Galbans Donate Conservation Easement to Peconic Land Trust

More than 30 acres of Sagaponack farmland will be preserved for agricultural purposes for perpetuity, the Peconic Land Trust announces, thanks to a donation by the Galban family.

Beverley “Muffie” Galban and her late husband, Leandro S. “Pedro” Galban Jr., have been long-time supporters of the Peconic Land Trust and champions for the conservation of farmland in Sagaponack.

The overlay conservation easement includes affirmative and affordable farming covenants and resale restrictions on 33.4 acres between Hedges and Daniels lanes. The land trust explains that while a 1992 subdivision agreement precluded residential development of the parcel, it did not ensure that it would always be available to farmers. It also did not prohibit a future owner from putting up a fence that would screen the view of the field.

“The agricultural nature of the area has always been key to what made it special,” Anthony Galban said. “If we don’t take steps to protect that, pretty soon the place will be reduced to a crowd of mansions and privet hedges. This is our way to help protect the qualities that first brought our family here over 50 years ago.”

The new covenants restrict agricultural use of the property to food production and sets a maximum resale price. It may only be sold to qualified farmers and the land trust is designated the buyer of last resort.

Equestrian, fruit, horticulture and livestock uses of the property are prohibited and no more buildings may be erected; the parcel already includes a barn and silo.

“The Galban family, led by Pedro and Muffie, has a strong connection to the East End’s agricultural heritage and has done extraordinary work to see that this incredible resource is conserved for future generations,” Peconic Land Trust President John v.H. Halsey said. “Having been very involved in the protection of the Hopping farmland on Sagg Main Road in Sagaponack, the family is familiar with the trust’s efforts to apply additional restrictions on farmland to assure its future use in food production.Their voluntary donation of these restrictions on their land is a testament of their commitment to the community and to fresh, local food, and will hopefully serve as a model for other landowners to consider.”

The Galbans will potentially be able to reduce the value of their farmland for inheritance tax purposes, according to the land trust.

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