Here in Wisconsin the state is toying with changing some things about the Farmland Preservation Program to incorporate PDRs (purchase of development rights, if anyone doesn't know). The state would actually be purchasing the PDRs, while leveraging federal funds. The idea is that hopefully retiring farmers could make just as much money selling development rights as they would selling to a developer. Of course, the funds would never be available to purchace every PDR offered up, so a set of criteria and/or a point system would need to be used. Who knows if this would actually fly with the legislature, since it would cost a lot.
Even if it doesn't fly at the state level, we are thinking about using it at the county level. There would need to be a tax referendum to fund it, but we think it is worth looking in to. Everything is in very preliminary talks now, but I've been researching some criteria other jurisdictions use to score PDR applicants, and I'm wondering if any of you are doing something similar, and what kinds of criteria you've seen used.
Here are some examples I've come across:
# of generations who have owned the property?
Amount of public road frontage?
Amount of scenic views from the property?
Willingness to sell below market value?
Adjacent (or proximity to) ag zoning?
Soil potential for onsite sewer systems?
I'd like to hear what your thoughts are, maybe come up with some really innovative ideas.