With Addition of 500th Farm to Preserved List, Fast-Growing Chester County ‘Still Values Open Space’

Kimberly McGuane
The Chester County Commissioners made Gerald and Cindy Rohrer's farm the 500th preserved one in the county.

The open-space initiative in Chester County has now officially preserved 500 farms after the addition of a large farm in Upper Oxford and West Fallowfield townships to the preserved list, writes Erin McCarthy for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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The county has now preserved close to 40,000 acres of farmland and nearly 136,000 acres of open space, totaling 28 percent of the land in Chester County.

The “preserved” designation ensures that a family’s land will always be used strictly for agricultural purposes. Owners of preserved properties are financially compensated based on an appraisal done by an independent body.

According to county officials, with more people moving into the area, the open-space initiative’s mission is even more important.

“It’s symptomatic of what is good about Chester County,” said Commissioner Terence Farrell. “As the fastest-growing county in the commonwealth, we still value open space.”

Gerald Rohrer, who owns the recently added farm with his wife, Cindy, said it was comforting to know that even if the family decided to move away, the property would remain unchanged.

“You don’t want to see that developed,” Cindy said. “This farm has really good soil, really good ground.”

Read more about the preserved farm in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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