land preservation goals;

(3) Analysis of alternative local means of preserving productive agricultural land;

(4) Analysis of the relationship between the county comprehensive plan and agricultural land preservation goals and program; and

(5) Selected approaches to preserving productive agricultural land.

E. Matching allotted funds shall be available exclusively for the acquisition of easements. The Foundation may not approve matching allotted purchases of easements for land located in any county which has not secured approval from the Foundation for a local matching program of agricultural land preservation.