Tuesday, March 30, 2010
“Sullivan County is accepting applications from property owners seeking to be included in New York State Agricultural Districts 1 and 4, beginning April 1st and ending April 30th ,” said Luiz C. Aragon, Commissioner of Planning and Environmental Management. During this thirty day window, property owners may request inclusion of their land into the Agricultural Districts, explaining why their land should be included and providing their name, mailing address, telephone number, town and tax parcel numbers.
Parcels to be included must be predominantly viable agricultural land. According to New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Law, “viable agricultural land” is defined as land highly suitable for agricultural production and which will continue to be economically feasible for such use if real property taxes, farm use restrictions and speculative activities are limited to levels approximating those in commercial agricultural areas not influenced by the proximity of non-agricultural development. Agricultural District 1 encompasses towns in northern and western Sullivan County, and Agricultural District 4 covers the County’s eastern and southern towns.
Applications should be submitted to the Sullivan County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board, in care of the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management. The Board will make recommendations to the County Legislature for each request. The County Legislature will hold a public hearing and then vote on the approval of each recommended request. Subsequent to County approval, an updated district map with a report showing the new parcels for inclusion will be submitted to the State Department of Agriculture and Markets for State approval. Upon approval by Agriculture and Markets, each property owner will be notified by mail and the real property tax records for each parcel will be updated. Applicants will receive notification by fall. Interested property owners may obtain an application by calling the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management at 845-807-0527.
Agricultural Districts are intended to encourage the continued use of farmland for agricultural production, by protecting farmers from restrictive local laws, providing them with tax incentives, and requiring that governments notify farmers of projects that could adversely affect farmland.
For additional information, please contact Commissioner Aragon at 845-807-0527