Schenectady County 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 the home of over 140 farms that produce fresh fruits and vegetables, and other agricultural products,” said Schenectady County Legislator Holly Vellano, Chair of the Environmental Conservation, Renewable Energy & Parks Committee. “Inclusion in the agricultural district can afford benefits to landowners that help make farming a more viable industry and preserve open spaces.”
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 consists of 19,560 acres, representing over 14 percent of the total land area in the County.
After the 30-day review period is completed, applications will be reviewed by the County’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board. A public hearing will be held b the County Legislature and a final vote taken by the Legislature to include additional parcels in the Agricultural District. The application is available at http://www.schenectadycounty.com/ed-planning. More information can be obtained from the Department of Economic Development and Planning by calling (518) 386-2225 ext. 226.