(WNY News Now) – MAYVILLE, NY – Per New York State Agriculture and Markets Law (AML) 303-b, the Chautauqua County Legislature has designated January 2 through January 31, 2024, as the annual 30-day period during which landowners may submit requests to include predominantly viable agricultural land into an existing certified agricultural district.
During this period, landowners may submit written requests for inclusion into the Agricultural District. Parcels requesting inclusion must meet the definition of “viable agricultural land” as defined in Agriculture and Markets Law § 301, subdivision 7. Lands already included in the district need not submit a request.
Landowners must complete the Agricultural District Inclusion Worksheet, which includes a written description of the land, the tax map identification number, and be accompanied by a copy of the relevant portion of a tax map showing the location of the property you would like included into the Agricultural District.
This worksheet, current Agricultural Districts Map, and additional information can be found on the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development website at: bit.ly/CHQaginclusion. You can print out the appropriate map via the County’s GIS website available at: bit.ly/CHQgis.
Please submit all inclusion requests to the Department of Planning and Development, Attn: Lauren Sharp 201 West Third St., Suite 115, Jamestown, N.Y. 14701 or email to email@example.com on or before 4:30 p.m. on January 31, 2024. Inclusion requests can only be accepted during the inclusion period from January 2 to January 31.
At the end of the 30-day period, the proposed parcels for inclusion will be reviewed by the Chautauqua County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB). Based on the AFPB’s recommendations, a report will be prepared for the Planning & Economic Development (PED) Legislative Committee’s review.
After review by the PED Legislative Committee, these recommendations will be forwarded to the County Legislature for a public hearing. Following the public hearing, the Legislature will vote via resolution to accept the recommendations made by AFPB. The County Legislature will then send the resolution to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to certify the inclusion of lands or not. If the Commissioner certifies the inclusion of the parcels, the land becomes part of the Agricultural District.
An agricultural district is a geographic area which consists predominantly of viable agricultural land. Agricultural operations within the district are the priority land use and afforded benefits. These agricultural operations receive protections to promote the continuation of farms and the preservation of agricultural land.
This should not be confused with the agricultural assessment program which allows eligible farmland located both within and outside the agricultural districts to be taxed at its agricultural assessment. Landowners should see their local assessor to find out more information on agricultural assessment for their parcel(s).
For more information about the Agricultural District Inclusion Period or to see if you have land within an Agricultural District, visit the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development website at: bit.ly/CHQaginclusion or contact Lauren Sharp at (716) 661-8245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.