OCEAN COUNTY – The county is adding 23 more acres to its open space collection.
The Board of Chosen Freeholders approved the acquisition of 22.9 acres on Anderson Road in Jackson.
“It adjoins a 210-acre township-of-Jackson-owned Francis Mills Park. This will adjoin their park site,” Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr. said. “It will keep this land from being developed.”
The site was nominated to the Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund Advisory Committee, which then made the recommendation for purchase to the freeholders. The county will go ahead with the purchase only if Jackson Township agrees to that acquisition.
The county will purchase the land for $450,000 plus up to $1,066.00 for property tax adjustments. The county gets two appraisals from two independent assessors to value the properties, and never offers to pay more than that highest appraised value, Bartlett added.
Freeholder Director Gerry Little said in May that in a county that’s 408,000 acres, about 60 percent of it is permanently protected against development through Pinelands regulations, state parks and 21,000 acres preserved through the natural lands and farmlands programs.
“Approximately 60 percent of the county is permanently preserved, which is protecting our watershed, which is protecting our quality of life,” Little said. “We will never become an urban area. That’s our goal, to preserve our quality of life for all of us here today, and for our children and generations to come.”
All 33 county municipalities approved the creation of the Natural Lands Trust Fund back in the late 1980s. A cent-and-a-half is taken from every $100 property valuation and put into the trust fund.