Jan. 21, 2004
Farmers Have Until Feb. 14 to Apply for Ag District Inclusion
OSWEGO - Farmers in Oswego County have until Feb. 14 to apply to have farmland included in the county agricultural district.
In December the County Legislature approved a resolution providing landowners an annual 30-day opportunity to apply for inclusion in an agricultural district. In 2004, applications can be submitted between Jan. 15 and Feb. 14. For 2005 and beyond, the dates will be from Jan. 2 to Jan. 31.
Requests should be made in writing to Ted Jerrett, Clerk of the Legislature, County Office Building, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego, 13126. The letter of request should demonstrate that the land meets the state Department of Agriculture and Markets' criteria of being "predominantly viable agricultural land."
The letter should also include a copy of the tax map of the designated land and the tax map parcel identification number.
The County Department of Planning and Community Development has been working with the County Real Property Tax Office, the Farmland Protection Board, Soil and Water Conservation District, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County to implement the new process.
"The 30-day inclusion period will provide an additional measure of protection to farmers from overly restrictive regulations," said Brian Frazier, Director of Planning and Community Development. "It protects a farmer's ability to use accepted agricultural production practices and to produce agricultural products on their land."
The county agricultural district comprises about 83,700 acres in portions of towns throughout Oswego County.
The issue was discussed and approved by the Farmland Protection Board and the Legislature's Economic Development and Planning Committee before it was referred to the County Legislature.
Frazier said the 30-day inclusion period begins a process of review for farmland to be included in the existing agricultural district. The Farmland Protection Board will evaluate all requests. The board's recommendations will be referred to the County Legislature, and then sent to the State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The state agency makes the final decision on whether the land should be included.
For information, contact Frazier at the County Department of Planning and Community Development, phone 349-8292 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 8292.
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