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In order to assess the efficacy of the three most common types of agricultural land conservation in the United States, this study analyzes the spatial and visual quality of a purchase of development rights program and two regulatory programs — cluster and the transfer of development rights. The study compares the effectiveness of programs that have been in place for periods of 6 to 18 years, surveying three different communities in the urban fringe: 1. the transfer of development rights program in Montgomery County, Maryland, in effect since 1981, 2. Riverhead, New York’s farmland development rights acquisition program, administered by the County, in effect since 1977, and 3. Southampton, New York’s cluster development program, in effect since 1982. These programs are compared to determine the number of acres of land that remains in active farming, in addition to evaluating the spatial configuration in the context of both agricultural business and visual quality of the remaining farmland.


" Fragmentation and Land Use Planning: Analysis and Beyond Proceedings Jun. 2000: 15pp.