(Schenectady County, NY) Schenectady County officials today announced that the County Agricultural District is undergoing the mandatory eight year review as required by the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law. All landowners with property in the Agricultural District will receive written notice of the review and a review worksheet to be completed and submitted to the County. The information obtained will be utilized by the County Legislature to modify the agricultural district boundary (if necessary) and determine the viability of the district as a whole.
“Schenectady County is committed to our agricultural industry,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “We encourage local farmers and land owners to fill out the worksheet for properties currently in the district so we can get an accurate picture of the agricultural industry in the County.”
The Schenectady County Agricultural District was created in 1988 and must be reviewed and recertified by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets every eight years. The review process presents an opportunity to analyze the County’s agricultural base and offers the County Legislature the opportunity to alter the boundaries of the district in recognition of changing land uses. During the review landowners can decide if they want their property to remain in the District, or be removed. The eight year review also provides an opportunity to enroll new properties into the agricultural district by completing the worksheet.
The goal of the Agricultural District is to encourage the continued use of farmland for agricultural production and maintain and enhance the agricultural industry within Schenectady County by creating an economic and regulatory climate supportive of farming. 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 County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board (AFPB) will review the district and all information received under this eight year review and provides a report and recommendation to the County Legislature.
There are currently 355 parcels and 19,756 acres of land within the County Agricultural District encompassing approximately 16 percent of the County’s land area.
Worksheets must be submitted by June 30, 2019 to the Department of Economic Development and Planning located at 107 Nott Terrace, Suite 303, Schenectady, New York 12308. Worksheets can also be downloaded or completed online at www.SchenectadyCounty.com/agdistrict or by contacting the Department of Economic Development and Planning at 518-386-2225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.