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Annual 30-Day Application Period for Agricultural District Additions!


2021 Annual Agricultural District Additions October is the month designated by the Columbia County Board of Supervisors for the annual 30-day application period for landowners to request to be included in an existing state-certified agricultural district. This is pursuant to NYS Agriculture & Markets Law (NYSAML) Article 25AA §303-b, A press release is attached below. Landowners interested in having their land added to an agricultural district may complete and submit this form, which may also be found on the Planning Department webpage. The administration of this provision of the Agricultural Districts Program will be handled by the Columbia County Planning Department (CCPD) with the cooperation of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties County, Stephen Hadcock, seh11@cornell.edu, 518-380-1497. While CCPD will be the lead agency for coordinating this process, the law requires that applications be filed with Kelly Baccaro, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, before 4:00 pm on October 31, 2021.


Here is the Press Release For Immediate Release For more information, contact Stephen Hadcock 518-380-1497 Sign Up Period in October for Landowners Most of the land used for agricultural production in Columbia County is in one of the ten agricultural districts. If you believe parcels you own are not included in an agricultural district, you have an opportunity to have your land added to an existing agricultural district. This opportunity is for only 30 days each year. The annual 30-day period for Columbia County is the month of October. Explanation of the process can be found here https://bit.ly/39SMubY. A direct link to the application can be found here https://bit.ly/3zURtmY. If you are applying for inclusion this year, send your application to the Clerk of the County Board of Supervisors. The postal address for the Clerk is 401 State Street, Hudson, NY 12534. Benefits of Land Being in an Agricultural District There are numerous benefits for your land to be in an agricultural district. One benefit agricultural districts afford is protecting landowners and farmers against local laws that may unreasonably restrict farm operations within an agricultural district. The Columbia County Agricultural Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) and the NYSDAM work with local municipalities to ensure local laws and regulations are not restrictive to agricultural production. The Process At the end of October, all requests for inclusion are referred to the Agricultural Farmland Protection Board (AFPB). The Board will determine if the land to be included consists predominantly of viable agricultural land. Its inclusion would serve the public interest by helping to maintain a viable agricultural industry within the district. The AFPB makes a recommendation to the County Board of Supervisors within 30 days. A public hearing is then scheduled and held for public comment. After the public hearing, the County Board of Supervisors adopts or rejects the inclusion of the land into an existing agricultural district. This action must be taken no later than 120 days after the termination of the annual 30-day period (for Columbia County, this is October). If approved by the County Board of Supervisors, the recommendation is forwarded to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM). If approved by NYSDAM, the tax parcels are included in one of the county’s agricultural districts. Tax parcels can only be added and not removed during these 30 days. The form asks for information that will help the Agricultural Farmland Protection Board be better informed in making a recommendation for agricultural district inclusion to the Board of Supervisors. For more information or to request the form by phone, you may call Patrice Perry, Columbia County Department of Planning at (518) 828-3375 or Steve Hadcock at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia County at (518) 318-115. You may also Email Patrice at patrice.perry@columbiacountyny.com or Steve Hadcock at seh11@cornell.edu. **************************************************************


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