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Open Space and Farmland Preservation  
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Will Morey, Freeholder 

Leslie L. Gimeno, PP, AICP, MPA, Planning Director

Barbara Ernst, Division Director
Tel. 609-465-1086
Fax 609-463-0347

Click for Meetings Schedules, Agenda and Minutes


On November 9th, 1989, the voters of Cape May County approved by a 2 - 1 margin a ballot question endorsing the establishment of a trust fund to preserve open space and agricultural land. The trust is funded by a County property tax of 1 cent per 100 dollars of assessed valuation and currently generates approximately 1.3 million dollars a year. Since its inception, the program has preserved approximately 4,000 acres of open space and farmland (almost 5 square miles).

Beginning on January 1, 2013, the Open Space Program was expanded to include Park/Recreation Development and Historic Preservation Projects.  For more information, click on the links below:


Farmland Preservation Brochure

County Planning Incentive Grant Easement Purchase Application for an Individual Farm

For information on the Farmland Easement Acquisition application process and pending applications, contact Brigitte Sherman at 465-1081 or bsherman@co.cape-may.nj.us 

For all other information on Farmland Preservation, including Right to Farm issues and information on existing preserved farms, contact Barbara Ernst at 465-1086 or ernst@co.cape-may.nj.us .

Farmland is preserved through the purchase of development rights. All purchases are made by the Board of Chosen Freeholders on recommendations from the County Open Space Board or the County Agricultural Development Board. The County Agricultural Development Board meets every other month on the last Monday of the month at 7:30 PM in the Jury Management Room, 9 N. Main St. Cape May Court House. The current members are:

George Brewer, Jr., Chair
James Hazlett
Leslie Rea
Sue Anne Wheeler
James P. Hand
Warren Stiles
Jenny Carleo, Ag Agent

To see the latest agenda for the Agricultural Development Board, click on Meeting Schedules.



2015 Division of Open Space Meeting Schedule

Cape May County Open Space Program - 2015

Cape May County Open Space - Land Acquisition Application 2015

Historic Preservation Application 2015

Cape May County Open Space - Park / Recreation Development Application 2015

Development Payment Request Form

Post Construction Engineer Certificate

Project Completion Form

Reimbursement Request Form

The Open Space Board meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 10:00 am in the Intermediate Meeting Room of the County Administration Building in Crest Haven in Cape May Court House.  For more information on the program, contact Barbara Ernst at 465-1086.  The current members are:

Peter Lomax, Chair
David Craig, Vice Chair

Michael McLaughlin
David Clemans

Will Morey, Freeholder
Leslie Gimeno, Planning Director


To see the latest agenda for the Open Space Board, click on Meeting Schedules.

Click Here for a current Pdf. Map of County Open Space and Farmland properties.

Click for Survey Proposals & Award

Click for Phase 1 Proposals & Award

Click for Appraisal Proposals & Award


Planning Department (Click here)  

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