Schenectady, N.Y. — Schenectady County officials today announced that applications from landowners interested in becoming part of the County’s agricultural district will be accepted during the month of December. Under New York State Law, the County is required to establish an annual review period to give landowners an opportunity to request inclusion in the Agricultural District. The Schenectady County Legislature has established December 1 to December 30 as the annual application period.
“Schenectady County is committed to our agricultural industry. This annual sign up period provides an opportunity for the County to include additional parcels in the Agricultural District,” said Schenectady County Legislator Holly Vellano, Chair of the Environmental Conservation, Renewable Energy & Parks Committee. “This program helps us foster a better business environment for local farms and maintain open space in Schenectady County.”
The goal of the district is to encourage the continued use of farmland for agricultural production and maintain and enhance the agricultural industry within Schenectady County. The district provides a combination of landowner incentives and protections, all of which are designed to forestall the conversion of farmland to non-agricultural uses. The Schenectady County Agricultural District recently completed an eight-year review that is mandated by the State and it now consists of 19,515 acres, which represents approximately 13% of the total land area in the County.
After the thirty-day review period is completed, applications will be reviewed by the County’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board. A public hearing will be held by the County Legislature and a final vote taken by the Legislature to include additional parcels in the Agricultural District. The application may be found at www.SchenectadyCounty.com/agdistrict. More information can be obtained from the County Department of Economic Development and Planning at 518-386-2225 ext. 226.