David Ablett: Unite on a strategy to preserve farmland

February 4, 2014 

The letters written by Pastor William Heinrich and others (Jan. 28, Page A9) were truly heart wrenching. I sympathize as our family was caught in a similar dilemma.

Though many of the residents of Wood Colony might fight with all sincerity, the threat of development will never go away. As each generation replaces the last, the pie inevitably becomes smaller until one day each share of the property is too small to be worth the effort. After four generations, we were down to shares of 2.5 percent.

Wood Colony faces the same situation. Developers will pick off properties one at a time unless the colony residents band together. They should form a fund with first right to purchase. With the number of residents who appear to be serious about protecting the land, they should be able to raise a fairly sizable fund quickly.

This is intended to be a poison pill fund meant to discourage developers. The fund might never make money, but it will have the option of either renting or selling the land to those who want to continue to farm some of the best agricultural land in the world.

DAVID ABLETT

Modesto

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