As negotiations to close an historical land-preservation deal for Taliaferro Farms, a 32-acre tract of land on Plains Road in New Paltz, owner Sylvester “Pete” Taliaferro confirmed that he’s not yet willing to give up the approval he’s already obtained to subdivide the property instead.
The plan to save the farm will involve money from the town’s open space funds, Scenic Hudson and Ulster County to pay Taliaferro $387,000 to give up those development rights. It’s what he wants, but it won’t make him rich: there’s a $300,000 mortgage to be paid off, and capital-gains taxes on the funds; he estimates he’ll have about $9,000 in the bank when all is said and done.
Taliaferro continues to pay a modest fee every few months to keep his subdivision approval before the planning board, just in case, but he expects that there will be a closing soon. After that, he wants to have a mortgage-burning party.
He said at least five farmers he knows locally have asked him for information on this program; like him, they are all deeply in debt and would like to pay it off before retiring, preferably without selling their land to developers.