TOMS RIVER – The county will be adding open space to its roster, this time in Plumsted Township.
The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved the purchase of 6.55 acres on Tower Road, a wooded vacant lot adjacent to 50 acres of county preserved property.
It could support a future residential home site if not purchased by the county.
“The acquisition of the property would support the goal of buffering development near environmentally sensitive areas,” Freeholder Director Virginia E. Haines said.
The county will pay $150,000 plus up to $1,095 for property tax adjustments. It will be funded by the county’s open space tax.
The Natural Lands Trust program is dedicated to protecting open space in Ocean County. The fund was approved by Ocean County voters in 1997 and established a 1.2-cent tax to fund land acquisitions. The program generates about $8 million per year.
A nine-member advisory committee, established in 1998, nominates properties for the Freeholders to consider.
Freeholder Gerry Little has said that in a county that’s 408,000 acres, about 60 percent of it is permanently protected against development through Pinelands, state parks and 21,000 acres preserved through the natural lands and farmlands programs.