East Hampton Town Approves Dankowski Deal For Food-Only Farm In Wainscott - 27 East

Real Estate News

Real Estate News / 1398551

East Hampton Town Approves Dankowski Deal For Food-Only Farm In Wainscott

icon 1 Photo

author on Dec 23, 2017

The East Hampton Town Board approved the purchase of “enhanced rights” on a parcel of farmland in Wainscott, mandating that the land remain in food crop production in perpetuity.

The town on December 21 approved paying $4 million from the Community Preservation Fund to Peter Dankowski to remove the rights from 29.5 acres of his farmland on Wainscott Hollow Road, just north of the Wainscott School.

The deal will remove the rights to use the land to grow landscape nursery stock, erect new structures, develop the property as a horse farm, leave it fallow for more than two years, or plant it with only grass. The town will reserve the right to lease the land to a farmer if a future owner leaves it empty of row crops for more than two years.

It is the first time that East Hampton Town has used its CPF reserves to purchase such restrictions on the use of farmland—something Southampton Town has done on several farms over the last two years.

The towns have been buying “development rights” on farms for two decades, preserving thousands of acres of land from housing development by paying landowners the difference between the property’s value as developable land and as farmland, in exchange for eliminating the option to build on it.

But in the last decade, dozens of those properties believed to have been preserved from development have been transformed into sprawling equestrian facilities—deemed by a state court to qualify as “agricultural” businesses—with tens of thousands of square feet of buildings on them. Others vanished behind hedges that corral the land into the backyards of private homes.

Southampton Town, for example, paid more than $3.5 million from its CPF for the development rights on land in Water Mill that was later purchased by former “Today” show host Matt Lauer and turned into a sprawling private equestrian center with more than 50,000 square feet of structures, including a four-bedroom house for staff.

Such uses have also driven the value of land preserved for agricultural uses into the hundreds of thousands of dollars an acre, well out of the reach of working farmers. But when the additional rights and covenants that restrict the land to food production only have been sold, a property’s value is estimated to be only about $25,000 an acre.

Mr. Dankowski’s father and uncle, Henry and Paul Dankowski, sold the development rights off the land in 1980 for about $17,000 an acre.

There was some criticism of the town’s deal with Mr. Dankowski. Some naysayers raised the concern that the town should have the soil on his property tested for contaminants before it locks the land into food production.

Wainscott resident Simon Kinsella said the town should have waited until it tested the soil before the purchase. Amagansett farm stand owner Elaine Jones, who has objected to the Dankowski sale on other grounds before, said that the State Department of Agriculture and Markets had done soil testing all over the town this past summer and that a report on its findings would be out in March.

Supervisor Larry Cantwell pointed out that the East End towns and Suffolk County have purchased thousands of acres of farmland since the 1980s, and that soil testing prior to the preservation deal was never a standard protocol.

The Town Board approved the sale agreement unanimously.

You May Also Like:

Turn Of The Century Further Lane Residence Fetches $11 Million

A 2.4-acre East Hampton compound featuring a renovated turn of the 20th century home recently ... 10 Aug 2020 by Staff Writer

Attorney General Announces $10 Million In Housing Counseling Funds To Stave Off Foreclosure

New York State’s Homeowner Protection Program, or HOPP, now has $10 million in grant funding available for housing counseling and legal services to help protect homeowners from foreclosure in the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Friday that HOPP connects homeowners to free, qualified mortgage-assistance relief services across New York. Ms. James noted that the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that 170,000 homeowners asked for mortgage forbearance in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 7,000 requests in the fourth quarter of 2019. The funding supports a network of more than 80 housing counselors and legal ... 3 Aug 2020 by Staff Writer

State Legislature Passes Bill To Deter Discrimination Among Real Estate Agents

The New York State Legislature has passed legislation protecting state residents from discrimination by real estate agents, and now the bill heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk to be signed into law. Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. of Sag Harbor said in a statement this week that the bill is designed to help end discriminatory practices in the real estate industry that disproportionately affect minority homebuyers. The legislation makes clear that real estate brokers and salespersons may be fined and their licenses suspended or revoked for subjecting prospective homebuyers to discriminatory practices. Mr. Thiele’s office noted in press release that ... by Staff Writer

Rachael Ray, John Cusimano Sell Southampton Home And Land

Quick-and-easy-cooking television personality Rachael Ray and her husband, attorney and musician John Cusimano, have sold ... 31 Jul 2020 by Staff Writer

Parking Variance Request Ignites Debates Over Residential-To-Office Conversions In Sag Harbor

A request for a parking variance to convert a third-floor Main Street apartment into office ... 28 Jul 2020 by Brendan J. OReilly

Sag Harbor Architectural Review Board Sends ‘Imposing’ Madison Street Proposal Back To The Drawing Board

The Sag Harbor Village Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review sent plans for a ... 27 Jul 2020 by Brendan J. OReilly

Manhattan Broker Lisa Maysonet Now Working In The Hamptons

Lisa Maysonet, a top Manhattan real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty, is now working ... 25 Jul 2020 by Staff Writer

Officials: Updated Southampton Housing Plan Will Go Beyond Affordable Housing

Southampton Town’s updated housing plan will go beyond addressing the need for affordable housing and ... 24 Jul 2020 by Brendan J. OReilly

Second-Quarter Hamptons Home Sales Dip 13 Percent

Amid the height of the coronavirus pandemic in New York and the state mandates that ... by Brendan J. OReilly

Community Preservation Fund Revenue Up 39 Percent In First Half Of 2020

The Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund collected 39 percent more revenue in the first ... 21 Jul 2020 by Staff Writer
logo

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported