Friday, January 18, 2013

FW: Press Release: Peconic Land Trust Announces Conservation 0f 20+ Acres by Isabella Rossellini in Brookhaven



From: Thomas Williams
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2013 5:13 PM
Subject: FW: Press Release: Peconic Land Trust Announces Conservation 0f 20+ Acres by Isabella Rossellini in Brookhaven


I thought you would like to see this update on the Marist property

Very nice I think



Thomas B Williams

311 Beaver Dam Road

Brookhaven, NY 11719






The land will be put into agricultural production by Ms. Rossellini working with the Trust and farmer Patty Gentry of Early Girl Farm.



January 14, 2013. Southampton, New York. John v.H. Halsey, President of the Peconic Land Trust, announced that actress, filmmaker, and philanthropist Isabella Rossellini has donated a conservation easement on 20.8 acres of land in the Hamlet of Brookhaven.


“Ms. Rossellini’s conservation of this property is truly a gift to the Brookhaven community,” said Trust President John v.H. Halsey. “The potential existed for this to become another subdivision. Now it will join other conserved farmland and open space in the area and become a working farm that will serve the local community.”


“Always my intention in purchasing the property was to conserve the property and to establish an organic farm there,” said Isabella Rossellini, who has had a home in Bellport Village for 25 years and has been involved in other environmental/ conservation projects in the Town of Brookhaven, including the conservation of the adjacent 9-acre preserve with the Town, Suffolk County, and the Post-Morrow Foundation. Ms. Rossellini will be working with farmer Patty Gentry, of Early Girl Farm, to establish an organic farm on the property. “My interest in purchasing the property, and establishing an organic farm, is to do something for my community. Being involved in the local Hamlet Organic Garden (HOG) farm (a community supported agriculture farm in Brookhaven), I knew there was an interest in expanding access to local food in the community. With Patty and the Peconic Land Trust involved, I see my role as helping to make this farm financially sustainable by using my business experience and providing another place for access to local food.”


The property is part of a 27-acre parcel purchased by Ms. Rossellini in January of 2012 with a conservation purpose in mind. The parcel already had Conditional Final Subdivision approval from the Town of Brookhaven for 12 residential lots. Ms. Rossellini’s donation extinguishes most of the development rights on 20.8 acres of property, and limits future development to one single-family residence and one guest house provided that they are associated with the conservation purposes of the easement.  Structures related to the agricultural use of the property will be allowed under the terms of the easement. Ms. Rossellini plans to clear approximately 6 to 7 acres of the conserved property for the farming operation and to keep the remaining acreage in woodland at this time.


The property, which is known as South Country Farms, had been owned in the recent past by the Marist Brothers, who had considered building a school on this land, prior to its sale to the developer who received the 12-lot subdivision approval. The developers, who had decided not to go forward with the development, put the property on the market at a time when Ms. Rossellini had recently sold property in New York City and was looking for an opportunity to invest in the Brookhaven community.


Ms. Rossellini’s South Country Farms is within an area of Brookhaven that includes several active farm parcels, as well as a number of conservation parcels owned by Suffolk County, Brookhaven Town and/or the conservation organization Post-Morrow Foundation, including:

  • the adjacent 9 acres, which was also owned by the Marist Brothers and includes a single-family residence. This property was purchased and conserved by the Post-Morrow Foundation, the Town of Brookhaven and Suffolk County;
  • to the south across South Country Road, the Dennis Puleston Nature Preserve, a passive recreation area owned by Suffolk County;
  • and just to the east of the Dennis Puleston Nature Preserve is Deer Run Farm, a 49-acre working farm established in partnership with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lohmann, Suffolk County and the Post-Morrow Foundation and farmed by Bob Nolan.


Ms. Rossellini’s plans for the property include establishing agriculture on the land through lease arrangements with qualified farmers, as she has recently done with Ms. Gentry. The Peconic Land Trust will assist with the leasing arrangements as well as with the infrastructure necessary to support these farming businesses, including irrigation and fencing as needed.


“It was a fortunate coincidence that I was able to purchase the land at that time, and then to be introduced to the Peconic Land Trust by Tom Williams (a board member of the Peconic Land Trust and a Vice President at the Post-Morrow Foundation) and then to hear from Patty, who was looking for additional land in Brookhaven to expand her farm operation. The Trust has been very helpful to me, in navigating all the rules and regulations involved in conserving the property and establishing a farm operation. I’m looking forward to working with them going forward and appreciate their guidance and experience in what is a very complex process to navigate,” added Ms. Rossellini.


About the Peconic Land Trust

2013 is the 30th Anniversary year for the Peconic Land Trust, which was established in 1983 to conserve Long Island's working farms and natural lands. Since its inception, the nonprofit Trust has worked conscientiously with landowners, donors, local government, partner organizations, and communities to conserve over 10,000 acres of land on Long Island. The Trust's professional staff carries out the necessary research and planning to identify and implement alternatives to outright development. While working to conserve the productive farms, watersheds, woodlands, and beachfront of Long Island, the Trust is also protecting the unique rural heritage and natural resources of the region.


The Trust has Stewardship Centers in Cutchogue, Southold, Bridgehampton and Amagansett and its Main Office is in Southampton.  A common misperception, however, is that the Peconic Land Trust is the recipient of the monies raised through the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund (also referred to as the 2% land transfer tax or the Peconic Land Tax). This is NOT the case. The CPF tax is collected by Suffolk County and then redistributed to the five East End towns, the distribution of which is based on the location of the property from which the tax is acquired. For more information about the Peconic Land Trust visit or call 631.283.3195.