Agricultural districts are reviewed by the County and recertified by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for agricultural viability every eight years. During the review process landowners can elect to have their land remain in the district, remove their land from the district, or add land to the district. Please note that while land can be added to an agricultural district each year through the annual additions process, land can only be removed through the eight-year review process. Landowners who want their land to remain in an agricultural district do not need to take any action during the eight-year review.
The eight-year review of the North District in the Towns of Brownville, Pamelia, LeRay, Lyme, Orleans, Philadelphia, Antwerp, Cape Vincent, Clayton, Theresa and Alexandria is currently underway. Landowners with land currently enrolled in the North District have been mailed a letter informing them of the review, a removal and addition request form, and a farm survey.
The removal and addition request form will identify the parcels that landowners currently have enrolled in the District. If you would like to remove any of your properties or add properties to the North District, please complete and return the form by June 30, 2015. Requests received after June 30, 2015 will not be considered. You do not need to return the form if you want your parcels to remain in the District and you are not requesting that land be added to a district. If you own land in the Towns of Brownville, Pamelia, LeRay, Lyme, Orleans, Philadelphia, Antwerp, Cape Vincent, Clayton, Theresa and Alexandria that is not currently enrolled in the North District and would like to add it to the District or you believe you own land in the District but did not receive a form and would like to make changes, please use the removal and addition form available on the Jefferson County Planning Department website.
Landowners with land currently enrolled in the North District will also receive a Farm Survey that is intended to gauge the state of agriculture in the District. Landowners who currently own an agricultural operation within the North District or rent their land to an agricultural operation are asked to complete and return the survey by June 30, 2015. You do not need to complete the survey if you do not farm your land or rent land to an agricultural operation. The results of the survey will be detailed in the Jefferson County Farmland Protection Board’s eight-year review report to the Jefferson County Board of Legislators. Responses will not be attributed to landowners by name in the report.
After the open period ends, the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board will review the requests and prepare a report that is submitted to the County Board of Legislators for their consideration. The Board will then hold a public hearing to receive feedback on the requested modifications, if any. Once the County Board of Legislators has approved of the changes, the report is finalized and sent to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets for recertification of the District. This process typically takes eight to ten months.
For more information contact:
Michael J. Bourcy
Jefferson County Department of Planning