CHAPTER 257

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 372

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 3 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL LANDS PRESERVATION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend § 909(a)(2), Chapter 9, Title 3, Delaware Code, by deleting such subparagraph in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(2) Activities conducted on the real property shall be limited to agricultural and related uses, and residential use of the real property shall be limited as follows:

(i) no more than one (1) acre of land for each twenty (20) acres of usable land owned in a District or an expansion of a District, to a maximum of ten (10) acres, shall be allowed for dwelling housing; and

() the dwelling housing shall be limited to residential use of the owner, relatives of the owner and persons providing permanent and seasonal farm labor services; provided, however, that the Foundation may, pursuant to regulations adopted after notice and public hearing, allow, from the effective date of an initial District Agreement, no more than a total of three (3) dwellings or dwelling lots located in the Agriculture Preservation District to be transferred from an owner or relatives of an owner to any other person, subject to the following limitations and requirements:

(A) the owner or relative of an owner seeking to make the transfer shall establish that a hardship condition exists, as defined pursuant to Foundation regulations, and obtain Foundation approval;

(B) The dwelling or dwelling lot, after transfer, shall be used only for residential purposes;

(C) the transferred property shall not qualify for District benefits or benefits of easement conveyance established under this Chapter; and

() if a preservation easement has been acquired by the Foundation on the real property subject to transfer, the owner or relatives of the owner, shall, as a condition of Foundation approval, pay to the Foundation an amount equal to twenty-five (25) percent of the then current fair market value of the land subject to transfer; and

(iii) any transfer of real property in a District or an expansion of a District to another person shall be preceded by the execution by the transferee of a document, in recordable form and as prescribed by the Foundation, which sets forth the acreage allowed for dwelling housing and the restrictions which apply to the real property under this Chapter and the regulations of the Foundation."

Section 2. Amend § 908(a), Chapter 9, Title 3, Delaware Code, by eliminating the word "and" at the end of subparagraph (3); by adding a semi-colon in lieu of the period at the end of subparagraph (4) and including the word "and" thereafter; and by adding a new subparagraph (5) to read as follows:

"(5) The real property proposed for inclusion in the District shall include all of the eligible real property located in the tax parcel or tax parcels subject to application, and no eligible real property shall be carved out or otherwise excluded from the application for establishment of an Agricultural Preservation District or the application to sell a preservation easement pursuant to Subchapter III of this Chapter."

Section 3. The Foundation shall be entitled, subject to the concurrence of the real property owners, to modify existing District Agreements and Preservation Easements to conform to the provisions of Section I hereof.

Approved April 1, 1998